Johann Sebastian Bach Influence

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Johann Sebastian Bach was a brilliantly gifted and prolific composer of the Baroque period who was able to master and perfect the musical conventions of his day while also managing to be many years ahead of his time. Bach was greatly influenced by many of the types of music performed during the Baroque era but there are many aspects of his style of composition that are unique to him alone. His genius shines through most clearly in how expressive his music is, his revolutionary interpretation of instrumentation and his excellent use of melody, harmony, imagery and most notably, counterpoint.
When compared to the way things are today, the instruments of the Baroque period did not have a lot of expressive capability. At that time, gradual increases
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To gain his trademark contrapuntal style, Bach studied earlier composers like Johann Joseph Fux who laid the groundwork for counterpoint in the 1700s. German composers of Fux’s time only factored in harmonic progression at the start and end of phrases thinking it an unimportant component. Despite these influences Bach focused much attention to harmony. He was able to build and relieve tension in his chord progressions deftly without adhering to strict rules. In the “Passion” chorale, the melody is formed so it can be sung in a major or minor key. He takes full advantage of this versatility like he’s trying to test how many different ways he can harmonize a repeated melody. With the almost mechanical precision of his composition it’s easy to forget Bach wasn’t just making his music for music’s sake. Bach as much as Vivaldi in his portrayal of spring by evoking the images of streams and birds loved to use imagery. This is especially true of his vocal music. Like how in “Die Katze lässt das Mausen nicht”, the flute part aligns with the line about cats always chasing mice by mimicking the feelings evoked by a cat and mouse