The second page of the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is an ornament notation and performance guide that Bach wrote for his eldest son, who was nine years old at the time. Bach was generally quite specific on ornamentation in his compositions where in his time much of the ornamentation was not written out by composers, rather being considered a liberty of the performer ,  and his ornamentation was often quite elaborate.
For instance, the "Aria" of the Goldberg Variations has rich ornamentation in nearly every measure. Bach's dealing with ornamentation can also be seen in a keyboard arrangement he made of Marcello 's Oboe Concerto: Although Bach did not write any opera, he was not averse to the genre, nor to its ornamented vocal style.
In church music, Italian composers had imitated the operatic vocal style in genres such as the Neapolitan mass. In Protestant surroundings, there was more reticence to adopt such style for liturgical music.
For instance, Kuhnau, Bach's predecessor in Leipzig, had notoriously written against opera and Italianate virtuoso vocal music. From the late s, Bach had the organ play concertante i. In this sense, Bach played a key role in the development of genres such as the keyboard concerto. Bach wrote virtuoso music for specific instruments, as well as music independent of instrumentation. For instance, the sonatas and partitas for solo violin are considered the pinnacle of what has been written for this instrument, only within reach of accomplished players: Notwithstanding that the music and the instrument seem inseparable, Bach made transcriptions for other instruments of some pieces of this collection.
Similarly, for the cello suites , the virtuoso music seems tailored for the instrument, the best of what is on offer for it, yet Bach made an arrangement for lute of one of these suites. Likewise for much of his most virtuoso keyboard music. Bach exploited the capabilities of an instrument to the fullest while keeping the core of such music independent of the instrument on which it is performed.
In this sense, it is no surprise that Bach's music is easily and often performed on instruments it was not necessarily written for, that it is transcribed so often, and that his melodies turn up in unexpected places such as jazz music. Apart from that, Bach left a number of compositions without specified instrumentation: Another characteristic of Bach's style is his extensive use of counterpoint , as opposed to the homophony used, for instance, in his four-part Chorale settings.
Bach's Canons, and especially his Fugues, are most characteristic of this style, which Bach did not invent, but his contribution to it was so fundamental that he defined it to a large extent. Fugues are as characteristic to Bach's style, as, for instance, the Sonata form is characteristic to the composers of the Classical period. Not only these strictly contrapuntal compositions, but most of Bach's music is characterised by distinct melodic lines for each of the voices, where the chords formed by the notes sounding at a given point follow the rules of four-part harmony.
Forkel , Bach's first biographer, gives this description of this feature of Bach's music, that sets it apart from most other music: If the language of music is merely the utterance of a melodic line, a simple sequence of musical notes, it can justly be accused of poverty.
The addition of a Bass puts it upon a harmonic foundation and clarifies it, but defines rather than gives it added richness. A melody so accompanied—even though all the notes are not those of the true Bass—or treated with simple embellishments in the upper parts, or with simple chords, used to be called "homophony. In the first case the accompaniment is subordinate, and serves merely to support the first or principal part.
In the second case the two parts are not similarly related. New melodic combinations spring from their interweaving, out of which new forms of musical expression emerge.
If more parts are interwoven in the same free and independent manner, the apparatus of language is correspondingly enlarged, and becomes practically inexhaustible if, in addition, varieties of form and rhythm are introduced. Hence harmony becomes no longer a mere accompaniment of melody, but rather a potent agency for augmenting the richness and expressiveness of musical conversation. To serve that end a simple accompaniment will not suffice.
True harmony is the interweaving of several melodies, which emerge now in the upper, now in the middle, and now in the lower parts. From about the year , when he was thirty-five, until his death in , Bach's harmony consists in this melodic interweaving of independent melodies, so perfect in their union that each part seems to constitute the true melody. Herein Bach excels all the composers in the world. At least, I have found no one to equal him in music known to me.
Even in his four-part writing we can, not infrequently, leave out the upper and lower parts and still find the middle parts melodious and agreeable. Bach devoted more attention than his contemporaries to the structure of compositions. This can be seen in minor adjustments he made when adopting someone else's composition, for example, his earliest version of the "Keiser" St Mark Passion , where he enhances scene transitions,  and in the architecture of his own compositions such as his Magnificat  and his Leipzig Passions.
In the last years of his life, Bach would revise several of his prior compositions, often the recasting of such previously composed music in an enhanced structure being the most visible change, as in the Mass in B minor. Bach's known preoccupation with structure led, peaking around the s, to various numerological analyses of his compositions, although many such over-interpretations were later rejected, especially when wandering off in symbolism-ridden hermeneutics.
