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Music Encyclopedia

Johann Sebastian Bach ( 1685 - 1750 )

A German composer and organist, he was born in Eisenach, Thuringa.
J.S. Bach is considered to be one of most influential composers of all time.

Bach was a wunderkind, a musician, a mathematician , a mathemusician.
Along with the other Fathers of Music, Mozart, Handel, and Beethoven, he wrote profusely.

Blessed with a creative mind, he churned out music because he loved and endeared it.
It is known that he wrote music for God, the higher power, who he felt guided and directed his life.
It was his passion to please his God, and Bach produced some of the finest music ever written.

J.S. Bach held a variety of positions, including titles as organist, choirmaster, and director of Music.
His last post was that held at the school and church of St. Thomas in Leipzig, where died.

He did win great fame as an organist, but did not fare as well as a composer during his life time.
His contemporaries did not give him his due respect, and his music slide into obscurity until well after his death.

He is now considered as previously mentioned as one of the last great composers of the Baroque Period.

He was a master of polyphonic types of music.
JS composed virtually every form of music of his time.
The only style of music he did not attempt to write, was that of the Opera.
The main catagories of Music are as follows:

  1. Compositions for the organ
          fantasias, chorales, preludes, and fugues

  2. Orchestral and Instrumental Music
          The Brandenburg Concertos, 48 Preludes and Fuques, Suites and Partitas

  3. Choral Works
          300 church cantatas, one well known 'Ode to Joy', The Christmas Oratario, Many Masses

Some of the well known chorale compositions by name he wrote are as follows:

Not only was Bach a prolific writer of music but seemed to posses the same ability to mass produce children as well. He had twenty children by two marriages, three of his sons became notable musical figures in their own right.
Wilhelm Friedmann, Carl Phillip Emanuel, Johann Christian all made their mark in their time in the music world.

Updated September 21, 2000
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