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Johann Sebastian Bach Musical Biography

Born: March 1685 
Died: July 1750

Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque Period. Bach was more widely known for his ability as an organist. He was not widely known for being a great composer up until a revival of interest in his music in the early stages of the 19th century. Bach is now considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.

Bach performed a cantata each Sunday. His cantatas varied greatly with some being for solo singers while others were for whole choruses. In total, he wrote over 300 sacred cantatas with 200 of them surviving. Many of his cantatas, at the end, featured an Aria (for soloists or duets) along with a concluding chorale. An example of such a cantata is ‘Ich elender Mensch’.

Bach produced a musical style from his skill of using a contrapuntal texture which is displayed clearly in ‘Ich elender Mensch’.


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