Air On g String Description

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Air on the G string is the second movement of Suite No. 3 written by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was born in 1685 and orphaned by the age of 10. From there, he went to lve with his brother, J.C. Bach, and learned how to pay the organ. Bach then received a scholarship to St. Michael’s school in Lüneberg where he studied music alongside many other subjects. His first job in music was organist at a church in Arnstadt, Germany. In 1717, Bach was offered a job at the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, located about 30 miles northwest of Leipzig, Germany. When he changed jobs, Bach also changed the style of his music from organ music that was typically made for churches to music he thought the prince would enjoy. The music became sort of a chamber style, since the Prince himself played in a chamber group. Writers are not completely sure when the Suite No. 3 was written. Estimates range from 1722 to 1731, but many believe they were written closer to 1722. This suite, part of a series of four “overtures” (as Bach called them) represent experimenting by Bach, since they resemble a French style music used by Italian-born composer Jean-Baptiste Lully. Suite No. 3, which contains “Air on a G string”, is the most popular of all the overtures. The “Air on a G String” is the brief second movement of this suite. Although the full suite includes trumpets, oboe, and tympani as well as the strings and a bass line usually played on harpsichord and cello, this movement is reduced to the string orchestra only. The movement begins with a long, rhythmic opening that transitions smoothly to phrases in which the violin and the viola “communicate” with the melody. The piece also includes ornamentation and exaggerated dynamics common to Baroque style music. As the music is played, listen closely for the suspensions common throughout the movement. They provide the harmonic tension
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