Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685- 1750)
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, said to be one of the best organists of his time (Baroque Music). He was born in March 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia as the youngest of eight children. His father Johann Ambrosius was also a musician and a court trumpeter for the Duke of Eisenach, and Director of the musicians in Eisenach (Baroque Music). Bach came from a family with a music talent, with his family members having held positions as organists, Cantors, instrumentalists in Thuringia.
His Music Career
Johann Sebastian Bach was a composer, a musician, teacher, and organist who later became a specialist in construction of organs. Bach learnt to play the violin, the orchestra, and the organ from his father and his famous uncle and twin brother to the father, Johann Christoph at a young age. The organ was his chosen instrument. He also achieved success in the art of Fugue, choral polyphone, instrumental music and dance forms. In Eisenach he attended Old Latin Grammar School, the same school that Martin Luther had attended. He sang in the schools choir. His parents died before Bach was 10 years old. His mother died when Bach was nine years old, his father’s death followed nine months later (Sherrane, 2011). After the parents death Bach was taken in by his older brother Johann Christoph who had already established himself as an organist in Ohrdruf. Johann Christoph had a great influence in Bach’s success in music as he taught him and encouraged him to study music composition. At the same time Bach was attending the Gymnasium grammar school in Ohrdruf where he studied theology, Latin and Greek. It was in this school, at the age of fifteen and as a member of the boys-choir that the choir Cantor recognized Bach’s talent and good soprano voice at the time and helped him to get a scholarship at St. Michael’s monastery at Luneburg (Baroque, Music). This was his first choir membership. He and his school friend, George Erdann, arrived in Luneburg in March 1700.
St. Michael’s formed a strong foundation for Bach’s music career. The school had an impressive music library which included important manuscripts and prints from a famous seventeenth century cantor, Friedrich Emanuel Praetorius, (Koster). At the school, the students were taught French music and manners, which had a great influence on Bach. In Luneburg he met Georg Bohm, an organist at Johanniskirche and one with the same Thuringia background and who also wrote keyboard music with some French influence in it. Bohm influenced Bach with the French instrumental music. Bach performed at the court of Celle (baroque music). He also had some influence from Johan Adam Reinken, a Dutch, who is also said to have been Bohm’s teacher, from Hamburg, 48 kilometers north of Luneburg. Bach made several trips from Luneburg to Hamburg to learn the organ from...