Johann Sebastian BACH

Family tree of Johann Sebastian BACH

Composer

GermanBorn Johann Sebastian BACH

German composer, organist, violist, and violinist

Born on March 21, 1685 in Eisenach, Germany , Germany

Died on July 28, 1750 in Leipzig, Germany

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Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach. He was the youngest child of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the director of the Stadtpfeifer or town musicians, and Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt. His father taught him to play violin and harpsichord. His uncles were all professional musicians, whose posts ranged from church organists and court chamber musicians to composers. One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach (1645–93), was especially famous and introduced him to the art of organ playing. Bach was proud of his family's musical achievements, and around 1735 he drafted a genealogy, "Origin of the musical Bach family".



Bach's mother died in 1694, and his father eight months later. The 10-year-old orphan moved in with his oldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721), the organist at the Michaeliskirche in nearby Ohrdruf. There, he copied, studied and performed music, and apparently received valuable teaching from his brother, who instructed him on the clavichord. J.C. Bach exposed him to the works of the great South German composers of the day, such as Johann Pachelbel (under whom Johann Christoph had studied) and Johann Jakob Froberger; possibly to the music of North German composers, to Frenchmen, such as Jean-Baptiste Lully, Louis Marchand, Marin Marais; and to the Italian clavierist Girolamo Frescobaldi. The young Bach probably witnessed and assisted in the maintenance of the organ music. Bach's obituary indicates that he copied music out of Johann Christoph's scores, but his brother had apparently forbidden him to do so, possibly because scores were valuable and private commodities at the time.

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Geographical origins

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