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Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest composers in Western musical history More than 1000 of his compositions survive Some examples are the Art of Fugue Brandenburg Concerti the Goldberg Variations for Harpsichord the Mass in B-Minor the motets the Easter and Christmas oratorios Toccata in F Major French Suite No 5 Fugue in G Major Fugue in G Minor The Great St Matthew Passion and Jesu Der Du Meine Seele He came from a family of musicians There were over 53 musicians in his family over a period of 300 years Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach Germany on March 21 1685 His father Johann Ambrosius Bach was a talented violinist and taught his son the basic skills for string playing another relation the organist at Eisenachs most important church instructed the young boy on the organ In 1695 his parents died and he was only 10 years old He went to go stay with his older brother Johann Christoph who was a professional organist at Ohrdruf Johann Christoph was a professional organist and continued his younger brothers education on that instrument as well as on the harpsichord After several years in this arrangement Johann Sebastian won a scholarship to study in Luneberg Northern Germany and so left his brothers tutelage A master of several instruments while still in his teens Johann Sebastian first found employment at the age of 18 as a lackey and violinist in a court orchestra in Weimar soon after he took the job of organist at a church in Arnstadt Here as in later posts his perfectionist tendencies and high expectations of other musicians - for example the church choir - rubbed his colleagues the wrong way and he was embroiled in a number of hot disputes during his short tenure In 1707 at the age of 22 Bach became fed up with the lousy musical standards of Arnstadt and the working conditions and moved
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