Johann Sebastian Bach–A Classic Artist

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Johann Sebastian Bach–A Classic Artist

Gianna Maglaya, Writer

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As the generations pass, less people acknowledge the beauty found in classical music. Most focus on the eccentric beats and promiscuous language found in more common music styles.

However, if one takes the time to comprehend and reflect what they listen to, then he or she can truly connect and understand music. Classical music has always been the main genre that one must feel to connect and interpret, and Johann Sebastian Bach stands as a famous artist in that sphere.

Born in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, Bach has a elegant, prestigious musical lineage, taking on various positions as an organist in his lifetime. In doing so, he created compositions like “Mass in B Minor”, “Brandenburg Concertos”, and “The Well-Tempered Clavier”,  some of his most known works. In modern times, he remains one of the best Western composers in human history.

Growing up, he came from a musical family. His father, Johann Ambrosius, worked as the town musician in Eisenach, and he taught Bach how to play the violin at a young age.

At age seven, he attended a school where he received religious instruction, and studied many subjects, including Latin. His Lutheran faith would later influence many of his musical works, a deep belief that explored the musical spheres in the universe.

By the time he reached age ten, he found himself an orphan after a tragic death that took the lives of both his parents. His older brother, Johann Christoph, took him in custody. Johann Christoph provided further musical instruction for his younger brother and enrolled him in a local school, and Bach stayed with his brother’s family until he turned fifteen.

After working various organ playing jobs in local churches, he found himself playing as the post organist at the court of Duke Wilhelm Ernst in Weimar. He wrote many notable cantatas and some of his best organ compositions while working for him.

During his time there, he wrote “Toccata and Fugue in D minor”, one of his most popular pieces. He also composed “Herz and Mund un Tat”. One cantata section called “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” remains especially famous.

In 1717, Bach received an offer for a music position with Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen, but Duke Wilhelm Ernst had no interest in letting him leave.  He even imprisoned the young composer for several weeks when he tried to resign. Nevertheless, in early December, the duke released him and allowed him to go to Cothen.

He played for the prince for several years until the royal passed away, and afterwards, Bach found himself teaching at another church. He delved himself into the music he needed to compose, including “Christmas Oratorio”, a series of six cantatas that reflect the holiday.

In 1740, Bach struggled with poor eyesight, but he continued to work despite his vision problems. He even continued traveling and performing, playing for Prussia’s king.

By 1750, he tried to improve his eyesight by having surgery, but the procedure left him completely blind. Later that year, he suffered a stroke and passed away on July 28.

During his lifetime, Bach worked more as an organist than a composer. Few of his music creations earned publication during his lifetime. Still, his musical compositions remained as refined admirals by musicologists who followed him in music history, including Mozart and Beethoven.

Musically, a master at invoking and maintaining different emotions, Bach’s knew how to communicate what it means to live as a human. He persists as an expert storyteller, using melody to suggest actions or events. Considered as one of the best Baroque era composers and one of the most important figures in the classical music genre, Bach’s music remains as some of humanity’s all time superb masterpieces.

Whether it communicates in the mathematical precision of his compositions or the passionate cry of his soul infused within the music, listeners will continue to appreciate the beauty in his never forgotten works.

Johann Bach’s music stands the test of time.

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