Presentation on theme: "You have probably heard of someone named Bach before. Most likely it was Johann Sebastian Bach. The Bach family was made up of more than 70 composers."— Presentation transcript:
You have probably heard of someone named Bach before. Most likely it was Johann Sebastian Bach. The Bach family was made up of more than 70 composers and performers in Germany from the 16th to the early 19th centuries. Johann Sebastian Bach was a composer during the Baroque time period. The Baroque definition of music placed emphasis on continual motion.
His Life Johann Sebastian Bach, or Sebastian as he was called by his family, was born in Eisenach, Germany on March 25, 1685. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach (1645-1695), was a renowned violinist and was employed as a court trumpeter and music director in the town of Eisenach. Bach probably learned to play the violin at an early age from his father. His mother, Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt (1644-1694), also came from a musical family.
By the age of 10, both of his parents had died and he was sent to live with his oldest brother. From him, he learned to play the harpsichord. This was to make a big impact on his life. As his brother’s family grew, he was forced to find another place to live. Bach went to a choral school in northern Germany and a few years later found work as a violinist at Weimar. A harpsichord is the predecessor of the piano. A keyboard instrument whose strings are plucked, rather than struck, in order to produce the sound.
Bach became an organist in Arnstant in 1703 and stayed there until 1707, when he went to Muhlhausen until 1708. He showed a bit of his temper, having arguments with both employers. They didn’t have laws about that like we do now!! They went on to have 7 children, before she died in 1721. In 1708, Bach returned to Weimar as a court organist for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar and stayed there 9 years. In 1707, he married his cousin, Maria Barbara.
Bach went to Anhalt-Cothen in 1717 and worked for Prince Leopold as the Director of Music. In 1721, Bach married Anna Magdalena Wilken, who was a professional singer. They ended up having 13 more children during their marriage. This brings Bach’s total of children to 20!!! Mr. Bach made a final move to Leipzig in 1723. There he became the Director of Music at the St.Thomas School. It is interesting to see that Bach did not travel much during his lifetime and stayed within a small area of Germany.
Born 1685 1703-1708 1708-1717 1717-1723 1723-1750 Germany Bach’s life and work
By 1748 Bach was nearly blind from cataracts. In March and April of 1750, he was operated on by the English oculist John Taylor. The operations and the treatment that followed them may have hastened Bach's death. Johann Sebastian Bach died on July 28, 1750.
His Work Bach was known as an organist in his time and not for his compositions. His deep Lutheran religion was felt in his music and was a constant in his life. Through his music he could serve his church, community and country. Bach’s complex music used musical techniques called counterpoint and fugue. Counterpoint consists of playing two or more melodies at one time. Fugue is a composition in which different instruments repeat the same melody with slight variations.
Bach composed many pieces of music and they are often listed with the letters BWV followed by a number. Such as: BWV #212 or such. BWV is an abbreviation for Bach Werke Verzeichniss, which is a catalog of Bach's works. The catalog is organized by genre, not in the order the pieces were composed. During the earlier years at Leipzig, Bach’s work demonstrated his ability of storytelling using dramatic melodies or chords to represent different events of life. Example of this style include: The Passion of St. John (1723) Magnificant (1723) The Passion According to St. Matthew (1729) Christmas Oratoro (1734)
Some other pieces that Bach composed: Fugue in D Minor Toccata Book 1 and 2 Well-Tempered Clavier Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Did you know? The town of Eisenach is also the birthplace of Martin Luther. He was important leader in the Protestant Reformation and the founder of the Lutheran Church. Bach shares his birth year with another famous composer, G.F.Handel. Handel also had cataract surgery performed by oculist John Taylor. American composer Edward MacDowell observed "Bach and Handel were in every way quite different, except that both were born in the same year and killed by the same doctor”. There is a competion in Leipzig, the Johann Sebastian Bach competition, that is regarded as one of the major international competitions for young artists.
Now we know all about Bach, what’s up with the Wig? Funny you should ask. During Bach’s life, wigs were quite popular with the elite and became a distinguishing factor of wealth. Bach is noted for sporting his white hairdo and you can even purchase a replica off the Internet for approximately $33.00. Bach Wig