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Johann Sebastian Bach. Essay

747 words - 3 pages

Johann Sebastian BachJohann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatestcomposers in Western musical history. More than 1,000 of hiscompositions survive. Some examples are the Art of Fugue,Brandenburg Concerti, the Goldberg Variations forHarpsichord, the Mass in B-Minor, the motets, the Easter andChristmas oratorios, Toccata in F Major, French Suite No 5,Fugue in G Major, Fugue in G Minor ("The Great"), St.Matthew Passion, and Jesu Der Du Meine Seele. He came from afamily of musicians. There were over 53 musicians in hisfamily over a period of 300 years.Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germanyon March 21, 1685. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was atalented violinist, and taught his son the basic skills forstring playing; another relation, the organist at Eisenach'smost important church, instructed the young boy on theorgan. In 1695 his parents died and he was only 10 yearsold. He went to go stay with his older brother, JohannChristoph, who was a professional organist at Ohrdruf.Johann Christoph was a professional organist, and continuedhis younger brother's education on that instrument, as wellas on the harpsichord. After several years in thisarrangement, Johann Sebastian won a scholarship to study inLuneberg, Northern Germany, and so left his brother'stutelage.A master of several instruments while still in histeens, Johann Sebastian first found employment at the age of18 as a "lackey and violinist" in a court orchestra inWeimar; soon after, he took the job of organist at a churchin Arnstadt. Here, as in later posts, his perfectionisttendencies and high expectations of other musicians - forexample, the church choir - rubbed his colleagues the wrongway, and he was embroiled in a number of hot disputes duringhis short tenure. In 1707, at the age of 22, Bach became fedup with the lousy musical standards of Arnstadt (and theworking conditions) and moved on to another organist job,this time at the St. Blasius Church in Muhlhausen. The sameyear, he married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach.Again caught up in a running conflict betweenfactions of his church, Bach fled to Weimar after one yearin Muhlhausen. In Weimar, he assumed the post of organistand concertmaster in the ducal chapel. He remained in Weimarfor nine years, and there he composed his first wave ofmajor works, including organ showpieces and cantatas.By this stage in his life, Bach had developed areputation as a...

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