Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach
Portrait of Bach, aged 61, Haussmann, 1748
Short Name: Johann Sebastian Bach
Full Name: Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750
Birth Year: 1685
Death Year: 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach into a musical family and in a town steeped in Reformation history, he received early musical training from his father and older brother, and elementary education in the classical school Luther had earlier attended.

Throughout his life he made extraordinary efforts to learn from other musicians. At 15 he walked to Lüneburg to work as a chorister and study at the convent school of St. Michael. From there he walked 30 miles to Hamburg to hear Johann Reinken, and 60 miles to Celle to become familiar with French composition and performance traditions. Once he obtained a month's leave from his job to hear Buxtehude, but stayed nearly four months. He arranged compositions from Vivaldi and other Italian masters. His own compositions spanned almost every musical form then known (Opera was the notable exception).

In his own time, Bach was highly regarded as organist and teacher, his compositions being circulated as models of contrapuntal technique. Four of his children achieved careers as composers; Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin are only a few of the best known of the musicians that confessed a major debt to Bach's work in their own musical development. Mendelssohn began re-introducing Bach's music into the concert repertoire, where it has come to attract admiration and even veneration for its own sake.

After 20 years of successful work in several posts, Bach became cantor of the Thomas-schule in Leipzig, and remained there for the remaining 27 years of his life, concentrating on church music for the Lutheran service: over 200 cantatas, four passion settings, a Mass, and hundreds of chorale settings, harmonizations, preludes, and arrangements. He edited the tunes for Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch, contributing 16 original tunes. His choral harmonizations remain a staple for studies of composition and harmony. Additional melodies from his works have been adapted as hymn tunes.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Wikipedia Biography

