Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Music/Bach

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Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750)[edit | edit source]


He was the youngest son of Johann Ambrosius Bach. When he was ten he was orphaned and went to live with his elder brother Johann Christoph. Bach was more well known when he was alive for being a great organ player than for being a composer.

Bach had three main jobs in his career. His first job was to be organist and composer in the court of the duke of Weimar. This job brought him fame as an organ virtuoso, and during his time in this job he composed much of his keyboard music.

Bach's second job was to provide music to the Prince of Anhalt-Cöthen. Since the prince liked a type of music called chamber music Bach was kept busy composing this type for the prince.

When he was 38, Bach became the cantor for the St. Thomas church in Leipzig. As cantor he got to compose all the music for four churches each week. He also composed music for special occasions such as weddings and funerals. He also picked, trained, and conducted the choirs for all four churches and later took on the job of directing a university musical group that gave regular concerts.

He is considered one of the greatest religious composers in history. He believed that music must serve the Glory of God. One of his most famous works is a prelude piece based on the well known hymn tune “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”.

Another of Bach's best known works is a series of six concertos called the Brandenburg Concertos. These concertos are interesting in the fact that they feature the entire orchestra section by section instead of one or two solo players.

Bach once wrote - “The aim and final reason of all music should be nothing else but the Glory of God and the refreshment of the spirit”.