Return to Weimar (1708–1717) Organ of the St. Paul’s Church in Leipzig, tested by Bach in 1717 Bach left Mühlhausen in 1708, returning to Weimar this time as organist
and from 1714 Konzertmeister (director of music) at the ducal court, where he had an opportunity to work with a large, well-funded contingent of professional musicians.
 Throughout this period, Bach also continued to adopt music of contemporaries such as Handel (BNB I/K/2) and Stölzel (BWV 200), and gave many of his own earlier
compositions, such as the St Matthew and St John Passions and the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, their final revisions.
The principles of four-part harmony are found not only in Bach’s four-part choral music: he also prescribes it for instance for the figured bass accompaniment.
 • When, starting in the 19th century in Russia, there was a discussion about the authenticity of four-part court chant settings compared to earlier Russian traditions,
Bach’s four-part chorale settings, such as those ending his Chorale cantatas, were considered as foreign-influenced models.
Bach also started work on the Little Organ Book in Weimar, containing traditional Lutheran chorale tunes set in complex textures.
His Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother, a very early work, showed a gusto for modulation unlike any contemporary work this composition has been compared to,
but the full expansion came with the Well-Tempered Clavier, using all keys, which Bach apparently had been developing since around 1720, the being one of its earliest examples.
 As part of his regular church work, he performed other composers’ motets, which served as formal models for his own.
Bach was particularly attracted to the Italian style, in which one or more solo instruments alternate section-by-section with the full orchestra throughout a movement.
Bach later wrote several other works on the same theme.
Bach obliged, playing a three-part fugue on one of Frederick’s fortepianos by Gottfried Silbermann, which was a new type of instrument at the time.
Within a few weeks this music was published as The Musical Offering and dedicated to Frederick.
 On 14 August 1703, he became the organist at the New Church, with light duties, a relatively generous salary, and a new organ tuned in a temperament that allowed
music written in a wider range of keys to be played.
Bach knew Reincken’s music very well; he copied for instance Reincken’s monumental An Wasserflüssen Babylon when he was fifteen years old.
Although the complete mass was never performed during the composer’s lifetime, it is considered to be among the greatest choral works in history.
He often adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs.
 Final years and death (1740–1750) From 1740 to 1748 Bach copied, transcribed, expanded or programmed music in an older polyphonic style (stile antico) by, among others.
After this, in 1725, Bach “lost interest” in working even for festal services at the St. Paul’s Church and appeared there only on “special occasions”.
 Bach was not required to play any organ in his official duties, but it is believed he liked to play on the St. Paul’s Church organ “for his own pleasure”.
Some months later Bach upset his employer by a prolonged absence from Arnstadt: after obtaining leave for four weeks, he was absent for around four months in 1705–1706 to
take lessons from the organist and composer Johann Adam Reincken and to hear him and Dieterich Buxtehude play in the northern city of Lübeck.
 Around the same time, the set of five canonic variations which Bach had submitted when entering Mizler’s society in 1747 were also printed.
Cantata cycle years (1723–1729) Bach usually led performances of his cantatas, most of which were composed within three years of his relocation to Leipzig.
 Ornamentation :02 The second page of the is an ornament notation and performance guide that Bach wrote for his eldest son, who was nine years old at the time.
Since the 19th-century Bach revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music.
From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar, where
he expanded his organ repertory, and Köthen, where he was mostly engaged with chamber music.
Bach started a second annual cycle the first Sunday after Trinity of 1724 and composed only chorale cantatas, each based on a single church hymn.
But when Bach was installed as cantor in 1723, he was put in charge only of music for festal (church holiday) services at the St. Paul’s Church; his petition to also provide
music for regular Sunday services there (for a corresponding salary increase) went all the way to the Elector but was denied.
 Two large-scale compositions occupied a central place in Bach’s last years.
 Middle years of the Leipzig period (1730–1739) Bach’s seal (centre), used throughout his Leipzig years.
 Four-part harmony Four-part harmonies predate Bach, but he lived during a time when modal music in Western tradition was largely supplanted in favour of the tonal system.
His music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including the Air on the G String and “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, and of recordings, such as three
different box sets with complete performances of the composer’s oeuvre marking the 250th anniversary of his death.
Bach pushed the limits: he added “strange tones” in his organ playing, confusing the singers, according to an indictment he had to face in Arnstadt, and Louis Marchand,
another early experimenter with modulation, seems to have avoided confrontation with Bach because the latter went further than anyone had done before.
 From around that year he started to compile and compose the set of preludes and fugues for harpsichord that would become his second book of The Well-Tempered Clavier.
The 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, and by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed.
