J. S. Bach, known as the “Homer of Music” is a masterful composer belonging to the Baroque period. He was born in the same year as George Frideric Handel, another classical composer of the age. Bach was born in the year 1685, March 21, in a German town called Eisenach. Music was a part of his family and his father was a musician himself. Therefore, composition came to him naturally and as an inherited trait which he mastered with his transcending thoughts. He is well known for his works Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Goldberg Variations. The following Bach interesting facts reveal astonishing things about the composer.
Bach Interesting Facts #1 – Voice
In his childhood, Bach had a wonderful voice and he was capable of pulling out the most difficult soprano with elegance. It is his voice that helped him to gain a seat at Lu When Boy’s school. However, Bach’s voice altered significantly making it almost impossible for him to forward his career as a soprano singer. Therefore, he shifted his concentration on mastering the harpsichord and the violin.
Bach Interesting Facts #2 – Louis Marchand
Louis Marchand was a promising composer who was offered court position by King August of Saxony. However, the concert master Jean Baptiste Volumier felt that his position is under threat; therefore, he invited Bach to listen to Louis. After listening to his performance, Bach challenged him and the victor ought to be decided based on several musical tasks. Louis Marchand, after understanding the greatness of Bach fled on the day of the contest [leaving his position evidently] and Bach in order to entertain the attendance performed alone.
Bach Interesting Facts #3 – Languages
Sebastian Bach was prolific in many languages including Ancient Greek, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, French, Italian and German. Bach is so well-versed that he used mystical numerology [especially 14 and 41] in most of his compositions. One can find that in Goldberg Variations there are 14 Canons, similarly in the Art of Fugue there are 14 Contrapuncti. His efficiency in understanding languages can be further exemplified by the fact that he used to teach Latin along with music in the St. Thomas Church of Leipzig.
Bach Interesting Facts #4 – Blindness
John Taylor was considered as a charlatan eye surgeon who used to travel towns and do surgeries. He performed a traditional method known as “couching” to treat the infection of Bach’s eye. Unfortunately, the infection grew and bleeding was observed resulting in the blinding of the eyes of Bach. After a few months Bach passed away in the year 1750. Interestingly, Cavalier John Taylor was also responsible in causing blindness to George Frideric Handel as well.
Bach Interesting Facts #5 – Children
The composer had two wives – Maria Barbara and Anna Magdalena. He had seven children with Maria Barbara and thirteen children with Anna Magdalena. Out of the twenty, 5 of the children became musicians and four of them were reasonably famous during their age.
The devotion to music Bach had had made him the “Homer of Music” and there are many generations that follow his lead. There are even rock bands that got inspired by the works of Bach suggesting that he is an immortal influence in the vast Universe of music.