19 October 2014
Johann Sebastian Bach
There are many difficulties when you are trying to write about Johann Sebastian Bach because there is little known about his life, less than all the other great composers since his time at least. A lot of the time his fans find it hard to not infer what they want to from the things that they do read because there are a select number of truly known facts and those are constantly seen everywhere when learning about Bach. When interpreting the life of Bach you should pay especially close attention to his music. This is mostly to get a better understanding of his life chronologically and what his interests were a different points in his life (Williams).
Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Germany, the youngest child of Johann Ambrosius and Elizabeth Lämmerhirt Bach (World Biography). Johann Ambrosius, director of the musicians of the town of Eisenach in Thuringia and a court trumpeter for the Duke of Eisenach. The family was Lutheran (a religion based on the faith of its believers that God has forgiven their sins) (Williams). For many years, members of the Bach family had held positions such as organists, town instrumentalists, and Cantors. Bach belongs to a family whose members all equally have a love for music and all have an extraordinary gift of the skill in music (Williams). The family lived in a sensibly large home just above the town center, with rooms for apprentice musicians, and a large grain store. Here young Johann Sebastian was educated by his father to play the violin and the harpsichord. He was also introduced into the art of organ playing by his legendary uncle, Johann Christoph Bach, who was then organist at the Georgenkirche in Eisenach. Sebastian was very eager to learn and soon became extraordinarily gifted with these instruments (Johann). Johann Sebastian's mother died on May, 3 1694. His father remarried the following November. Sadly in 1695, he also passed away. As a 9 year old child he lost both parents in one year. Of the five surviving children, Johann Sebastian and his brother Johann Jacob went to live with their eldest brother, another Johann Christoph, who was organist in Ohrdruf (Thompson). In 1700 Bach was awarded a scholarship for his fine voice when an opening developed at St. Michael's School in Lüneburg. Once his voice changed he was reassigned to the orchestra and played violin there. Bach often traveled to Hamburg, Germany, to listen to other musicians. During this time he began composing chorale preludes. In 1702 Bach graduated from St. Michael's School. Bach was hired as an organist in a church in Arnstad, Germany in 1703, which gave him time to rehearse his beloved instrument and to progress his talent. He got into trouble on several occasions, once for being hostile with a colleague and once for being found entertaining a "strange maiden" on the balcony while playing the organ. October 17, 1707 he married the “strange maiden”, his cousin Maria Babara at a small church in the little village of Dornheim. Maria Barbara came from a branch of the musical Bach family, her father being organist also (Thompson). Bach moved to Weimar, Germany, in 1708 to be a court organist to Duke Wilhelm Ernst. His position doubled his salary and permitted him to work in a firmer Lutheran environment. The years 1708 to 1710 saw an enormous production of original organ music by Bach. His reputation at the time, however, came mainly from his organ playing, not his compositions. His wife died in July of 1720. He had three children that were alive at that time and there were 3 more that either died during birth or shortly after. In December, 1721, he remarried to a Court-Trumpetors daughter, Anna Magdalena who was 20 years old at the time. Through his life Bach composed at least 1120 pieces of work and possibly there are more. Most of his pieces were written from 1720 through 1730 (Williams). One of Bach’s