Johann Sebastian Bach: 31 March (21 March O.S) 1685 – 28 July 1750

By | June 17, 2020

Introduction

Painting of Sebastian Bach as a middle aged gentleman

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer of the Baroque period. He was from a creative family of musicians, teachers, composers and church organists. He composed one thousand, one hundred and twenty eight pieces of music and an additional twenty three were unfinished or lost. Bach was very talented playing the organ, harpsichord, viola, and violin. 

Bach’s best known works are The Well Tempered Clavier , Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, Air on the G string, Goldberg variations and Harpischord concerto in D Minor to name a few.

Family

Bach’s parents were Johann Ambrosius Bach and Maria Elisabeth Lammerhirt. However, by the age of ten Bach was an orphan, his mother died when he was nine and his father died nine months later.

Bach married his second cousin Maria in 1707. She was the mother of seven of his children, but only four of them made it too adulthood. Then in 1720 whilst Bach was away Maria aged just thirty five died suddenly. Bach returned from his trip to find his wife not just dead but buried!

Seventeen months later he married Anna Magdelena Wilcke, who was sixteen years his junior, they had a further thirteen children – six of which made it to adulthood.

Did you Know?

Bach enjoyed adding the numbers fourteen and forty one to his music.

He was imprisoned by the Duke of Weimar due to his protests against his working conditions and resigned to take another post. Whilst in prison he composed  part of the “Well-Tempered Clavier”, so maybe it wasn’t so bad.

Bach had twenty children, ten survived and four of these went on to have famous careers as composers.

Later Years

In 1750 Bach underwent an operation to fix his terrible eyesight, however the operation left him completely blind. There is some debate as to whether his death was a result of the operation or a stroke caused by pneumonia at the age of sixty five.

Further Reading & Downloads

On music-scores.com we have 439 downloads for you of Sebastian Bach’s compositions.

For further information take a look at Wikipedia or Britannica.