Bach believed that all music was to be written for the glory of God. This foundation lay under not only his sacred music, but his secular also. Bach would read from Niedt's book on the thorough bass for his students, and, in commenting on Niedt's text, said,

"The thorough bass is the most perfect foundation in music, being played with both hands in such a manner that the left hand plays the notes written down while the right adds consonances and dissonances, in order to make a well-sounding harmony to the Glory of God and the permissible delectation of the spirit and the aim and final reason, as of all music, so of the thorough bass should be none else but the Glory of God and the recreation of the mind. Where this is not observed, there will be no real music but only a devilish hubbub."*

*Hans T. David and Arthur Mendel, eds, The Bach Reader: The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents (rev. ed.; New York: Norton, 1966), 32, 34.