The librettos , that is the lyrics, for his vocal compositions played an important role for Bach: His collaboration with Picander for the St Matthew Passion libretto is best known, but there was a similar process to come to a multi-layered structure for his St John Passion libretto a few years earlier.
The first edition of the catalogue listed 1, surviving compositions without doubt composed by Bach. BWV — were added to the catalogue in the second half of the 20th century, and BWV and higher were still later additions. Bach composed Passions for Good Friday services and oratorios such as the Christmas Oratorio , which is a set of six cantatas for use in the liturgical season of Christmas. With its double choir and orchestra, the St Matthew Passion is one of Bach's most extended works.
According to his obituary, Bach would have composed five-year cycles of sacred cantatas , and additional church cantatas for instance for weddings and funerals. Bach's cantatas vary greatly in form and instrumentation, including those for solo singers, single choruses, small instrumental groups, and grand orchestras. Many consist of a large opening chorus followed by one or more recitative-aria pairs for soloists or duets and a concluding chorale. The melody of the concluding chorale often appears as a cantus firmus in the opening movement.
Bach's earliest cantatas date from his years in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen. Actus Tragicus , is a funeral cantata from the Mühlhausen period. After taking up his office as Thomaskantor late May , Bach performed a cantata each Sunday and feast day that corresponded to the lectionary readings of the week.
The cantata cycle of his second year in Leipzig is called the chorale cantata cycle as it is mainly consisting of works in the chorale cantata format. His third cantata cycle was developed over a period of several years, followed by the Picander cycle of — Apart from his own work, Bach also performed cantatas by Telemann and by his distant relative Johann Ludwig Bach. Bach also wrote secular cantatas, for instance for members of the Royal-Polish and Prince-electoral Saxonian family e.
Trauer-Ode ,  or other public or private occasions e. Peasant Cantata  or in Italian e. Der Streit zwischen Phoebus und Pan ,  others were almost miniature buffo operas e. Bach's motets BWV — are pieces on sacred themes for choir and continuo, with instruments playing colla parte.
Several of them were composed for funerals. The first version of Bach's Magnificat dates from , but the work is best known in its D major version of Near the end of his life, around — he expanded this composition into the large-scale Mass in B minor. The work was never performed in full during Bach's lifetime. Bach wrote for the organ and other keyboard instruments of his day, mainly the harpsichord , but also the clavichord and his personal favourite: Bach was best known during his lifetime as an organist, organ consultant, and composer of organ works in both the traditional German free genres—such as preludes , fantasias , and toccatas —and stricter forms, such as chorale preludes and fugues.
A decidedly North German influence was exerted by Georg Böhm , with whom Bach came into contact in Lüneburg, and Dieterich Buxtehude , whom the young organist visited in Lübeck in on an extended leave of absence from his job in Arnstadt. Around this time, Bach copied the works of numerous French and Italian composers to gain insights into their compositional languages, and later arranged violin concertos by Vivaldi and others for organ and harpsichord. During his most productive period — he composed about a dozen pairs of preludes and fugues, five toccatas and fugues, and the Little Organ Book , an unfinished collection of forty-six short chorale preludes that demonstrates compositional techniques in the setting of chorale tunes.
Bach was extensively engaged later in his life in consulting on organ projects, testing newly built organs, and dedicating organs in afternoon recitals. Bach wrote many works for harpsichord, some of which may have been played on the clavichord. The larger works are usually intended for a harpsichord with two manuals, while performing them on a keyboard instrument with a single manual like a piano may provide technical difficulties for the crossing of hands.
Many of his keyboard works are anthologies that encompass whole theoretical systems in an encyclopaedic fashion. Bach wrote for single instruments, duets, and small ensembles. Many of his solo works, such as his six sonatas and partitas for violin BWV — and his six cello suites BWV — , are widely considered among the most profound in the repertoire. The Musical Offering and The Art of Fugue are late contrapuntal works containing pieces for unspecified combinations of instruments.
Bach's best-known orchestral works are the Brandenburg Concertos , so named because he submitted them in the hope of gaining employment from Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt in ; his application was unsuccessful.
Bach composed and transcribed concertos for one to four harpsichords. Many of the harpsichord concertos were not original works, but arrangements of his concertos for other instruments now lost.
In addition to concertos, Bach wrote four orchestral suites , each suite being a series of stylised dances for orchestra, preceded by a French overture. In his early youth, Bach copied pieces by other composers to learn from them.
