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One of the most profoundly inspired and

masterful composers in history, Johann

Sebastian Bach was born into a musical family

in Eisenach, Thuringia - until recently part

of East Germany. His father, Johann Ambrosius

Bach, was a talented violinist, and taught

his son the basic skills of string-playing;

another relation, the organist at Eisenach's

most important church, instructed the young

boy on the organ.

In 1695, Johann Sebastian was orphaned; he

went to live with his older brother, Johann

Christoph, in Ohrdruf. Johann Christoph was aIt's a good report Good Job, and Great attention to detail!

professional organist, and continued his

younger brother's 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 brother's 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 on to another organist

job, this time at the St. Blasius Church in

Muhlhausen. The same year, he married his

cousin Maria Barbara Bach.

Again caught up in a running conflict between

factions of his church, Bach fled to Weimar

after one year in Muhlhausen. In Weimar, he

assumed the post of organist...