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Music Appreciation a Biography on a Classical Artist: Johan Sabastian Bach

In: Historical Events

Submitted By kaelan1999
Words 735
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Born into a musical family, Bach received his earliest instruction from his father. After his father's death in 1695, Bach moved to Ohrdruf, where he lived and studied organ with his older brother Johann Christoph. He also received an education at schools in Eisenach, Ohrdruf, and Lüneburg. Bach's first permanent positions were as organist in Arnstadt (1703-1707) and Mühlhausen (1707-1708). During these years, he performed, composed taught, and developed an interest in organ building. From 1708-1717 he was employed by Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar, first as court organist, and after 1714, as concertmaster. During this period, he composed many of his best organ compositions; in his capacity as concertmaster, he was also expected to produce a cantata each month. In Weimar, Bach's style was influenced by his study of numerous Italian compositions (especially Vivaldi concertos).
Bach's next position, as Music Director for the Prince Leopold of Cüthen (1717-1723), involved entirely different activities. Since the court chapel was Calvinist, there was no need for church compositions; Bach probably used the Cüthen organs only for teaching and practice. His new works were primarily for instrumental solo or ensemble, to be used as court entertainment or for instruction. Among the important compositions at Cüthen were the Brandenburg Concertos, the first volume of Das wohltemperirte Clavier (The Well-Tempered Clavier), the "French" and "English" Suites for harpsichord (although the "English" Suites may be from the Weimar period), and most of the sonatas and suites for other instruments. Bach also composed a few cantatas for special occasions (birthdays and New Years).
In 1723, Bach was appointed cantor at the St. Thomas Church and School, and Director of Music for Leipzig, positions which he retained for the rest of his career. His official duties included the reponsibility...

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