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Tunes by Johann Sebastian Bach (111)sort descendingAsInstancesIncipit
[A Boy was born in Bethlehem]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)211122 32177 34323
ACH BLEIB BEI UNSJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685 - 1750 (Arranger)833453 12343 21123
ACH GOTT UND HERR (17655 major)J. S. Bach (Arranger)3717655 67121 76765
SALZBURG (Hintze)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)9951565 43554 32215
ALLEIN ZU DIRJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)237123 45433
ALLES IST AN GOTTES SEGENJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)511534 53133 23127
ES IST DAS HEILBach (Composer)155557 65453 13456
AUCTOR OMNIUM BONORUMJ. S. Bach (Adapter)2
ST. AUGUSTINE (51232)Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer)251232 13554 3231
AUS TIEFER NOT (Luther)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)451565 43455 67654
WAS GOTT TUTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1756) (Composer)351234 54365 43321
BEHOLD THE LAMB (Bach)J. S. Bach (Composer)356543 45256 52343
BREMENBach (Composer)251232 12177 76511
CHAMBER MUSICJ. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)251232 52343 5555
CHRIST DER DU BIST DER HELLE TAGJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)211321 34555 56765
CHRISTE, DER DU BIST TAG UND LICHTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)113217 12321 3333
CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDENJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1417134 32116 7176
CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBENJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1313234 53654 32356
GENEVAN 42J. S. Bach (Adapted, harmonized)1012321 76512 34321
DANK SEI GOTT IN DER HÖHEJohann Sebastian Bach (Arranger)753565 43323 22153
DARMSTADTJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)3553215 56622 54321
DAS NEUGEBORNE KINDELEINJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)1211154 35432 55676
DAS WALT' GOTT VATERJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1213553 12315 56717
SCHMÜCKE DICHJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)432123 54353 43213
DER GEISTJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)311155 66512 34322
DU FRIEDENSFÜRST, HERR JESU CHRISTJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)431234 54335 43234
EIN FESTE BURGJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)3611156 71765 1
ERHALT UNS, HERRJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)5612321 71232 13
ERMUNTRE DICHJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)4211234 55453 43232
LUTHER'S HYMNJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685 - 1750 (Harmonizer)411321 22313 45321
[Eternity, O thund'rous word]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)212345 56711 23455
FAITHFUL (Bach)Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)1855345 17655 5345
FRANKFORTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)115315 66556 71766
OLD HUNDREDTHJ. S. Bach (Arranger)111765 12333 32143
GILDASJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Adapter)151232 13554 32314
[God, be merciful and gracious unto us]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)257555 56544 3
GOTT DER VATER WOHN UNS BEIJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Harm. based on)155671 17615 3432
GOTT DES HIMMELSJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)812351 76567 12321
GOTTLOB, ES GEHT NUNMEHR ZU ENDEJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)1731343 21233 36711
DE FLEURY (German)J. S. Bach (Composer)1251513 13543 53212
HEINLEINJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer (attributed to))455123 45557 76655
HERR CHRIST, DER EINIG GOTTS SOHNJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)111321 76342 32111
HERR, ICH HABE MISGEHANDELT (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)215671 23432 21321
HERR JESU CHRISTJ. S. Bach (Arranger)2913454 32345 65321
HERR JESU CHRIST, DU HÖCHSTES GUTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)211712 32112 25432
BRESLAUJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)111161 27667 12567
HERR NUN LASZ IN FRIEDEJohann Sebastian Bach (Composer)155671 17771 23323
PASSION CHORALE (Hassler)Johann S. Bach (Adapter and Harmonizer)21451765 45233 2121
HERZLIEBSTER JESUJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685 - 1750 (Harmonizer)1611175 12334 22345
[Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts] (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Ascribed to)353215 65177 65565
HOSANNA (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)353215 65123 54321
ICH HALTE TREULICH STILLJ. S. Bach (Composer (attr.))2253156 55234 32123
ICH STEH AN DEINER KRIPPENJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)651231 76573 23455
IN DIR IST FREUDEJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Adapter)355431 55431 54321
IPSWICHI. S. Bach (O)212432 35617 6543
JEJUNIAJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)256715 51757 65671
WERDE MUNTERJ. S. Bach (Arranged, harmonized)2934554 32234 54321
JESU, MEINE FREUDEJ. S. Bach (Adapted, harmonized)2955433 21155 67171
JESUS, MEINE ZUVERSICHTJ. S. Bach (Arranger)654367 11767 15434
MEINEN JESUM LASS ICH NICHT (Hammerschmidt)J. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)155667 71221 17665
KOMM, SÜSSER TODJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)217655 32177
LAUS DEOJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)215654 32171
LIEBSTER IMMANUELJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1433321 71654 3
LIEBSTER JESUJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)2932125 32121 11123
LOBT GOTT IHR CHRISTENJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)1915555 65432 3456
EISENACH (Gesius)J. S. Bach (Adapted, harmonized)4213455 43256 71766
MEINE HOFFNUNGJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Adapter and Harmonizer)217123 21255 776
MEINHOLDJohann Sebastian Bach (Composer)1133354 43332 34321
MINDEN (Peter)Johann Sebastian Bach (Arranger)253323 11755 56543
NEUMARKJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)751232 12757 77651
NICHT SO TRAURIG (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer)1732154 32347 1
NUN DANKETJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)155566 55432 32155
NUN FREUT EUCHJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)211514 32112 43267
NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILANDJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1411732 12112 34345
NUN LASST UNS GOTTJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)311761 21112 7517
INNSBRUCKJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)5532123 54334 5523
NURNBERGJ. S. Bach (Composer)751271 65432 123
O GOTT DU FROMMER GOTT (51712)Johann Sebastian Bach (Harmonizer)1051712 33432 17551
O JESULEIN SÜSSJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)1611712 71765 32211
O HERZENSANGSTJ. S. Bach (Composer)2
O JESUS, DEIN KREUZJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)212312 71556 717
OLD 113THJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)111231 34554 32134
[Of Thee, Jehovah, is our singing]Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)251323 16451 42124
PHUVAHJohn Sebastian Bach (Composer)113234 54354 3212
POTSDAMJ. S. Bach (Composer)2812432 15617 65346
POUR RÉPONDRE (Bach)Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)255435 43225 67665
PRESBURG (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer (attributed to))117153 21771 6
RINKART (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Melody and bass by)1053211 76534 56
CHRISTOPHER (Peter)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)112345 17123 34431
SEBASTIAN (Freylinghausen)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)432433 21332 34432
SEGNE UNSJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)634551 23671 3545
SO GIEBST DUJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)5
ST. ALBAN (Haydn)J. S. Bach (Arranger)133221 55566 24433
ST. ANNEJ. S. Bach (Arranger)153651 17151 5645
ST. AUGUSTINEJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)451232 13554 32314
KOMM, O KOMM, DU GEIST DES LEBENSJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)131251 27567 11223
ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)1415567 11321 17151
[Chant] (Tonus Peregrinus 54654)J. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Plainsong setting)154654 34413 21
VATER UNSERJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)3655345 32155 47534
KOMM, GOTT SCHÖPFERBach (1685-1750) (Composer)256545 12115 71233
VERLEIH UNS FRIEDENJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)211171 23213 44345
WACHET AUF (Nicolai)J. S. Bach (Adapted, haromonized)7113555 56551 51232
WAS FRAGJ. S. Bach (Harm. adapted from)1
WAS MEIN GOTT WILLJ.S. Bach (Arranger)757173 32332 1421
WIE LIEBLICH IST DER MAIENJ. S. Bach (Arranger)151232 17666 51171
[We offer our gifts and ourselves]Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)235432 34321
[We wait for the eternal light]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)312321 12321 54322
WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTETJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Adapter and Harmonizer)4115315 66556 71766
WEIMAR (Vulpius)Johann Sebastian Bach (Adapter)432123 45654 3221
VOM HIMMEL HOCHJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)2417675 67111 55345
ZUM FRIEDENJohann Sebastian Bach (Composer)653116 56543 65432

Data Sources

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