Some of these pieces, like " Bist du bei mir " not even copied by Bach but by Anna Magdalena , became famous before being dissociated with Bach. Bach copied and arranged Italian masters such as Vivaldi e. Then he also often copied and arranged his own music e. Some of these arrangements, like the late 19th-century " Air on the G String ", helped in popularising Bach's music. Sometimes who copied whom is not clear.
For instance, Forkel mentions a Mass for double chorus among the works composed by Bach. The work was published and performed in the early 19th century, and although a score partially in Bach's handwriting exists, the work was later considered spurious. Anhang, abbreviated as Anh. This was however far from the end of attribution issues—for instance, Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde , BWV 53 was later re-attributed to Melchior Hoffmann. For other works, Bach's authorship was put in doubt without a generally accepted answer to the question whether or not he composed it: Throughout the 18th century, the appreciation of Bach's music was mostly limited to distinguished connoisseurs.
The 19th century started with the first biography of the composer being published and ended with the completion of the publication of all of Bach's known works by the Bach Gesellschaft.
Soon after that performance, Bach started to become regarded as one of the greatest composers of all times, if not the greatest, a reputation he has retained ever since. A new extensive Bach biography was published in the second half of the 19th century.
In the 20th century, Bach's music was widely performed and recorded, while the Neue Bachgesellschaft , among others, published research on the composer. Modern adaptations of Bach's music contributed greatly to his popularisation in the second half of the 20th century.
By the end of the 20th century, more classical performers were gradually moving away from the performance style and instrumentation that were established in the romantic era: The BACH motif , used by the composer in his own compositions, was used in dozens of tributes to the composer from the 19th century to the 21st.
In the 21st century, the complete extant output of the composer became available on-line, with several websites exclusively dedicated to him. In his own time, Bach's reputation equalled those of Telemann, Graun and Handel. Such highly placed appreciation contrasted with the humiliations he had to cope with, for instance in his hometown of Leipzig.
After his death, Bach's reputation as a composer at first declined: The bulk of the music that had been printed during the composer's lifetime , at least the part that was remembered, was for the organ and the harpsichord.
Thus, his reputation as a composer was initially mostly limited to his keyboard music, and that even fairly limited to its value in music education. Bach's surviving family members, who inherited a large part of his manuscripts, were not all equally concerned with preserving them, leading to considerable losses. The early devotees were not all musicians; for example, in Berlin, Daniel Itzig , a high official of Frederick the Great's court, venerated Bach.
While in Leipzig, performances of Bach's church music were limited to some of his motets and under cantor Doles , some of his Passions. One such connoisseur was Gottfried van Swieten , a high-ranking Austrian official who was instrumental in passing Bach's legacy on to the composers of the Viennese school. Haydn owned manuscript copies of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Mass in B minor, and was influenced by Bach's music.
Mozart owned a copy of one of Bach's motets,  transcribed some of his instrumental works K. In , Johann Nikolaus Forkel published Ueber Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke , the first biography of the composer, which contributed to the composer becoming known to a wider public.
Bach, and donated it to the Berlin Sing-Akademie. The first decades of the 19th century saw an increasing number of first publications of Bach's music: Breitkopf started publishing chorale preludes,  Hoffmeister harpsichord music,  and the Well-Tempered Clavier was printed concurrently by Simrock Germany , Nägeli Switzerland and Hoffmeister Germany and Austria in The St John Passion saw its 19th-century premiere in , and the first performance of the Mass in B minor followed in Besides these and other public performances and an increased coverage on the composer and his compositions in printed media, the s and '40s also saw the first publication of more vocal works by Bach: A series of organ compositions saw their first publication in Bach's music was transcribed and arranged to suit contemporary tastes and performance practice by composers such as Carl Friedrich Zelter , Robert Franz , and Franz Liszt , or combined with new music such as the melody line of Charles Gounod 's Ave Maria.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Society published a comprehensive edition of the composer's works. Also in the second half of the 19th century, Philipp Spitta published Johann Sebastian Bach , the standard work on Bach's life and music.
Throughout the 19th century, books were published on Bach. By the end of the century, local Bach societies were established in several cities, and his music had been performed in all major musical centres.
In Germany all throughout the century, Bach was coupled to nationalist feelings, and the composer was inscribed in a religious revival. In England, Bach was coupled to an already existing revival of religious and baroque music. By the end of the century, Bach was firmly established as one of the greatest composers, recognised for both his instrumental and his vocal music.
