blend of highbrow culture, joined in a project that bridged two worlds

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

One Sunday winter afternoon, I attended a concert by the Dessoff Choirs titled “Sing-In: Bach’s Prayer in B Minor,” with the original Catholic Mass in Latin transposed into Jewish theological ideas in Hebrew. It is not the kind of event I usually attend, but a friend was affiliated with the group. There was a strange blend of highbrow culture—18th-century music sung in a transliterated ancient language—and communitarianism—voices, trained and untrained, joined in a project that bridged two worlds.

(This comes from slate.com Bach’s Prayer Reflections on giving on by Lisa Gornick.)

1. Does the main structure of the blue part is 'There was a blend of highbrow culture and communitarianism'?
The highbrow culture: 18th-century music sung in a transliterated ancient language
Communitarianism: voices, trained and untrained, joined in a project that bridged two worlds

2. Does the 'two worlds' refer to 'highbrow culture' and 'Communitarianism'?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    'Highbrow culture' = 18th-century music sung in a transliterated ancient language and communitarianism Voices joined in a project.

    The 'two worlds' are Cartholicism and Judaism.
     
    Last edited:

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    'Highbrow culture' = 18th-century music sung in a transliterated ancient language and communitarianism Voices joined in a project).

    The 'two worlds' are Cartholicism and Judaism.
    Do you mean the main structure is 'There was a strange blend of highbrow culture that bridged two worlds'?
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sorry, I mean the subject and predicate. For example, 'I met Jane, a kind person who was my teacher when I was ten years old yesterday'. The 'main structure' is 'I met Jane yesterday'.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, but I still have some problems. The dashes confuse me.
    1. What does 'and communitarianism' modify?
    2. What does 'voices' modify?
    3. Does 'joined...' part modify 'voices', and is 'project' the antecedent of 'that bridged two worlds'?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    The dashes confused me as well. It is badly punctuated.:) This is how I read it:


    There was a strange blend of highbrow culture (18th-century music sung in a transliterated ancient language and communitarianism) - voices, trained and untrained, joined (united) in a project that bridged two worlds.

    I added the words in bold.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    One more question: the blend of highbrow culture includes 18th-century music and communitarianism, doesn't it?
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I feel 'communitarianism' is not a highbrow culture, so I wondered whether the brackets is read as '18th-century music sung (in a transliterated ancient language and in communitarianism)', or '{18th-century music (sung in a transliterated ancient language)} and communitarianism.'
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would say yes to the original question, and to this followup, ironman.

    The sentence is saying that "highbrow culture" is "18th-century music sung in a transliterated ancient language"

    and that "communitarianism" is "voices, trained and untrained"

    So it's saying "this project blends highbrow culture with communitarianism," as ironman originally thought. It's both highbrow because it's an old piece of classical music, and community-oriented because they're letting anyone sing who wants to, not just the classically trained musicians.

    I also agree with london calling that the two worlds are probably meant to be Judaism and Catholicism. But it's a legitimate reading of the sentence to think the two worlds are highbrow culture and communitarianism, too. It could be either as written.
     
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