The US has produced a truthful share of outstanding composers and songwriters who have made a great contribution into the tune industry not solely to the country but to the world as well. However, a move from the American frontier to the boarders of the European countries exposes one to composers who were very aggressive in their push for the intelligence of composing music. It is therefore not shocking that such composers are remembered for long a time. One of such composers is Johann Sebastian Bach, a German.
Johann Sebastian Bach was born on 31 March 1685 (if one is using the old style calendar, then the date was 21v March 1685). Bach attended Latin Grammar School (Martin Luther also studied in the same school). The fact that the composer had a passion for education makes some music scholars, Wolff for instance, nickname him the learned musician (1). Here, he studied the bible in both the Latin and German language. His unique soprano voice made him an a scholarship at Michaelis monastery, Lüneburg.
Bach was influenced to his music by several factors. To start with, he was born into a family that was already recognized as a family of music talent. For example, his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the church organist. Bach exposure to the church through the family members madfe him start learning musical instruments at an early age. After having a long and successful music career, Bach died of a stroke in 1750.
Johann Sebastian Bach continues to elicit a lot of interest including in the modern era. Anthony Tommasini carried out a research about the best music composers of all times. He wrote his findings on the New Your Times and he says thus:
My top spot goes to Bach, for his matchless combination of masterly musical engineering (as one reader put it) and profound expressivity.
Types of Music
Bach reminds the reader of the human behavior of missing the water when the well runs dry. He was not regarded as a great composer. In fact, his audience would suggest that his work was rather old fashioned. It was only in later years that his works started drawing immense appreciation. He was able, through mastery, to use visceral fair and drama in the choral works. When it came to the use of the keyboard he preferred Rachmaninoff or the rhapsodic Romantic fervor of Liszt. In addition to that, he was keen in making presentations that were characterized by tonal harmony.
Bach, having stayed in Leipzig, (in the then Saxony), for a period spanning thirty years, would not escape having the influence of the Polish music in his own music. In fact, the Polish music style was having a significant contribution to the German theory of music (Szymon & Szymczak 16). It is therefore not surprising that he continued to interact with the Polish music professionals in his career.
However, his music was not without its challenges. Sometimes, his personal life would get the better part of his career- he was found entertaining a “strange woman” at a balcony and once fought with another musician. In addition to that, some of the churchgoers would complain that some of his music pieces were too long. As a remedy, Bach revised his work to shorter pieces.
Sebastian Johann Bach composed music during the Baroque era (1600 to 1750). The era was characterized by the emphasis on tonality. Furthermore, music artists were expected to understand improvising of both the lines as well as its parts. The era was preceded by the Renaissance era and immediately followed by the Classical era.
The Baroque era, just like most eras of old, is divided into early, middle, and late. Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to the late Baroque era (1680 – 1730). Under the same late era, there was George Frideric Handel.
There has been a big debate on which of Bach’s works are the most outstanding. This is because he has notable pieces of work. The composer has three main pieces of work that have received a lot of attention among others.
To start with, the The Art of the Fugue was a product of monothematic instrumental work. The piece is defined by fourteen fugues, four canons, as well as D minor. The piece is characterized by an increase in its complexity.
Second, the The Well-Tempered Clavier (Book II) is characterized by a number of keyboard instruments as well as the use of the organ. The style of the presentation has an influence from some earlier pieces of his work. The piece was even better after it was recorded.
Lastly, Bach had written numerous arias. However, one of the most unique ones was the “Aria” (Suite No 3 in D – 3:17). This was a piece of work that written by Bach in 1713. By then, Bach was working in Germany.
Different people will give a different list of the best works of Bach. But what stands out is the fact that the composer took a lot of time in his music projects. Sometimes, he would travel over long distances in order to watch other people perform or play a music instrument. Consequently, this added to his wealth of experience in his music formative years all the way to the epitome of his career.
The contribution of Bach to the music field cannot be underestimated. Ironically, he was not regarded as a great composer. Nevertheless, he has continued to be a source of inspiration for the effort he made and the contribution he made during his lifetime. Overall, the music of Bach is not just an inspiration to the music enthusiasts, but to the historians and cultural professionals as well.
Paczkowski, Szymon, and Piotr Szymczak. Polish Style in the Music of Johann Sebastian Bach. ,
Tomasini, Anthony. “The Greatest.” New York Times. 21, January 2011. Derived from:
Wolff, Christoph. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000. Print.