During the 20th century, the process of recognising the musical as well as the pedagogic value of some of the works continued, as in the promotion of the cello suites by Pablo Casals , the first major performer to record these suites. A significant development in the later part of the 20th century was the momentum gained by the historically informed performance practice, with forerunners such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt acquiring prominence by their performances of Bach's music.
His keyboard music was again rather performed on the instruments Bach was familiar with, instead of on modern pianos and 19th-century romantic organs. Ensembles playing and singing Bach's music not only kept to the instruments and the performance style of his day, they were also reduced to the size of the groups Bach used for his performances.
Bach's music has influenced other genres. All kinds of publications involved Bach: Bach's music was extensively listened to, performed, broadcast, arranged, adapted, and commented upon in the s.
Bach's music features three times—more than that of any other composer—on the Voyager Golden Record , a gramophone record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.
Bach festivals were held in several continents, and competitions and prizes such as the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize were named after the composer. While by the end of the 19th century, Bach had been inscribed in nationalism and religious revival, the late 20th century saw Bach as the subject of a secularised art-as-religion Kunstreligion. In the 21st century, Bach's compositions became available on-line, for instance at the International Music Score Library Project.
For example, in The Telegraph 's list of the best classical music recordings, Bach's music is featured more often than that of any other composer. Bach was originally buried at Old St. John's Cemetery in Leipzig. His grave went unmarked for nearly years, but in his remains were located and moved to a vault in St.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Bach's grandson, see Johann Sebastian Bach painter. For other uses, see Bach disambiguation. Portrait of Bach, aged 61, by E.
Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! Bach re-interpreting older genres tied to the modal system. Continuo instruments moving to the front here performed on cello and piano. Chaconne, 5th movement of Partita for Violin No. Brahms' piano version performed by Martha Goldstein. Largo ma non tanto. A strictly contrapuntal composition the two violins playing in canon throughout in the guise of an Italian type of concerto.
List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. List of fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Chorus "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme". Recitative "Er kommt, er kommt, der Bräut'gam kommt". Duet "Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil? Chorale "Zion hört die Wächter singen". Recitative "So geh herein zu mir". Duet "Mein Freund ist mein! Chorale "Gloria sei dir gesungen". Flentrop organ at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Some of Bach's most popular melodies are, more often than not, heard in various arrangements:. Air on the G String excerpt. Bach cantata and List of Bach cantatas. List of secular cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach. List of chorale harmonisations by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach's church music in Latin. Mass in B minor. List of organ compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. List of solo keyboard compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. Keyboard concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach. List of transcriptions of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. The Triumph of Music: Archived from the original on 15 May And of course the greatest master of harmony and counterpoint of all time was Johann Sebastian Bach, 'the Homer of music'. The Baroque Music Site. Archived from the original on 7 March Retrieved 21 February Neues vollständiges Eisenachisches Gesangbuch: Worinnen in ziemlich bequeemer und füglicher Ordnung vermittels fünffacher Abteilung so wol die alte als neue doch mehrenteils bekante geistliche Kirchenlieder und Psalmen D.
Martin Luthers und anderer Gottseeligen Männer befindlich. Archived 4 March at the Wayback Machine. The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 23 December Archived from the original on 20 February Retrieved 19 February The New York Review of Books.
Archived from the original on 9 April Retrieved 10 April The Face of Bach. Archived from the original on 16 July Organist in Lübeck 2nd ed. Archived from the original on 28 September Archived from the original on 26 November Retrieved 10 August The first series of promotions in the United Kingdom adopted the strapline "What if? The first television campaign explicitly introduced the premise of the campaign by asking what would happen if the world's favourite word Okay was replaced with "What if?
The next few pieces of the campaign, "Pecking Order", "Seats", and "Bus Lane" for television and "Doodle", "Big Grin", and "Oblonger" for radio, became progressively more surreal, and featured oddities ranging from a traffic cone draped in leopard fur to trees growing traffic lights from their branches.
The advertisement, based on a complex chain reaction of moving parts from the Accord itself,  was approved and given the working title "Cog". Gooden and Walker had been working together since By , their portfolio included a Guinness World Record -holding one-second advertisement produced for Leo Burnett Worldwide , and a depression -awareness booklet for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.
The Honda executives were intrigued, but demanded a cut using actual automotive parts before giving permission to go ahead with the full-scale project. Honda insisted that several specific Accord features, such as a door with a wing-mirror indicator and a rain-sensitive windscreen, appear in the final cut.
