Essay on Johann Sebastian Bach

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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German organist, composer, and musical scholar of the Baroque period, and is almost universally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time. His works, noted for their intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty, have provided inspiration to nearly every musician after him, from Mozart to Schoenberg.

J. S. Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany, March 21, 1685. Bach’s uncles were all professional musicians ranging from church organists and court chamber musicians to composers. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the town piper in Eisenach, a post that entailed organizing all the secular music in town as well as participating in church music at the direction
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In June 1707 he moved to St Blasius, Mühlhausen, and four months later he married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach, with whom he had seven children, including Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel. Bach was appointed organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar in 1708, and in the next nine years he composed many of his finest works and became known as a leading organist (p. 315, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol. 2).

In 1717, Bach was appointed Kapellmeister at Köthen but was refused permission to leave Weimar. He was eventually allowed to leave but only after being held prisoner by the duke for almost a month. Bach's new employer, Prince Leopold, was a talented musician who loved and understood the art. Since the court was Calvinist, Bach had no chapel duties and instead concentrated on composition. In this period he wrote his violin concertos and the six Brandenburg Concertos, as well as numerous sonatas, suites and keyboard works (p. 164, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Vol. 1)

In 1720 Maria Barbara died while Bach was visiting Karlsbad with the prince. In December of the following year, Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilcke, daughter of a court trumpeter at Weissenfels. A week after Bach was married Prince Leopold also married. Unfortunately, the prince’s bride lacked interest in the arts which eventually
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