Thursday, 19 September 2019 00:00

Famous Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach

During the second half of the sixteenth century and the whole of the seventeenth and eighteenth, the musical life of Thuringia (an area of central Germany roughly bordered by the rivers Werra, Unstrut and Saale) was dominated by the Bach family. No fewer than thirty-eight of the clan - the eldest born in 1520 and the youngest in 1759 - have earned separate articles in Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians', the first 60,000 or so words of Philip Spitta’s standard but unwieldy biography of Johann Sebastian Bach (published in 1880) were devoted to the achievements of his great-grandfather, grandfather, father, uncles and other senior relatives; three of Sebastian’s own sons (Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philip Emmanuel and Johann Christian) distinguished themselves as composers and all-round musicians.

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