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JS Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest composers in Western musical history. More than 1,000 of his compositions are still around today. Some examples of his works that we still here today are the Art of Fugue, Brandenburg Concerti, the Goldberg Variations for Harpsichord, the Mass in B-Minor, the Easter and Christmas oratorios, Toccata in F Major, French Suite No 5, Fugue in G Major, Fugue in G Minor, and St. Matthew Passion. J.S. Bach came from a family of musicians. There were over 53 musicians in his family over a period of 300 years. He was born in Eisenach, Germany, on March 21, 1685. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was a talented violinist, and taught his son the basic skills for string playing. Another relation, the organist at Eisenach's most important church, instructed the Bach on the organ. In 1695 his parents died when he was only 10 years old. He went to go stay with his older brother, Johann Christoph, who was a professional organist at Ohrdruf. Johann Christoph was a professional organist, and continued his younger brother's education on that instrument, as well as on the harpsichord. After several years of learning from his brother, Johann Sebastian won a scholarship to study in Luneberg, Northern Germany, and so left his brother. A master of several instruments while still in his teens, Bach first found employment at the age of 18 as a "lackey and violinist" in a court orchestra in Weimar. Soon after, he took the job of organist at a church in Arnstadt. Here, his perfectionist tendencies and high expectations of other musicians, for example, the church choir, rubbed his colleagues the wrong way, and he was mixed up in a number of hot disputes during his short stay. In 1707, at the age of 22, Bach became fed up with the lousy musical standards of Arnstadt (and the working conditions) and moved on to another organist job. This time, at the St. Blazes Church in Muhlhausen. The same year, he married his cousin ...

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