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Born:March 21, 1685EisenachGermany...(Show more)Died:July 28, 1750 (aged 65)LeipzigGermany...(Show more)Notable Works:“Three-Part Inventions”...(Show more)Movement / Style:Baroque music...(Show more)Notable family members Members:son Wilhelm Friedemann Bachson Carl Philipp Emanuel Bachson Johann Christian Bachson Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach...(Show more)

Johann Sebastian Bach is related to as one of the best composers of all time. He is celebrated as the creator of plenty of masterpieces that church and also instrumental music. His compositions represent the best of the Baroque era.

Johann Sebastian Bach composed over 1,000 piece of music. Some of his most well known work included theBrandenburg Concertos,The Well-Tempered Clavier, and theMass in B Minor.

Johann Sebastian Bach was born right into a musical family. Orphaned before he turned 10 years old, he was looked after ~ by his eldest brother, an organist who offered him his very first keyboard lessons. Bach did fine at school, and he was selected because that a choir of negative boys in ~ the institution in Michaelskirche,Lüneburg, Germany.

On October 17, 1707, Johann Sebastian Bach married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach in ~ Dornheim. After ~ Maria died Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilcken, the daughter that a trumpeter at Weissenfels, ~ above December 3, 1721.

Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children, 7 with his first wife and 13 with his second wife. Only 10 of them live to adulthood. Several of his sons, including Wilhelm Friedemann,Carl Philipp Emanuel, andJohann Christian, that was referred to as the “English Bach,” were likewise composers.

Johann Sebastian Bach, (born march 21 , 1685, Eisenach, Thuringia, Ernestine Saxon Duchies —died July 28, 1750, Leipzig), composer the the Baroque era, the most commemorated member the a large family of north German musicians. Back he was admired by his contemporaries primarily as an exceptional harpsichordist, organist, and also expert on body organ building, Bach is now usually regarded as among the best composers of all time and also is commemorated as the creator that the Brandenburg Concertos, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B Minor, and also numerous other masterpieces the church and instrumental music. Showing up at a propitious minute in the background of music, Bach had the ability to survey and also bring with each other the principal styles, forms, and also national traditions that had emerged during preceding generations and, by virtue of his synthesis, enrich them all.

He to be a member of a remarkable family of musicians that were proud of their achievements, and about 1735 he drafted a genealogy, Ursprung der musicalisch-Bachischen Familie (“Origin the the musical Bach Family”), in which the traced his ancestry back to his great-great-grandfather Veit Bach, a Lutheran baker (or miller) that late in the 16th century was driven from Hungary to Wechmar in Thuringia, a historic region of Germany, by spiritual persecution and also died in 1619. There were Bachs in the area prior to then, and also it might be that, when Veit relocated to Wechmar, he to be returning to his birthplace. He offered to take it his cittern come the mill and also play it while the mill to be grinding. Johann Sebastian remarked, “A pretty noise castle must have actually made together! However, he learnt to keep time, and also this apparently was the beginning of music in our family.”

Until the birth of Johann Sebastian, his to be the least identified branch of the family; some of its members, such together Johann Christoph and Johann Ludwig, had been competent practical musicians but not composers. In later days the most crucial musicians in the family members were Johann Sebastian’s sons—Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and also Johann Christian (the “English Bach”).


Early years

J.S. Bach was the youngest kid of Johann Ambrosius Bach and Elisabeth Lämmerhirt. Ambrosius to be a wire player, employed by the town council and the ducal court of Eisenach. Johann Sebastian started school in 1692 or 1693 and also did well despite frequent absences. That his musical education and learning at this time, nothing definite is known; however, that may have actually picked increase the rudiments that string playing from his father, and no doubt the attended the Georgenkirche, whereby Johann Christoph Bach was organist until 1703.

By 1695 both his parents to be dead, and also he was looked ~ by his eldest brother, likewise named Johann Christoph (1671–1721), organist at Ohrdruf. This Christoph had actually been a pupil the the significant keyboard composer Johann Pachelbel, and also he apparently gave Johann Sebastian his very first formal keyboard lessons. The young Bach again did fine at school, and in 1700 his voice secured the a ar in a select choir of bad boys at the college at Michaelskirche, Lüneburg.

His voice should have damaged soon ~ this, yet he remained at Lüneburg because that a time, do himself generally useful. No doubt he learned in the institution library, which had a big and up-to-date collection of church music; he probably heard Georg Böhm, organist the the Johanniskirche; and also he went to Hamburg to hear the famous organist and composer Johann Adam Reinken in ~ the Katharinenkirche, contriving also to listen the French orchestra kept by the duke of Celle.

He seems to have returned to Thuringia in the so late summer of 1702. By this time he was already a reasonably proficient organist. His suffer at Lüneburg, if no at Ohrdruf, had turned him away from the secular string-playing heritage of his instant ancestors; thenceforth he was chiefly, though not exclusively, a composer and performer that keyboard and also sacred music. The next couple of months space wrapped in mystery, yet by march 4, 1703, he was a member of the orchestra work by Johann Ernst, battle each other of Weimar (and brothers of Wilhelm Ernst, whose business Bach gotten in in 1708). This short article was a just stopgap; that probably already had his eye on the organ then being constructed at the Neue Kirche (New Church) in Arnstadt, for, when it to be finished, he assisted to test it, and in respectable 1703 he was appointed organist—all this at age 18. Arnstadt records imply the he had been court organist in ~ Weimar; this is incredible, though it is likely sufficient that he had actually occasionally played there.

