J. S. Bach History  

J.S. Bach, also known as Johann Sebastian Bach, was born on March 21, 1685. He was a German composer and organist who enriched the prevailing German style of music with contrapuntal technique and control of harmonic.

Bach was the youngest child of Johann Ambrosius Bach and Maria Elisabetha Lammerhirt Bach. His father was an organist at St George’s Church and taught him to play violin and harpsichord. All of Bach’s uncles were professional musicians ranging from church organists to composers. It was an uncle, Johann Christoph Bach, who quite famous and introduced young Bach to organ playing.

Bach is believed to be quite of his family’s musical achievements and he ended up drafting a genealogy in 1735 known as Origin of Musical Bach Family.

Bach’s mother died in 1694 followed by his father’s death just eight months later. Bach was ten years old at that time and he moved in with his oldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach, who was an organist at Ohrduf. Bach copied, studied and performed music while receiving invaluable teaching from his brother, who taught him how to play a clavichord. While living with his brother, Bach was exposed to many South German composers like Johann Pachelbel and Johann Jakob Froberger.

At the age of 14, Bach was awarded a choral scholarship to study at Luneberg’s St Michael’s School which was not far from Hamburg. Bach stayed there for 2 years and was exposed to a variety of European culture.

While Bach was alive, he acquired fame as an organist but was not well-known as a composer. His contemporaries considered his Baroque forms and contrapuntal style as old fashioned. This was especially true later in his career when the musical style was tilted towards Rococo and Classical. Interest in Bach’s composition revived in the 19th century and today he is considered as one of the greatest composers.

Bach’s works include Brandenburg concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, Mass in B Minor, St Mathew Passion, St John Passion, The Art of Fugue, and The Musical Offering. In addition, there are more than 200 cantatas and 200 organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

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J. S. Bach History




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