September 15, 2013
Orchestra Composer Essay
Composer Essay: Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 31, 1685 in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach to the director of town musicians, Johann Ambrosius Bach, and his wife, Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt. He was the eighth child to be born in the family and was around music since he was a child. His uncles were all professional musicians and historians assume that his older brother taught him violin and basic musical theory when he was very young. Little did his family know, he would eventually become one of the most well known composers in history.
When Bach was only ten years old, both of his parents died and he moved in with his older brother, Johann Christoph Bach, an organist at the Michaeliskirche in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. It was there that Bach began to seriously study, perform and copy music, including confidential music that his brother had written. He received valuable teaching from his brother on the clavichord. Not only did J.C. Bach teach him, but he exposed him to great composers of the day. When Bach was 14, he was awarded a choral scholarship to study at the prestigious St. Michael's School in Lüneburg. The two years he spent there were critical in his exposure to wider European culture. Not only did he sing in the choir, he played the school's three-manual organ and harpsichords. He came in contact with sons of the noblemen from northern Germany that were sent to the highly selective school to prepare for careers in other disciplines. It is almost certain that while in Lüneburg Bach visited the Church of St. John and possibly played the famous church organ. Because of his musical talent, he had contact with prominent organists of the day.
It was in Ohrdruf that Bach began showing more of an interest in organs. He would make minor repairs and replacement to Ohrdruf Church's organ. The organ was the most complicated machine in any European town and provided Bach with a...
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