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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach The German composer and musician Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) is one of the most-loved and admired composers of all time. He composed during the first half of the 18th century in what is known as the Baroque style, in which music was elaborate and often very decorated. His use of counterpoint, in which different melodic lines are interwoven in a harmonious way, was particularly masterful. Bach's main work was composing pieces for performance in church, but he also wrote lots of instrumental music for social occasions. His music is frequently played in concert halls and churches around the world—and is often performed on instruments, and in the particular style, of Bach's own time. Many people consider Bach to be one of the most important composers of all time.


A portrait thought to be of the young J.S. Bach.

Early life

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany, on 31st March 1685. His family was very musical: his father, who taught Bach to play the violin and harpsichord, was director of the town musicians and all his uncles were professional musicians. In 1694 Bach’s mother died when he was only nine, followed by his father eight months later. Bach then moved in with his older brother, Johann Christoph Bach, himself a church organist, and began to study music. In 1699, aged 14, Bach won a choral scholarship to study at St Michael’s School in Lüneburg. Here he met many famous organists and learned much about European music.

Bach was originally buried at Old St John's Cemetery in Leipzig. His grave was unmarked and lost for nearly 150 years. His remains were later moved to a grave in St Thomas Church in Leipzig.

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