Interesting facts about Bach

Posted on Sep 13, 2021      41

One of the most gifted musicians in history, Johann Sebastian Bach also became famous as a composer whose works are still immensely popular around the world today. He wasn’t always so famous, and for a long time his work was almost forgotten, but later he was remembered by his descendants. Bach devoted his entire life to music, and we must admit that he deservedly ranks among the greatest composers in the history of humanity.

Facts from Bach’s biography

  • He was the youngest of eight children in his family.
  • Many of Johann Sebastian Bach’s ancestors had been professional musicians for several centuries.
  • He was orphaned at the age of 10. His elder brother, who was also a musician, took care of young Johannes and became his first music teacher.
  • Already as a child, Bach was learning to play such difficult instruments as the organ and clavier.
  • In his youth, he also sang in the church choir.
  • Besides his native German, Bach also spoke Italian and French.
  • He considered Dietrich Buxtehude his favorite composer, and he treated his work with great reverence.
  • Much of Bach’s work was written especially for the organ, his favorite musical instrument.
  • The great composer’s first wife was his cousin. They had seven children during their marriage, but only four of them survived. In his second marriage, Bach had 13 children, of whom eight survived.
  • All his life Bach was a deeply religious man.
  • He composed his first piece of music when he was 15 years old.
  • One day Johann Sebastian Bach, already very well known and popular, traveled 50 kilometers on foot to hear a concert by the aforementioned Dietrich Buxtehude.
  • Bach’s biography was first written in 1802 by the German composer Johann Forkel.
  • The famous composer Mendelssohn, author of the world famous wedding march, was a great admirer of the work of Johann Sebastian Bach (interesting facts about Mendelssohn).
  • Bach was once arrested by his employer, who did not want to let him go. He ended up spending almost a month under arrest.
  • He had absolute hearing and a phenomenal memory. After hearing a piece of music once, he could then play it by himself without a single mistake.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach changed his place of residence eight times during his lifetime, moving from town to town.
  • One of the very odd dishes he liked to eat was herring heads.

  • Bach made music in all genres except opera.
  • To this day, he is considered one of the most virtuoso organ players in history.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach composed over 1,000 pieces of music during his lifetime.
  • Bach’s tomb, which was buried in a churchyard in Leipzig, was lost for decades and was only discovered accidentally at the end of the 19th century.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven rated Bach very highly (interesting facts about Beethoven).
  • The famous writer Goethe called the sensation of listening to Bach’s music “eternal harmony in dialogue with oneself.”
  • In Johann Sebastian Bach’s time, only men could take part in the church choir, and it was he who encouraged women to be allowed to sing in the choir as well. The first female chorister in history was his wife.
  • In 1750, the Bach Society was founded in Leipzig with the task of gathering, studying and popularizing the works of the great composer. Within 50 years, the task had been completed, and the society dissolved itself.
  • Bach’s music was among humanity’s finest creations, recorded on the gold disc of the Voyager spacecraft launched into interstellar space.
  • The American publication The New York Times named Bach the best composer of all time.
  • It is mentioned in Bach’s biography that he was a boiling-tempered and rather intemperate man. He often snapped at his subordinates, threw various objects and tore up notes.
  • In Germany, there are 11 monuments, devoted to the talented musician and composer.
  • About the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, 20 feature and documentary films were shot.
  • His two children also became quite famous composers.
  • It is known that Bach liked to fall asleep not in silence, but to music.