Bach and His Impact on the World of Music

Topics: Johann Sebastian Bach, Music, Baroque music Pages: 6 (1768 words) Published: October 29, 2011
Bach and his impact on the World of Music|


Table of Contents

Bach’s achievements in music3
Music of Johann Sebastian Bach4


There are music schools, conservatories, and private teachers, all over the World to educate children and adults with music, either through an instrument or through theory or even history of music. There is a certain amount of technical exercises, pieces for musicians, or history facts for musical historians to learn to gain an acceptable level of knowledge. There is one common point within these three categories of studies: Johann Sebastian Bach.

J-S Bach was a composer of the «Baroque» era (1600-1750). The end of the era was defined by the death of Bach in 1750. Now, one can talk about evolution of music throughout the centuries up to today, but there is in reality no real evolution, simply a change in the way of expression. As for Bach, he was for his time the perfect example of Baroque way of writing, like Handel. He also has a touch of modernity in his music. His music has gone through all the centuries to be still played and studied today, in music schools, in conservatories, through private teachers all over the World. His works like the suites, fugues or chorales and Church Cantatas as of his richness of polyphonic texture and rich harmonies are still studied and admired by the greatest artists. We will try to develop and analyze his period and the works he created as well as their impact on the future line of musicians and composers.

Bach’s achievements in music

There were two main figures of the «Baroque» Period, George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach. We can also name Claudio Monteverdi (creator of the «Opera»), Henry Purcell or Antonio Vivaldi. We are, for this project, mostly interested in the German organist, harpsichordist, composer, J.S. Bach who comes from a long line of musicians. He started his musical career in churches as an organist, then later in a court and finally as concertmaster of the court orchestra in Weimar. A very important and prestigious time for him was being the court conductor for the Prince of Cöthen. For the last twenty-seven years of his life he had the position of the cantor (director of music) of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig.

Most of us know the great master of music through his compositions, but during his life he was «recognized as the most eminent organist, harpsichordist, improviser, and master of the fugue, Bach was by no means considered the greatest composer of his day». So he was not only a composer but a man who conducted, played, improvised, taught and of course composed; he composed for example at the time of his post as Director of music at St. Thomas Church, works for chorus, soloists and orchestra for the Sundays and the church holiday.

One important fact about Bach, because it had a major influence on his music, is underlining the fact that he was deeply religious, a Lutheran. All his sacred works were mark by firm religious phrases or abbreviations, dedicating his music to God.

Music of Johann Sebastian Bach

Having described Bach’s achievements in music now we can continue by discussing about his music. One main creation of the Baroque Era was the Suite. Bach has of course written many. The suites were generally composed this way: you had five or six movements and some were adopted from different countries of Europe. There is the allemand (from Germany), usually followed by a courante and a gavotte (from France), then a slower movement sarabande (from Spain), and finally a fast gigue (from England or Ireland). The First two were the Ouverture and Air. The others were actually dances.

The Suites are our first...

References: Arnold, D. (1988). Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de la Musique. Paris: Edition Robert Laffont SA.
Burkholder, J. P., Grout, D. J., & Palisca, C. V. (2010). A History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
CANTATE BWV 140 "Le veilleur" de J-S Bach. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2010, from
Johann Sebastian Bach Biography. (1996). Retrieved November 15, 2010, from Bio.True Story :
Kamien, R. (2006). Music An Appreciation. New York: McGraw-Hill International Edition.
[ 1 ]. Roger Kamien, Music and Appreciation,2006.
[ 2 ]. Roger Kamien, Music An Appreciation, 2006
[ 3 ]. Denis Arnorld, Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de la Musique, 1988
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