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Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Johann Sebastian Bach's Beginning

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Germany in 1685. He came from a family of musicians so it's no surprise that the talent was passed onto him. Although Bach sang, played several instruments and composed music, he is better known for his compositions on the organ. Some people consider his work to be the greatest organ music ever.

Bach lost both his parents in one year when he was nine, so he went to live with his oldest brother (an organ player.) It's assumed that he learned the organ while he stayed with his brother. In 1703 he became the organ player for the Kneue Kirche (the third church in that town.) A few years later he married his second cousin, Maria Barbara Bach, who had seven kids with him.

The Career of Composer Johann Sebastian Bach

Soon after marrying Maria, Johann Sebastian Bach became the organist and chamber musician for the Duke of Saxe-Weimar and during the next nine years he became a well known organ player. He eventually changed jobs - his new boss was Prince Leopold who loved Bach's music. In 1720 Maria Barbara died and a year later Bach married Anna Magdalena. She had 13 kids with him. Bach applied for the prestigious job as the music director of the Thomasschule in 1722. A year later, after two other musicians turned down the job, it was given to Bach. During the following years he was in high demand as a teacher because of his knowledge and talent with the organ. He also began publishing his own work. Bach wrote over 300 musical pieces but always enjoyed studying music and playing instruments more than writing music.

The Loss of a Great Composer

During his last year, Bach's eyesight began to go and in 1749 he had two operations to help his vision. The operations could have been responsible for shortening his life. On July 28th, three months after his last operation, Bach died at 65. He was buried at St. John's cemetery in Leipzig. His widow, Anna Magdalena, lived for another 10 years before she died in poverty.

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What's Your Musical Talent?

  • Composing (writing) music.
  • Playing an instrument.
  • I can sing and dance better than BSB.
  • I have no musical talent.

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