sacred music. The next few months are wrapped in mystery, but by March 4, 1703, he was a member of the orchestra employed by Johann Ernst, Duke von Weimar. This post was a mere stopgap; he probably already had his eye on the organ then being built at the New Church in Arnstadt. When it was finished, he helped test the organ in August 1703 he was appointed organist at the age of 18. Arnstadt documents imply that he had been court organist at Weimar; this is incredible, though it is likely enough that he had occasionally played there (Kirby 2).
In June 1707 Bach obtained a post at the Blasius Church in Muhlhausen in Thuringia. He moved there soon after and married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach at Dornheim on October 17. At Muhlhausen things seem, for a time, to have gone more smoothly. He produced several church cantatas at this time; all of these works are cast in a conservative mold, based on biblical and chorale texts and displaying no influence of the "modern" Italian operatic forms that were to appear in Bach's later cantatas. The famous organ Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, written in the rhapsodic northern style, and the Prelude and Fugue in D Major may also have been composed during the Muhlhausen period, as well as the organ Passacaglia in C Minor (BWV 582), an early example of Bach's instinct for large-scale organization. Cantata No. 71), God is my King, of Feb. 4, 1708, was printed at the expense of the city council and was the first of Bach's compositions to be published. While at Muhlhausen, Bach copied music to enlarge the choir library, tried to encourage music in the surrounding villages, and was in sufficient favor to be able to interest his employers in a scheme for rebuilding the organ. His real reason for resigning on June 25, 1708, is not known. He himself said that his plans for a "church music" had been
hindered by conditions in Muhlhausen and that his salary was inadequate. It is generally supposed that he had become involved in a theological controversy between his...