Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) The Life of J.S. Bach Born in Eisenach, Germany, which was also the birthplace of Martin Luther . Bach’s family supplied musicians. Musician’s agent, or broker. Orphaned at age of ten, raised by his older brother.
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music too difficult
J.S.Bach (musical) cross. Bach signed himself with a single note
(using 4 different pitches)
B: Left staff (treble clef)
A: Upper staff (tenor clef)
C: Right staff (alto clef)
H: Lower staff (treble clef)
In 1707, he married his cousin, Maria Barbara.
They went on to have 7 children, before she died in 1721.
-Leipzig town council member commenting on the hiring of Bach
BWV is an abbreviation for Bach Werke Verzeichniss, which is a catalog of Bach's works. The catalog is organized by genre, not in the order the pieces were composed.
During the earlier years at Leipzig, Bach’s work demonstrated his ability of storytelling using dramatic melodies or chords to represent different events of life.
Example of this style include:
The Passion of St. John (1723)
The Passion According to St. Matthew (1729)
Christmas Oratoro (1734)
Bach composed many pieces of music and they are often listed with the letters BWV followed by a number. Such as: BWV #212 or such.
In 1721, Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilken, who was a professional singer. They ended up having 13 more children during their marriage.
Bach made a final move to Leipzig in 1723. There he became the Director of Music at the St.Thomas School and the Cantor for the St. Thomas Church. He was responsible for all music in all 4 churches in the town.
It is interesting to see that Bach did not travel much during his lifetime and stayed within a small area of Germany.
Bach’s life and work
Bach shares his birth year with G.F.Handel. Handel also had cataract surgery performed by oculist John Taylor.
American composer, Edward MacDowell said,
"Bach and Handel were in every way quite different, except that both were born in the same year and killed by the same doctor”.