Johann Sebastian Bach 2 Essay, Research Paper
Johann Sebastian Bach
Among the influential composers of baroque music, there have been few who have contributed so much in talent, creativity, and style as Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was a German organist and composer of the baroque era. Bach was born on March 21, 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia and died July 28,1750. Bach revealed his feelings and his insights in his pieces. Bach s mastery of all the major forms of baroque music (except opera) resulted not only from his genius talent, but also from his life long quest for knowledge. In some parts of Germany, the name, Bach became a synonym with the word, musician. Extremely talented in the art of baroque composition, Bach placed his heart, soul, and ingenuity in his music as it is clearly illustrated in his childhood, throughout his career, and of course through his musical works.
Bach s connection to music is already evident through his childhood. Bach was born into a musical family in Eisenach. His father, before dying, taught him the basic skills of strings and an organist at a church taught him how to play the organ. When both of his parents died, he continued to devote his early life to music. His brother Johann Christoph continued to teach him how to play the organ. Furthermore, he won a scholarship and became part of the school choir of poor boys in Luneburg. Already seen was his sheer genius and talent that he possessed for music. Clearly, his childhood played a big factor of building a solid foundation for his music.
Bach s heart in music does not end with his childhood but all through his career. As a master of several instruments, he became a violist in a court orchestra when he was only 18. Later, he became the organist of several churches in Arnstadt. Throughout these churches he had developed a reputation of having a brilliant musical talent. Also, because of his perfectionist tendencies and high expectations of other musicians, he fought many times which is yet another example of his compassion for music. Furthermore, he had even walked over 200 miles because a great vocalist known as Buxtehude influenced him. As an organist and a choirmaster, Bach continued to devote his life to composing music for churches. He would work under dim light creating these masterpieces. After conducting and composing for the court orchestra at Cothen for seven years, Bach accepted the job of being a music director for the St. Thomas s church in Leipzig. His compassion for music went on even further after he became blind. He was still creatively active until the very end. Even just before his death, he dictated his last musical composition to his son in law. His career was surely a massive indication of his talent and the heart and soul he put into his music.
The effort of his devotion to music seen in his life and career hopefully will never be forgotten but also that one should take notice the sheer genius this composer displayed in his musical works. Bach s expressive genius in working counterpoint was a clear indication of him understanding and using every resource of musical language in the baroque era. He would weave several musical lines of melodies to one musical piece. Bach became a supreme master of this difficult compositional skill. Plus, through several of his pieces his religion influences him greatly. He even chose to put different cultures in his pieces. He would combine patterns of French dancers, Italian melodies, and German counterpoint all in one when he wished. As well because of the influence of a great vocalist, Buxtehude, he incorporated vocal parts in his pieces at one point in his life. However, later in his works he displayed various instruments and he used each instrument s unique properties of construction and tone quality to perfect his compositions. This was a great characteristic of the baroque. He also wrote music with themes such a representing a sea or Christians following the teaching of Jesus. Bach was even able to convey and exploit the media, styles, and genres of pieces in his day, which remarkably allowed him to change the instrument of a piece to make it simpler. For instance, he could take a violin concerto and change it to a solo piece such as the harpsichord. At the same time, he was the supreme master of fugue and solo violinist repertoires. Bach s complex thinking made him create beautiful and perfect solos and compositions for orchestra or choral ensemble. Surely, through Bach s hundreds of works, not only shown is his sheer genius but again shown is his true love, heart, soul, and compassion for music.
Johann Sebastian Bach was a genius who accomplished a lot throughout his life. Bach was the creator and innovator of the styles of Baroque. He came from a family that produced seven generations of musicians. He may be the greatest master of all classical music. Throughout all of his life, there may not be another composer who had a deeper compassion for music then Bach. Bach s heart, soul and ingenuity were all displayed through his hundreds of music works, from his childhood, and throughout his career. He gave a new meaning for true compassion. He found beauty and perfected all his pieces. Others nor any miles of distance of walking did not stop him from keeping the flame in his heart for music. Therefor, to any students who are serious in music, one should attain a true Bach-like compassion and dedication if to create the many sheer geniuses the Bach did in a short period of time.