Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

 

Biography


Bach Biography

 

Composer Name: Johann Sebastian Bach

Born                     : March 31, 1685

Died                      : July 28, 1750

Nationality          : German

 

Johann Sebastian Bach was a great prolific composer and musician of Baroque period. He was born on March 31, 1685, in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany. During his lifetime, Bach was known as an organist, teacher, and a composer. His composition was hardly known and many of his works were not published until almost a century after his death.

 

Early Life and Career

Bach was the youngest child of eight children in a musical family. His father, Johann Ambrosius, was a town musician in Eisenach who believed to give Bach music education since he was young. At the age of 10, Bach became an orphan after the death of both his parents. He moved in with his elder brother, Johann Christoph who was a church organist in Ohrdruf.

 

In 1703, Bach got his first job as a musician at the court of Duke Johann Ernst in Weimar where he worked as a violinist. In October 1707, Bach got married to his cousin, Maria Barbara Bach and they have 7 children. In 1708, Bach became an organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. In 1717, he was accepted as Kapellmeister with Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen who has a passion for music.

 

Final Years

After Bach’s wife passed away in 1720, he married Anna Magdalena Wilcke in 1721 and they have 13 children. Of the total of Bach’s 20 children, 10 of them did not survive infancy while 4 of them became musicians and composers. In 1723, Bach left Anhalt-Cothen for Leipzig. He become the new organist and teacher at St. Thomas Church.

 

By 1740, Bach started to experience an eye-sight problem. In 1750, he tried to treat his eye-sight with two operations but he ended up became completely blind. Later that year, Bach suffered a stroke and died on July 28, 1750. Bach’s death has marked the end of the Baroque period in music.

 

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Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven is an amazing book about Bach and his music written by one of the world’s leading conductors, John Eliot Gardiner. 

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The Best Bach Music


 

Just like the typical work of Baroque period, Bach’s musical style is highly contrapuntal which is enriched with beautiful harmonic progressions, motives, and consistent rhythm. His music is influenced by his exposure to North and South German, Italian and French music, and his devotion to the Lutheran liturgy. Bach’s musical style has been adapted by many composers including Mozart, Beethoven Schumann, and Mendelssohn.

 

Bach has composed over 1000 works including works for voice, organ, keyboard, chamber music, orchestra, and other solo instruments. He was best known with his organ composition during his lifetime. He has composed about a dozen pairs of preludes and fugues, five toccatas and fugues, and the Little Organ Book during his most productive years. Some of his work can be found in this list in the order of  the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV).

 

Watch This Playlist for Bach’s 15 Inventions, 4 Duets, and 2 Canons Performed by Cory Hall:

 

Bach Sheet Music


 

Bach: The Ultimate Piano CollectionBach: The Ultimate Piano Collection is a 648-page comb-bound volume which include the complete Inventions, Sinfonias, English Suites, French Suites, Goldberg Variations, Partitas 1-3, The Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 and 2, Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, and the Italian Concerto in F Major. Check it out from Sheet Music Plus!

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Bach Quotes


 

Bach Quotes“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.”

 

“There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.”

 

“What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve.”

 

“I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.”

 

“The aim and final reason of all music should be none else but the glory of God and refreshing the soul. Where this is not observed there will be no music, but only a devilish hubbub.”

 

“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.”

 

What is your favorite Bach music? Tell us in the comment box below!

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2 Comments:

  1. Hiya, I used to play keyboard years ago and much of what I played was classical music, Johann Bach included, It,s great that you created a website on a great composer and musician and the history of the great man, I love the site! The best of luck on it 🙂

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