Bach is considered one of the greatest composers in history.(5) He was a virtuoso organist and the most renowned member in a family of distinguished musicians. His fame was due to his ability as an organist more than his reputation as a composer. He is best known as the German Baroque Composer. This is because his works represent the peak of the Baroque era.(6)
Johann Sebastian was born March 21, 1685 to Johann Ambrosius Bach and Elisabeth Lämmerhirt.(1,7) Bach was born into the town of Eisenach in the Thuringian forest.(1) He was named after his two godfathers, Sebastian Nagel and Johann Georg Koch.(7) All six of Bach’s brothers were given the first name Johann.(2) He was the youngest of eight children.(9) His father was a higher ranking court trumpeter for the Duke of Eisenach and director of the musicians of the town.(7) The family lived in a reasonably spacious home just above the town center. (8) It was here that young Johann Sebastian was taught by his father to play the violin and the harpsichord. (5) When he was eight years old he went to the Latin Grammar. (3) He was taught reading, writing, Latin grammar, and a great deal of scripture. (2) During this time in small towns, sewage and refuse disposal was poorly organized, and the existence of germs had not yet been scientifically discovered. At an early age Johann Sebastian lost a sister and later a brother. (2) At the age of nine, 1694, his mother died.(3) His father remarried and suddenly died a year later.(6) Johann Sebastian and one of his brothers, Johann Jakob, were taken into the home of their eldest brother, Johann Christoph who had recently married and settled down at Ohrdruf. (10)
Johann Christoph, a former pupil of Pachelbel was now well established as an organist of the St. Michaeliskirche, Ohrdruf. (5) Sebastian quickly settled and began to study the organ and harpsichord with great interest. Soon enough he began to master all the pieces he had been given. (4) Christoph...