Johann Sebastian Bach: "He Lived But To Worship God and To Write Music."

Today's the birthday of J.S. Bach

Who wrote sacred music for a Lutheran flock.

Among the Baroque there wasn't one savvier.

His most famous work is the "Well-Tempered Clavier".

"In writing his monumental 'Well-Tempered Clavier' Bach once again wanted to create music that would help his wife and children learn to play the keyboard instruments. But he had another, and far more significant, motive as well. The word 'tempered' means 'tuned'. Bach wanted to show how music could be written effectively for a 'well-tuned clavier'. Om short, Bach was championing a new way of tuning keyed instruments---the way with which we today are familiar." [And the title quote from "Milton Cross' Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music" Vol. I p. 20 & p. 29, by Milton Cross and David Ewen]

Marginal Note #1: Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" comprises  48 preludes and fugues in all keys, major and minor for harpsichord or piano.

Marginal Note #2: "The crown of Bach's church music is 'The Passion According to St. John', 'The Passion According to St. Matthew', and the 'Mass in B minor. These are among the most epical musical works ever conceived." [Cross, et al, p.23.]

Marginal Note 3: Bach had 20 children!

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  • BTW, what ever happened to the harpsichord? I remember people going at length describing the difference between it and a piano. Maybe the synthesizer did it in.

  • Jack, thanks for dropping by. You still hear the harpsichord now and then. I remember it in John Addison's score for the movie "tom Jones".

  • And I think Bach admired Vivaldi for his lightness of spirit?

    How I love the Brandenburgs...

    Remember Wendy Carlos "Switched on Bach?" Wild stuff.

    Bach and spring....Thanks so much AW!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Thanks for visiting, WG. I had to look up Carlos. Guess she slipped under my radar back then. She did some of the music for "Clockwork Orange". Interesting biography and still around.

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