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As German family of musicians and composers the Bachs achieved the height of their fame in the 17th and 18th centuries Seven Bach generations achieved greater or lesser prominence in music from 1580 to about 1800 Of the group Johann Sebastian Bach has been acclaimed as one of the giants of musical history Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach Germany on March 21 1685 Or-phaned when he was ten he was cared for by his eldest brother In 1700 he became part of a select choir of poor boys at the school of the Michaelskirche Luneburg He held various musical posts including that of organist at Arnstadt 1703-07 at Muhlhausen 1707-08 and at Weimar 1708-17 He was kapellmeister music director at Kothen from 1717 to 1723 As an organist and choirmaster for Lutheran churches near his birthplace Bach devoted his life to composing music for the church services His incredible output marks the summit of the polyphonic or contrapuntal style Amazingly versatile and productive he wrote magnificent music for the organ for choral groups for clavier and harpsichord for orchestra and for small groups of instru-ments Bach was the master of the technique known as the fugue In this voices or in-strumental parts enter at different points each imitating the first After entering however each part is varied The result is a very complex counterpoint Bach perfected the chorale-prelude a contrapuntal composition based upon a cho-rale or hymn tune of the Lutheran church Chorales were also used in Bachs cantatas--large works for a chorus of singers and accompanying instruments Other compositions by Bach include a number of suites whose various movements consist of dance rhythms of the 16th to 18th centuries--the allemande courante saraband and gigue One of Bachs most famous works is The
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