Essay on Johann Sebastian Bach

1327 Words 6 Pages

     Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685 in the town of Thuringia, Germany where

he was raised and spent most of his life. Due to a shortage of expenses, he was confined

to a very limited geographical space, as was his career. This greatly affected his, in that

his music was not as widley known as other composers of the time. On traveling he never

went farther north than Hamburg or farther south than Carlsbad. To look back on the life

of Bach many have referred to him as “one of the greatest and most productive geniuses in

the history of Western music”, particularly of the baroque era.

     Born to a family that produced at least 53 prominent musicians
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During this period he

primarily wrote secular music for ensembles and solo instruments, he also prepared music

books (including: Well-Tempered Clavier, Inventions, and the Little Organ Book)

for his wife and children with a purpose of teaching them keyboard technique and

musicianship. In 1720 Bach’s first wife died , a year later he married Anna Magdalena

Wilcken a singer and daughter of a court musician. Anna bore him 13 children in addition

to the 7 had to him by his first wife, and helped him by copying the scores of music for his


     In his later years, Bach moved to Leipzig and spent the rest of his life there. He

was positioned as musical director and choirmaster of Saint Thomas’s church and church

school, this position was unsatisfactory to him. He continuously argued with the town

council, and neither the council nor the town people appreciated his musical genius. To

them all Bach was, was a stuffy old man who clung stubbornly to an obsolete form of

music. Nonetheless, the two-hundred and two cantatas surviving from the 295 that he

wrote while in Leipzig are still played today, where as much that was new at the time has

long since been forgotten.

     Most of Bach’s cantatas open with a section with chorus and orchestra, continue

with alternating recitatives and areas for solo voices and occumpaning, and conclude with

a chorale based

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