Bach Birthday: Know Everything About Johann Sebastian Bach!


David Mudd

German composer and musician Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685–28 July 1750) Instrumental compositions like the Cello Suite; keyboard works like Goldberg Variations and The Well-Tempered Clavier; organ works like the Schubler Chorales; and vocal music such as the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor are some of his best-known works. As a result of the nineteenth-century Bach Revival, he has come to be regarded as one of Western music’s finest composers.

When Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach, the Bach family had already produced several composers. After he was orphaned at the age of 10, he resided with his older brother Johann Christoph for five years before moving to Lüneburg to complete his musical education.

On his return to Thuringia in 1703 he was employed by the Protestant churches of Arnstadt and Mühlhausen, as well as by the courts of Weimar and Köthen, where he enlarged his organ repertory. Thomaskantor in Leipzig, where he served as a cantor from 1723 to 1728. He wrote music for the city’s Lutheran churches and the university’s Collegium Musicum student ensemble. He began publishing keyboard and organ compositions in 1726.

Bach Birthday

Despite the fact that Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, granted him the title of court composer in 1736, he nevertheless had a problematic working relationship with his employer in Leipzig. As he neared the end of his life, he revisited and expanded many of his earlier works. In 1750, at the age of 65, he succumbed to complications following eye surgery.

Bach’s command of counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organization,[4] and his adoption of rhythms, forms, and textures from elsewhere, particularly from Italy and France, enriched established German idioms. Hundreds of Bach’s cantatas, both holy and secular, can be found in the canon of his oeuvre.

Passions, oratorios, and motets were among the works he wrote in Latin for church services. For example, in his sacred songs and four-part chorales, he frequently used Lutheran hymns as the basis for his own compositions. For organ and other keyboard instruments, he wrote a lot of music. For example, he wrote concertos for violin and keyboard, as well as suites for chamber music and orchestra. In many of his pieces, he uses canon and fugue techniques.

His keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was renowned for its educational characteristics during the 18th century. Some of the most important Bach biographies were published in the nineteenth century, and all of Bach’s known compositions had been published by the century’s end.

Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals (and later also websites) exclusively devoted to him, and other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, a numbered catalogue of his works) and new critical editions of his compositions. Composer Mozart’s work was popularised through a wide variety of arrangements and recordings, such as three box sets of entire performances of his output commemorating the 250th anniversary of his passing.

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Johann Bach Childhood

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Germany, the capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Eisenach (31 March 1685 N.S.). Son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, director of the town musicians and Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt, Maria Elisabeth’s mother.

When he was born, he was the eighth child of Johann Ambrosius, a violinist who taught him the basics of music. They were all professional musicians, including church organists, chamber musicians, and composers, and all of them were related to each other. [10] An elder second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach (1677–1731), was well-known as a composer and violinist. One of his uncles, Johann Christoph Bach (1645–1693), introduced him to the organ.

Bach Birthday

In 1694, both Bach’s mother and father passed away. The 10-year-old Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721), the organist of St. Michael’s Church in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, moved in with his elder brother, Johann Christoph Bach.

Even though he was barred from doing so since music scores were so valuable and private and blank ledger paper of that type was expensive, he studied, performed and copied music at the school, including his own brother’s. With the help of his older brother, he became proficient on the clavichord.

The music of Johann Pachelbel, Johann Caspar Kerll, Johann Jakob Froberger, and others from the South German school of composers, as well as North German composers, Frenchmen like Jean-Baptiste Lully, Louis Marchand, and Marin Marais, as well as Italian clavierist Girolamo Frescobaldi, were all introduced to him by J. C. Bach. As a student at the local gymnasium, his primary focus was theology, Latin, and Greek.

A month later, on April 3, Bach and his two-year-old schoolmate Georg Erdmann were enrolled in Lüneburg’s famed St. Michael’s School, almost two weeks’ drive north of Ohrdruf. They probably walked the majority of the way. For Bach, the two years he spent there were essential in broadening his perspective on the European culture. For his part in the school’s three-manual organ as well as his harpsichord playing, the chorister was also an accomplished musician. Ritter-Academie students from northern Germany who had been sent there to prepare for jobs in various fields came into contact with him as well.

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