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Bach: A Honorable Descendant of Music

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In order to understand Bach’s music, it is necessary to pay special attention to his secular and prolific family background, as well as his multiple fruitful trips around different places in Germany. Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, to a family whose extraordinary musical gift has transcended the barriers of time for more than two hundred years. He lived in a place called Thuringia, in Germany. His uncles were professional composers and musicians, and they were all involved with secular and church music.

Sebastian was granted a choral scholarship when he was fourteen years old; therefore, he studied at Saint Michael’s School, one of the schools with high-status in Hamburg. He and his school friend, Georg Erdmann took the long journey to this institution. It is very probable that he studied a variety of subjects, such as French, theology, Latin, geography and physics.

By 1703, and being a young boy, his status as a keyboardist increased considerably. By August of this same year, he accepted the position of organist at Saint Boniface’s Church in Arnstadt. At this time, Bach began writing serious compositions, such as Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Several years later, Sebastian felt the necessity of changing his environment, due to certain inconveniences with the standard of the choir’s singers.  Bach decided to start a journey through different cities in Germany, including Arnstadt and Mühlhausen, from 1703 to 1708; Weimar, from 1708 to 1717, Cöthen from1717 to 1723 and Leipzig from 1723 to 1750. He died on July 28, 1750.

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