Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

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Throughout the history of music, many great composers, theorists, and instrumentalists have left indelible marks and influences that people today look back on to admire and aspire to. No exception to this idiom is Johann Sebastian Bach, whose impact on music was unforgettable to say the least. People today look back to his writings and works to both learn and admire. He truly can be considered a music history great.

Bach, who came from a family of over 53 musicians, was nothing short of a virtuosic instrumentalist as well as a masterful composer. Born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685, he was the son of a masterful violinist, Johann Ambrosius Bach, who taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Along with... View More »

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It was here that Bach settled himself and began to compose the first collection of his finest early works which, included organ pieces and cantatas.

By this time Bach had been married for several years. He actually became married to his cousin Maria Barbara. They, for the most part, had a happy marriage. He was happy. By this stage of his life he had ?composed? for himself a wonderful reputation of being a brilliant musical talent. Along with that his proficiency on the organ was unequaled in Europe by this time. In fact, he toured regularly as a solo virtuoso, and his growing mastery of compositional forms, like the fugue and the canon, were already attracting interest from the musical establishment, which, in his day, was the Lutheran church. The church began to look at Bach?s writings and saw the opportunity to possibly use his music in their masses. Thus was the slow birth of the German chorale, which Bach later became renowned for. Bach?s virtuosic career did suffer minor setbacks along the way. He occasionally would be passed over for deserved positions within the court that he worked. However, in 1715 when he did not receive a truly desired position of ?Kapellmeister? (choral master) of Weimer, he was insulted and left the city. He accepted a position as a court conductor in Cothen, where he began to work on another part of his musical genre, that of instrumental music. Up until this point, Bach was mainly writing organ pieces and church cantatas. One of his most famous, ?Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme,? became well known around the world and is still looked ...

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