Some examples of this characteristic of Bach’s style and its influence: • When in the 1740s Bach staged his arrangement of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, he upgraded the viola
part (which in the original composition plays in unison with the bass part) to fill out the harmony, thus adapting the composition to his four-part harmony style.
In 1735 Bach started to prepare his first publication of organ music, which was printed as the third Clavier-Übung in 1739.
During his seven-month tenure at Weimar, his reputation as a keyboardist spread so much that he was invited to inspect the new organ and give the inaugural recital at the
New Church (now Bach Church) in Arnstadt, located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Weimar.
Late one evening this student, named Geyersbach, went after Bach with a stick.
 The major development taking place in Bach’s time, and to which he contributed in no small way, was a temperament for keyboard instruments that allowed their use in
all available keys (12 major and 12 minor) and also modulation without retuning.
In 1713, Bach was offered a post in Halle when he advised the authorities during a renovation by Christoph Cuntzius of the main organ in the west gallery of the Market Church
of Our Dear Lady.
 By 3 April 1700, Bach and his schoolfriend Georg Erdmann – who was two years Bach’s elder – were enrolled in the prestigious St. Michael’s School in Lüneburg, some two
weeks’ travel north of Ohrdruf.
 Musical style From an early age, Bach studied the works of his musical contemporaries of the Baroque period and those of prior generations, and those influences were
reflected in his music.
 The new system was at the core of Bach’s style, and his compositions are to a large extent considered as laying down the rules for the evolving scheme that would dominate
musical expression in the next centuries.
One of the comments after a performance of his St Matthew Passion was that it all sounded much like opera.
 There he studied, performed, and copied music, including his own brother’s, despite being forbidden to do so because scores were so valuable and private, and blank ledger
paper of that type was costly.
 He also began to write the preludes and fugues which were later assembled into his monumental work The Well-Tempered Clavier (“clavier” meaning clavichord or harpsichord),
consisting of two books, each containing 24 preludes and fugues in every major and minor key.
 Bach published or carefully compiled in manuscript many collections of pieces that explored the range of artistic and technical possibilities inherent in almost every
genre of his time except opera.
 After extracting a cantata, BWV 191 from his 1733 Kyrie-Gloria Mass for the Dresden court in the mid-1740s, Bach expanded that setting into his Mass in B minor in
the last years of his life.
For example, the St Matthew Passion, like other works of its kind, illustrated the Passion with Bible text reflected in recitatives, arias, choruses, and chorales, but in
crafting this work, Bach created an overall experience that has been found over the intervening centuries to be both musically thrilling and spiritually profound.
From around 1742 he wrote and revised the various canons and fugues of The Art of Fugue, which he continued to prepare for publication until shortly before his death.
 Bach was less moved.
 The composer’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel saw to it that The Art of Fugue, although still unfinished, was published in 1751.
 Bach’s time in Weimar was the start of a sustained period of composing keyboard and orchestral works.
He assumed the office of Thomaskantor on 30 May 1723, presenting the first new cantata, in the St. Nicholas Church on the first Sunday after Trinity.
In this system a piece of music progresses from one chord to the next according to certain rules, each chord being characterised by four notes.
When Bach visited Reincken again in 1720 and showed him his improvisation skills on the organ, Reincken reportedly remarked: “I thought that this art was dead, but I see that
it lives in you.
 His father likely taught him violin and basic music theory.
In the last decades of his life, he reworked and extended many of his earlier compositions.
Bach’s dealing with ornamentation can also be seen in a keyboard arrangement he made of Marcello’s Oboe Concerto: he added explicit ornamentation, which some centuries later
is played by oboists when performing the concerto.
  Bach was required to instruct the students of the Thomasschule in singing and provide church music for the main churches in Leipzig.
Upon his return to Leipzig he composed a set of fugues and canons, and a trio sonata, based on the Thema Regium (theme of the king).
The Schübler Chorales, a set of six chorale preludes transcribed from cantata movements Bach had composed some two decades earlier, were published within a year.
 Despite strong family connections and a musically enthusiastic employer, tension built up between Bach and the authorities after several years in the post.
 The first three cantatas in the new series Bach composed in Weimar were In 1717, Bach eventually fell out of favour in Weimar and, according to a translation of the court
secretary’s report, was jailed for almost a month before being unfavourably dismissed: “On November 6, , the quondam [former] concertmaster and organist Bach was confined to the County Judge’s place of detention for too stubbornly forcing
the issue of his dismissal and finally on December 2 was freed from arrest with notice of his unfavourable discharge.
In this sense, Bach played a key role in the development of genres such as the keyboard concerto.
