Bach, J. Sebastian
PreviousUp to the Composers MenuNext


MIDI files of a few of the composer's highlights

His time

His country


Quotations of and about the composer

Dictionary of terms

Students Projects

The finders of MusixCool

J.S Bach (1748) by Elias Gottlob Haussman, William H. Scheide collection, Princeton, New Jersey

Born: 21 March 1685, Eisenach, Germany
Died: 28 July 1750, Leipzig, Germany

Bach, Johann Sebastian

One of the greatest composers in Western musical history, Johann Sebastian Bach, was a son of a long dynasty of musicians. He was born in EisenachBach birth house in Eisenach - photograph courtesy of Jan KosterEisenach today in the same year as Handel (1685), yet unlike his internationally famed contemporary, Bach was only famous in his life as a virtuoso organist, and was influenced by Buxtehude, one of the greatest organ players of his time.

Bachhaus in Eisenach - photograph courtesy of Johan De BoerBach was affected by the religious music of Schütz. His sacred music includes church organ (Toccata & Fugue in DmToccata & Fugue in Dm for organ BWV 565 - J.S. Bach) and choral music, like the Mass in B-minor'Agnus Dei' from the Mass in B minor by J.S. Bach, the St. Johnand St. Matthew Passions'Erbarme dich, mein Gott' from St. Matthew Passions - J.S. Bach, which are among the most important religious pieces in the history of music. He also wrote many cantatas and almost 200 of them have survived.

In his last days, he brought polyphony, the main texture until his era, into perfection in the "Art of Fugue" which he never finished. This work stands out as one of the most glorious of the baroque works. Only few meaningful polyphonic works were composed after his death.

Old J.S. BachBut Bach also wrote secular music. He developed the concerto grosso, in which a number of soloists play against the orchestra. Such concerti are the six "Brandenburg Concertos"Part 1 from the Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F, BWV.1047 - J.S. Bach, dedicated to the Marquis of Brandenburg. His "Goldberg Variations"Goldberg Variations, BWV.988 - J.S. Bach were written for the harpsichord player of a count, who suffered insomnia and asked for music that would make him sleep.

The Bach dynastyAfter his death, some of his 20 children, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Christian Bach, also became well-known composers. Although later composers like Beethoven and Mozart admired his music, it was not until nearly a century after his death that Mendelssohnexposed his music to the audience, and only then, did he gain his staggering success and fame as the man who brought polyphony to its peak, and one of the greatest composers of all times. More than 1,000 of his compositions survive, including works in virtually every musical form and genre in use in 18th-century Germany. His music is regarded as the high point of the baroque era, which lasted until the year of his death (1750).

Modern musicians tend to select Bach's works as the most popular classical works for their jazz and pop arrangements.

Study more

Play Bach
Brandenburg Concerto
Air on a G String

A visit to Bach birth house

His Notation of the Brandenburg Concertos

During his life, Bach lived and worked in some places:

EisenachEisenach today - his birthplace in 1685
WeimarWeimar today - photograph courtesy of Jan Koster - organist at the court of one of the two ruling Grand Dukes
CöthenRenaissanceslot in Kothen - photograph courtesy of Johan De Boer - from 1717 - Court Kapellmeister to the young Prince Leopold
LeipzigInside St. Thomas Church - Corel Inc. - from 1723 - Cantor at the Choir School of St. Thomas
Photograph courtesy of Jan Koster
Bach's birth house in Eisenach
Photograph courtesy of Jan Koster
His house in Weimar
Photograph by Corel Inc.
One of Bach's working Churchs
Photograph courtesy of Jan Koster
Leipzig - The End

Bach on the WWW
Composer's sites from the internet
Composer's audio & Music from the internet
Composer's videos from the internet
Composer's images from the internet
Composer's MIDI Files from the internet


He played

His Instrument

His Instrument

He Was

His Profession

He Lived in the




And now on the WWW

World Wide Weber Site
Home Page

Follow him with
The J.S. Bach Tourist

Bach's Leipzig


MusixCool© By Nadav Dafni