The Arnstadt period

At Arnstadt, ~ above the northern edge that the Thuringian Forest, wherein he stayed until 1707, Bach devoted himself to key-board music, the body organ in particular. While at Lüneburg he had apparently had actually no opportunity of becoming directly acquainted with the spectacular, flamboyant playing and compositions that Dietrich Buxtehude, the most significant exponent the the phibìc German college of body organ music. In October 1705 he repaired this void in his expertise by obtaining a month’s leave and also walking come Lübeck (more 보다 200 mile <300 km>). His visit must have been profitable, for he did not return until around the center of January 1706. In February his employers complained around his absence and around other points as well: he had harmonized the hymn tunes so openly that the congregation could not song to his accompaniment, and, over all, the had developed no cantatas. Probably the actual reasons for his ignore were the he to be temporarily obsessed through the organ and was on negative terms v the regional singers and instrumentalists, that were no under his control and did no come up to his standards. In the summer the 1705 he had actually made part offensive remark around a bassoon player, which brought about an unseemly scuffle in the street. His replies to these complaints to be neither satisfactory nor also accommodating; and the truth that that was no dismissed out of hand argues that his job were too aware the his exceptional ability as he to be himself and also were reluctant to shed him.

During these early years, Bach inherited the musical culture of the Thuringian area, a thorough familiarity through the classic forms and also hymns (chorales) the the orthodox Lutheran service, and, in keyboard music, perhaps (through his brother, Johann Christoph) a prejudice toward the formalistic layouts of the south. However he also learned eagerly from the northern rhapsodists, Buxtehude above all. By 1708 he had actually probably learned all that his German predecessors can teach him and also arrived at a very first synthesis that northern and also southern German styles. He had likewise studied, on his own and also during his presumed excursions come Celle, some French organ and instrumental music.

Among the few works that can be ascribed to these early on years with anything an ext than a display of plausibility are the Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo (1704; Capriccio on the exit of His many Beloved Brother, BWV 992), the chorale prelude on Wie schön leuchtet (c. 1705; How Brightly Shines, BWV 739), and the fragmentary at an early stage version that the body organ Prelude and also Fugue in G Minor (before 1707, BWV 535a). (The “BWV” numbers detailed are the standard catalog numbers that Bach’s functions as developed in the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, all set by the German musicologist Wolfgang Schmieder.)

The Mühlhausen period

In June 1707 Bach acquired a short article at the Blasiuskirche in Mühlhausen in Thuringia. He moved there shortly after and married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach in ~ Dornheim on October 17. At Mühlhausen things seem, for a time, to have gone much more smoothly. He developed several church cantatas in ~ this time; every one of these functions are actors in a conservative mold, based on biblical and chorale texts and displaying no affect of the “modern” Italian operatic forms that were to appear in Bach’s later cantatas. The famous organ Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565), written in the rhapsodic north style, and the Prelude and also Fugue in D Major (BWV 532) may likewise have been composed during the Mühlhausen period, and the organ Passacaglia in C Minor (BWV 582), an early example the Bach’s instinct for large organization. Cantata No. 71, Gott ist mein König (God Is my King), of February 4, 1708, was published at the expense of the city council and was the very first of Bach’s compositions to it is in published. While in ~ Mühlhausen, Bach replicated music come enlarge the choir library, tried to encourage music in the bordering villages, and also was in adequate favour to be able to interest his employers in a plan for rebuilding the body organ (February 1708). His genuine reason for resigning top top June 25, 1708, is no known. The himself claimed that his plans because that a “well-regulated church music” had actually been hindered by conditions in Mühlhausen and also that his salary was inadequate. The is generally claimed that he had actually become associated in a theological controversy in between his own pastor Frohne and also Archdeacon Eilmar the the Marienkirche. Certainly, he to be friendly through Eilmar, who provided him with librettos and also became godfather to Bach’s very first child; and also it is likely enough that he was not in sympathy through Frohne, who, as a Pietist, would have actually frowned on elaborate church music. That is just as possible, however, the it was the dismal state of music life in Mühlhausen that triggered Bach to seek employment elsewhere. At all events, his resignation was accepted, and also shortly climate he relocated to Weimar, some miles west that Jena on the Ilm River. He ongoing nevertheless to be on an excellent terms with Mühlhausen personalities, because that he looked after the rebuilding that the organ, is claimed to have actually inaugurated that on October 31, 1709, and also composed a cantata for February 4, 1709, which to be printed yet has disappeared.

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The Weimar period

Bach was, indigenous the outset, court organist at Weimar and a member the the orchestra. Urged by Wilhelm Ernst, he concentrated on the organ throughout the first few years the his tenure. From Weimar, Bach periodically visited Weissenfels; in February 1713 the took part in a court celebration there that consisted of a performance of his an initial secular cantata, Was mir behagt, likewise called the Hunt Cantata (BWV 208).