Bach absorbed these stylistic aspects in part by transcribing Vivaldi’s string and wind concertos for harpsichord and organ; many of these transcribed works are still regularly
 The Bach family already counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician, Johann Ambrosia, in Eisenach.
This was one of the dozens of private societies in the major German-speaking cities that were established by musically active university students; these societies had become
increasingly important in public musical life and were typically led by the most prominent professionals in a city.
 The hundreds of sacred works Bach created are usually seen as manifesting not just his craft but also a truly devout relationship with God.
Bach was generally quite specific on ornamentation in his compositions (where in his time much of the ornamentation was not written out by composers but rather considered
a liberty of the performer), and his ornamentation was often quite elaborate.
 As part of his application, he had a cantata performed on Easter, 24 April 1707, likely an early version of his Christ lag in Todes Banden.
 :54Bach’s insistence on the tonal system and contribution to shaping it did not imply he was less at ease with the older modal system and the genres associated with
it: more than his contemporaries (who had “moved on” to the tonal system without much exception), Bach often returned to the then-antiquated modi and genres.
[‘In the portrait, Bach holds a copy of the six-part canon BWV 1076.
2. ^ Jump up to:a b German: [ˈjoːhan zeˈbasti̯a(ː)n ˈbax] ( listen). The last name appears in English as /bɑːx/ BAHKH on Lexico and in Dictionary.com.
3. ^ Johann Sebastian
Bach drafted a genealogy around 1735, titled “Origin of the musical Bach family”, printed in translation in David, Mendel & Wolff 1998, p. 283.
4. ^ For more information, please click the articles on performers; see also reviews and listings in
Gramophone, Diapason, YouTube, Discogs and Muziekweb.
5. ^ See
Schweitzer 1911 (1905 and 1908 editions)
Dürr & Jones 2006 (English translation)
6. ^ See
7. Wolff & Emery 2001, “10. Iconography”.
8. ^ Crist & Stauff 2011.
9. ^ Marshall, Robert L.;
Emery, Walter (18 May 2020). “Johann Sebastian Bach | Biography, Music, Death & Facts”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
10. ^ Blanning, T. C. W. (2008). The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art.
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-674-03104-3. And of course the greatest master of harmony and counterpoint of all time was Johann Sebastian Bach, ‘the Homer of music’.
11. ^ “Bach, Johann
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13. ^ Jones 2007, p. 3.
14. ^ Geck 2003, pp. 2, 156.
15. ^ Boyd 2000, p. 6.
16. ^ Jump up to:a b Wolff
et al. 2018, II. List of all family members alphabetically by first name.
17. ^ Jump up to:a b c Wolff & Emery 2001.
18. ^ Jump up to:a b Miles 1962, pp. 86–87.
19. ^ Boyd 2000, pp. 7–8.
20. ^ David, Mendel & Wolff 1998, p. 299.
21. ^ Wolff
2000, p. 45.
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32. ^ Chiapusso
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34. ^ Wolff 2000, pp. 83ff
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78. ^ US-PRu M 3.1. B2 C5. 1739q Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
79. ^ GB-Lbl Add. MS. 35021 Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
80. ^ D-B Mus. ms.
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81. ^ D-Cv A.V,1109,(1), 1a Archived 18 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine and 1b Archived 18 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
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83. ^ D-B Mus. ms. 1160 Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
84. ^ D-WFe 191 Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback
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86. ^ Neuaufgefundenes Bach-Autograph
in Weißenfels Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine at lisa.gerda-henkel-stiftung.de
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88. ^ D-B N. Mus. ms. 468 Archived 11 September 2017
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89. ^ D-B N. Mus. ms. 307 Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 271, Fascicle 2 Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
91. ^ D-B Mus. ms. 30199, Fascicle 14 Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine and D-B Mus. ms. 17155/16 Archived 11 September
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92. ^ D-B Mus. ms. 7918 Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine at Bach Digital website
93. ^ Musikalische Bibliothek, III.2 , 353 Archived 16 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine,
Felbick 2012, 284. In 1746, Mizler announced the membership of three famous members, Musikalische Bibliothek, III.2 , 357 Archived 16 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
94. ^ Musikalische Bibliothek, IV.1 , 108 and Tab. IV, fig. 16
(Source online); letter of Mizler to Spieß, 29 June 1748, in: Hans Rudolf Jung and Hans-Eberhard Dentler: Briefe von Lorenz Mizler und Zeitgenossen an Meinrad Spieß, in: Studi musicali 2003, Nr. 32, 115.
95. ^ David, Mendel & Wolff 1998, p. 224.