The company planned to highlight these features in sales brochures. Bardou-Jacquet wanted to compose the advertisement with as little computer-generated imagery as possible, believing that the final product would be that much more appealing to its audience. Ideas deemed unworkable by the testing crew, such as airbag explosions and collisions between front and rear sections of the car, were abandoned,   and the remaining segments were slowly brought together until the full and final sequence was developed.
The final cut of "Cog" consists of two continuous sixty-second dolly shots taken from a technocrane , stitched together later in post-production. The stitching appears during the moment when the muffler rolls across the floor. Despite the detailed instructions derived from the testing period, small variations in ambient temperature, humidity and settling dust continually threw off the movement of the parts enough to end the sequence early.
It took 90 minutes on the first day just to get the initial transmission bearing to roll correctly into the second. To further reduce the work required, "Barnsley", a specialist in the Flame editing tool real name, Andrew Wood ,  from The Mill , spent a lot of time on set during filming, where he advised the film crew on whether particular sections could be accomplished more easily by re-filming or by manipulating the image afterwards.
Even so, the constant movement of the components on-camera made it difficult to achieve a seamless transition between the two second shots. Several sections also required minor video editing, such as re-centering the frame to stay closer to the action, removal of wires, highlighting a spray of water, and adjusting the pace for dramatic purposes.
The full second version of the advertisement aired only 10 times in all,  and only in the 10 days after the initial screening. Viewers were encouraged to press a button on their remote control, bringing up a menu that allowed the viewer to see the full second version of the advertisement.
Other menu options included placing an order for a free documentary DVD and a brochure for the Honda Accord. Over , people used the menu option, spending an average of two and a half minutes in the dedicated advertising area. A significant number watched the looped second version for up to ten minutes. Of those who opened the menu, 10, requested either a DVD or a brochure, and Honda used the data collected from the interactive option to arrange a number of test drives.
Expansion of the "Cog" campaign to a worldwide market was fraught with a number of logistical difficulties. The cost of airing a second commercial proved prohibitive in most markets. For most markets, including the United States, the only way for audiences to see the piece was via the Internet, or in one of a handful of unsolicited and unpaid broadcasts on news channel review programmes. By mid-May, the number was twice that. In financial terms, "Cog" was an unprecedented success for Honda.
Visits to Honda dealerships rose from an average of 3, to 3, per month, with 22 percent of these resulting in the purchase of a Honda, compared to 19 percent before the campaign. The film was well known in the advertising industry, and its creators had been approached several times with offers for the right to use the concept, but had always declined.
The letter pointed out several similarities between their work and "Cog", and warned the agency that they were considering legal action on the basis of the "commercialisation and simplification of the film's content and the false impression that [they] might have endorsed the use". Comparisons were made between the case and that of Mehdi Norowzian , a British director who complained about Diageo 's, the drinks conglomerate, for allegedly plagiarising his work in their Anticipation campaign for Guinness -brand stout.
Despite the lingering shadow of these accusations, "Cog" drew an unprecedented amount of critical acclaim. It received more awards than any commercial in history;  so many that it was both the most-awarded commercial of and the 33rd-most-awarded commercial of Having swept the majority of award ceremonies within the advertising community to date, "Cog" was widely believed to be the favourite for the industry's top award, the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
The result at Cannes was a surprise; after the longest judging period in the festival's history,  the Grand Prix went to neither of the two event favourites. Instead, the jury awarded the prize to " Lamp ", a U. Voted second was a British ad, "Ear Tennis" for the Xbox video game console. The popularity and recognition received by "Cog" led a number of other companies to create pieces in a similar vein—either as homages, in parody, or simply to further explore the design space.
The first of these was Just Works , a deliberate parody advertisement for the directory assistance service in the summer of , in which the Honda parts are replaced with such oddities as a tractor wheel, a flamingo and a space hopper, with impetus provided by two moustachioed runners.
The ad, which was directed by Reg Sanders and produced by Tracy Williams, shows pieces of sports equipment such as footballs and team shirts knocking into each other in sequence. Deliberate steps were taken to distance the spot from "Cog", using metaphor to make the promotion, rather than focusing on the technology itself. This time, it returned home triumphant,  defeating Singing in the rain for the Volkswagen Golf and Stella Artois ' Pilot to bring home the top prize. Choir , created with the help of fellow "Cog" team-members Ben Walker and Matt Gooden, was released in ,  and Problem Playground in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Cog A frame from "Cog". Honda Accord Honda Accord Euro. Retrieved 19 July Retrieved 7 September Retrieved 29 March