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April Robinson

.. uncil. On a few occasions Bach left to visit his son in Potsdam. Upon returning he would find the council quite upset with him, but would refuse to explain himself. He almost quit, but a close friend persuaded him not to.

Bach got into some trouble while he was at Leipzig. He went on many out of town trips and left one of his students in charge each time. When the school board got upset and asked him about it he refused to justify himself. He would have been thrown out except for the help of a friend who had ties and had some strings pulled to keep Bach employed. After this friend left Bach quit.

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Bach composed many of his pieces for the specific groups that were to perform them. Thus he did a lot of chorale pieces when he worked at the school in Leipzig. He also did many organ pieces for himself to perform at the church in Arnstadt. In his later years he composed many violin pieces for himself and vocal pieces for his second wife, Anna Magdalena. He composed a piece for King Fredrich the Great of Prussia, with a flute solo for Fredrich.

Bach always had a reason for composing the pieces he did. He always had a performer or group in mind who he was composing for. Bach continued this work until 1741, when he went to visit his son again at the court of Fredrick the Great, and then returned to Leipzig. For a time he withdrew into himself and produced some truly profound music of the baroque musical form. He soon joined the Mitzler society, a society devoted to the promotion of musical science.

Even after Bach retired he continued to live in Leipzig. He did musical works for the Mitzler society of which he had been persuaded to join. This was when Bach started his work within the Collegium Musicum, in which he composed music for two types of concerts given in Leipzig: the ordinaire and extraordinaire. Not much is known about the ordinaire concerts, but there are many newspaper accounts about the extraordinaire concerts. These concerts charged admission and sometimes featured distinguished visiting artists.

Bachs eyesight started to severely decline in the last few years of his life. This is thought to be due to the fact that he spent many nights working on his musical compositions by poor candlelight. Even after two cataract surgeries his eyesight never improved much. His last piece was “Die Kunst der Fuge” (“The Art of the Fugue”). After that the deterioration of his eyesight inhibited him from composing on his own any longer.

The two surgeries he had didnt help any, they in fact made his eyesight worse and he got an infection from one of the operations. He spent the last few years of his life going over his many compositions and perfecting them with the help of Altnikol, his son-in-law. He died while in the middle of composing a final fugue. Bach has created a huge multitude of musical compositions. It has been said that it would take one of todays competent music copyists – writing continuously – some forty years to replicate the hundreds of works and thousands of manuscript pages which represent the totality of Bachs lifetime achievements.

He created quite a few pieces on a whim. It is said that many of Bachs pieces were demanded, if not forced upon him to compose. The type of music he most often composed was refereed to as Gebrauchsmusik, or “music on demand”. Music was needed for entertainment, at parties, funerals, weddings, church services, and many other occasions. Bachs composing process was very impressive.

If you look through his original copies you will see very little second guessing in judgment, unlike the frenzy, struggle, and strain that was apparent in Beethoven and Chopins works. Even Debussy made the observation: “We shall seek in vain for one fault in taste in all that amount of work.” (qtd. in Bettmann 40) Giving his impression that all of Bachs music is tasteful and not a single piece is without its own beauty. Bach was a great composer, although not in the same way as other composers of his time. Bach was a great composer, whose pieces where musically simple yet tended to comprehend Bach was a composer, whose pieces where musically simple, yettended to comprehend great emotional feeling to the audience, or listener. Bach may not have been a creative genius, but he was a great musical genius none the less.

His pieces always had a focus or reason for being written. He did a lot of variations on other composers pieces. Bach did write a few great fugues and many great cantatas, and his musical abilities were unsurpassable in his time. Bachs compositions were written based on the time in his life and his station at that time. He wrote many secular pieces for the church and even a Fugue for someones death. Bach also tended to learn his different styles of music by copying works done by other composers such as Handel.

He greatly admired the other composers of his time. Bach tended to write his pieces for a church service or special event rather than just because he felt like it. His pieces became progressively old fashioned. That was the only great criticism of his musical compositions. Most artistic familiars did not get any great acclaim for their works until after their death. Bach on the other hand was critically acclaimed most of his musical career.

He was well known for his composing capabilities and his musical playing talents. J.S. Bach was a man of great musical talents and composed in mass multitudes in order to fulfill the needs of the society around him. He also enjoyed the work with music and shall be forever immortalized for his abilities as a composer and a musician. Bach went beyond the norm for a composer and made music that could touch a persons emotional depths. He was by far one of the greatest artists to have ever made music. Bibliography Bibliography Bach, J.S.

– The Home Page. January 25, 2000. Bach, J.S. – Internet Public Library. January 25, 2000. Johann Senastian Bach: A Detailed Informative Biography.

January 25, 2000. Bettmann, Otto and Bookspan, Martin. Johann Sebastian Bach as His World Knew Him. Carol Publishing Group. Secausus, New Jersey.

1995. Chiapusso, Jan. Bachs World. University Press. Bloomington, Indiana. 1968. Geiringer, Karl and Geiringer, Irene.

The Bach Family, Seven Generations of Creative Genius. Oxford University Press. New York. 1954. Greenberg, Bernard S. Whats So Great About J.S. Bach?. 1997.

January 25, 2000. Herz, Gerhard. Essays on J.S. Bach. University Microfilms Incorporated. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1985. Williams, Charles Francis Abdy. Bach. J.M. Dent and Company. London.

E.P. Dutton and Company. New York. !900. Wolff, Christoph. Bach: Essays on His Life and Music.

Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1991. Wolff, Christoph and Koopman, Tom. The World of the Bach Cantatas.

Norton. New York. 1997.


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