US-PRscheide BWV 645–650 Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine (original print of the Schübler Chorales with Bach’s handwritten corrections and additions from before August 1748 – description at Bach Digital website)
97. ^ Breig, Werner
(2010). “Introduction Archived 22 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine” (pp. 14, 17–18) in Vol. 6: Clavierübung III, Schübler-Chorales, Canonische Veränderungen Archived 11 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine of Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Organ
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98. ^ Jump up to:a b c Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel; Agricola, Johann Friedrich (1754). “Nekrolog”. Musikalische Bibliothek [de] (in German). Leipzig: Mizlerischer Bücherverlag. IV.1:
158–173. Printed in translation in David, Mendel & Wolff 1998, p. 299.
99. ^ Hans Gunter Hoke: “Neue Studien zur Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080”, in: Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft 17 (1975), 95–115; Hans-Eberhard Dentler: “Johann Sebastian Bachs Kunst
der Fuge – Ein pythagoreisches Werk und seine Verwirklichung”, Mainz 2004; Hans-Eberhard Dentler: “Johann Sebastian Bachs Musicalisches Opfer – Musik als Abbild der Sphärenharmonie”, Mainz 2008.
100. ^ Chiapusso 1968, p. 277.
101. ^ Rathey, Markus
(18 April 2003). Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B Minor: The Greatest Artwork of All Times and All People (PDF). The Tangeman Lecture. New Haven. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 July 2014.
102. ^ Wolff 2000, p. 442, from David, Mendel &
103. ^ Zegers, Richard H.C. (2005). “The Eyes of Johann Sebastian Bach”. Archives of Ophthalmology. 123 (10): 1427–1430. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.10.1427. PMID 16219736.
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105. ^ David, Mendel & Wolff 1998, p. 188.
106. ^ Spitta 1899c, p. 274.
107. ^ David, Mendel & Wolff 1998, pp. 191–197.
108. ^ “Did Bach really leave Art of
Fugue unfinished?”. The Art of Fugue. American Public Media. Archived from the original on 8 December 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
109. ^ Wolff 2000, p. 166.
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112. ^ Fuller Maitland, J. A., ed. (1911). “Johann Sebastian Bach”. Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Publishers. p. 154.
113. ^ Leaver 2007, pp. 280, 289–291.
114. ^ Huizenga, Tom. “A
Visitor’s Guide to the St. Matthew Passion”. NPR Music. National Public Radio. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
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117. ^ Clemens Romijn. Liner notes for Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden, BWV 1083 (after Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater).
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135. ^ Bach Digital Work 01677
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142. ^ Bach Digital Work 01307
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148. ^ Bach’s secular cantatas in BWV order, each followed by a link to the Bach Digital
Work (BDW) page of the cantata at the Bach-Digital website:
BWV 30a (BDW 00039)
BWV 36a (BDW 00049)
BWV 36b (BDW 00050)
BWV 36c (BDW 00051)
BWV 66a (BDW 00083)
BWV 134a (BDW 00166)
173a (BDW 00211)
BWV 184a (BDW 00223)
BWV 193a (BDW 00235)
BWV 194a (BDW 00239)
BWV 198 (BDW 00246)
BWV 201 (BDW 00251)
BWV 202 (BDW 00252)
BWV 203 (BDW 00253)
BWV 204 (BDW 00254)
205 (BDW 00255)
BWV 205a (BDW 00256)
BWV 206, first version (BDW 00257)
BWV 206, second version (BDW 00258)
BWV 207 (BDW 00259)
BWV 207a (BDW 00260)
BWV 208, first version (BDW 00261)
208, second version (BDW 00262)
BWV 208a (BDW 00263)
BWV 209 (BDW 00264)
BWV 210 (BDW 00265)
BWV 210a (BDW 00266)
BWV 211 (BDW 00267)
BWV 212 (BDW 00268)
BWV 213 (BDW 00269)
214 (BDW 00270)
BWV 215 (BDW 00271)
BWV 216 (BDW 00272)
BWV 216a (BDW 00273)
BWV 249a (BDW 00318)
BWV 249b (BDW 00319)
BWV Anh. 6 (BDW 01314)
BWV Anh. 7 (BDW 01315)
BWV Anh. 8
BWV Anh. 9 (BDW 01317)
BWV Anh. 10 (BDW 01318)
BWV Anh. 11 (BDW 01319)
BWV Anh. 12 (BDW 01320)
BWV Anh. 13 (BDW 01321)
BWV Anh. 18 (BDW 01326)
BWV Anh. 19 (BDW 01327)
Anh. 20 (BDW 01328)
BWV Anh. 195 (BDW 01506)
BWV Anh. 196 (BDW 01507)
BWV deest (BDW 01536)
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156. ^ Bach
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Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nahidv/14093884601/’]