Bach FAQ 61

 

How Many Works Exactly Has Johann Sebastian Bach Created?

 

There are precisely 1,128 pieces of music preserved today.

However, that number is not quiet true as an answer to the question you asked. Because there is the original BWV, the original "Bach Werke Verzeichnis", the Bach Works Catalog. Plus there are additional updates, additions when few pieces are found and considered Bach works. And, there are some pieces they just thought Bach had composed them and they had to be removed from that catalog later. But, may be it's not that much of importance, if you remember the number of 1,111 works. By the rule of the thumb. If you keep that number in mind, remember my poor memory hook, which we Germans call donkey bridge, then you get easily to the correct number, which is 1,128, just 17, that is a miss of one percent. Bach, by all means is a little bit more complicated as other composers. Even in a relatively easy discipline like headcount of his works. Typically Bach - and that is what this webiste is about too.

 

On the other side: the most famous Bach expert, Bach Author and Harvard Professor and Professor at the University of Leipzig, Germany has the opinion, that Bach actually composed, many, many more works. He assumes, that today only mere ten percent of Bach's original work is preserved. If that is really the case, it won't get more complicated for you. Just bear one more number in mind: because if this assumption is true, Bach would have created some 11,111 pieces and that would relatively sure be - one more record for Johann Sebastian Bach in this discipline as well.

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