1 Johann Sebastian Bach: Family Life, Facts, Videos, Genealogy, Music, Memorials, Bach Locations

The Bach Monument in Ulm on the Danube. It is located inside the Ulm Muenster.


5     Welcome to My Universe Around Bach

6  An age-old engraving displays the Johann Sebastian Bach Monument at Eisenach.


7   This is the international website that comes with the new internet portal www.BachUeberBach.de respectively www.BachOnBach.com. Its general goal is to spread the knowledge and music of one of the greatest composers even beyond the borders of language barriers. The BACH WORLD MUSICAL HERITAGE wants to introduce folks all over the world to this unique composer and musician of the baroque era, Johann Sebastian Bach and smooth the way to his music and the artist’s life.

8  Bach is ... just music.


9   Johann Sebastian Bach Music

10  Composer Max Reger stated: "Bach is the beginning and the end of all music.".


11    In the year 2011 the New York Times voted Johann Sebastian Bach the greatest composer on earth of all times. More famous people say and said this musician of the baroque era is one of the greatest music geniuses ever: famous Beethoven admired him. Another great musician, Max Reger, stated, Bach is beginning and end of all music. Plus well known physicist Albert Einstein just brought it to the point: listen, play, hear... and just shut up. And there is a tale: When angels make music for themselves they play Mozart. When they make music for God, it’s Bach.

12  Ludwig van Beethoven admired Johann Sebastian Bach.


13  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart valued Bach's work.


14  Albert Einstein once said about Joh. Seb. Bach's music: "... hear it, perform it, love it... ...and just shut up.".


15 Bach - A Family of Musicians


16 Johann Sebastian Bach was the impressing solitary exceptional composer, who today is famous worldwide for more than 300 years. But actually he is “only” one in many musicians in his family. They were called the Bache, a back than plural version of the last name of Bach. Johann Sebastian alone had twenty children and four of his sons have been even more famous at their time after their dad had died. It’s almost 333 years after Bach’s birth, which was 1685. He died in 1750. The genealogy of the Bach family is, among all other sections, very complicated and Bach scientists, Bach authors and Bach genealogists fought for centuries and still today, who is right and who is wrong. It’s considered to be true, that stem father of the Bach musician family was Veit Bach who is said to come from Hungary. There are several chains of musicians in the greater Bach family, some of them six, seven, even nine generations of musicians in line. Can you imagine such: a Bach family member was considered a high quality musician just by the name - it was an early brand name. Even long after a family member performed the job as a musician at a church, a village or a town in Thuringia. As mentioned, Bach had a total of twenty children with two spouses. And his life was a steady up and down. Births and deaths lined up as many of the Bachs’ children died very early.


17  The father of Johann Sebastian: Johann Ambrosius Bach.


18  The painting “Morning Devotions” by Toby E. Rosenthal showing the Bach family.


19  Many decades later: the Bach Band, still a family of musicians.


20  "Only" some 100 years ago: Bach is music - a “nowadays” family member.

21  Bach at Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany

22  Bach House, Bach Museum and the Johann Sebastian Bach Monument at Eisenach.


23  The center of lovely Eisenach in Thuringia.


24  The Luther House at the Bach town of Eisenach.


25   Thuringia is one of sixteen federal states in reunited Germany. Capital of Thuringia is Erfurt. And Erfurt is almost located in the middle of Germany. Erfurt is a so called Bach town. But it is not a Johann Sebastian Bach town. As we learned meanhwile, Bach was as well a synonym for a family of musicians. More towns and villages are considered Bach locations and in Erfurt alone sixty-one christenings of Bach family members are found in the church books. Erfurt is heart of “Bach Country” as Renate an I call it. Bach Country in Thuringia.


26  The crest of Thuringia, Germany.


27  Leipzig, where Johann Sebastian lived and performed twenty-seven years of his life is not a town in Thuringia. And Koethen isn’t as well. Ambrosius Bach, Johann Sebastian’s dad once lived in Erfurt before he moved to Eisenach, some 35 miles west. Where Johann Sebastian was born in 1685. His dad was first music teacher of little Johann Sebastian and when biographies tell that he was no perfect student in school at Eisenach others tell that in the missing time he was performing with his dad to make money to feed the family. In Eisenach Johann Sebastian’s first drama took place when he lost his mother and short after that, some months later his dad as well, which terminated his time at Eisenach.

28  The castle Wartburg above Eisenach in Thuringia.


29  My Invitation for You to the English Website About Johann Sebastian Bach


30  The German version of the website "Bach On Bach".


31  Although this part of the Johann Sebastian Bach Portal is designed in app style and should be an adventure on itself, you are cordially invited to explore the German or the English section (...click here on www.BachUeberBach.de respectively www.BachOnBach.com) which is, no doubt, a lot more detailled. But it’s constructed for that purpose in a way, that might deliver you a lot of fun, even if you don’t speak any English nor German at all. And these websites are in a constant change. As a whole International Johann Sebastian Bach Dream Team is having fun with it. Let’s experience some examples.


32  B-A-C-H is one of the only names that you can sing and make music from. But that is true only in German. Ask a professional musician for the background.


33  The Bach music. Let’s assume you are not familiar with the word of "cantata", the name for a special kind of piece of music in English. In German it would be Kantate. We believe it doesn’t matter what’s it in Hebrew or Italien, in Greek or in French. Call it Cantata or Kantate, but experience, what a Cantata sounds like. It’s fun. Town names, villages and the Bach places all over the world need no translation anyway. As Paris is Paris in Russian, in Indian and in Spanish. At least I guess so. Plus the many pictures.


34  The world admires Johann Sebastian Bach: Johann Sebastian Bach at the Opéra de Paris.


35  Meet the monuments of Bach, the breathtaking age old documents, the portraits of the master and the engravings of the old locations in Germany. Or the videos from all over the world. No language barrier at all! And... always keep in mind - we are ambitioned amateurs. I am no author, no teacher, no musician, no scientist, no nothing. This project is just fun. Again now: hop to www.BachOnBach.de, make acquaintance with a “real” German website and surf the chapters and explore what delivers fun without knowing a single German word.


36 A huge selection of photos awaits you on both the German and the English site.


37  Create your own combination of music and picture series...


38  ...33 works of music - 33 themes of pictures.


39 From Eisenach in Thuringia to Leipzig in Saxony


40  We learned Johann Sebastian was born in Eisenach and what ever publication tells you that the Bach House was Johann Sebastian’s birth place: it’s just not true. However, it’s some houses down the road, but this webiste wants to be authentic. The Bach House is where the Bach family once lived.

41  The Bach House at Eisenach where Johann Sebastian and the whole Bach family once lived.


42  Plus, today a latest state of the art museum is next door. And a very likeable director invites the world to experience details regarding one of the greatest composers of all times and how the Bachs lived back than.


43  A state-of-the-art museum featuring the exceptional composer Johann Sebastian Bach and his family.


44  After mom and dad of Johann Sebastian died in Eisenach, he moved to his oldest brother to the little community of Ohrdruf. After a while when life became too hard, as his brother had to feed his own growing family, Johann Sebastian decided to study at Lueneburg, a small town close to Hamburg.


45  The center of beautiful Ohrdruf, where Johann Sebastian Bach’s brother lived and worked.

46  The palace at Ohrdruf, Thuringia, Germany.


47  City Hall at Bach town of Lueneburg, Northern Germany: a small city close to Hamburg.


48  After finishing school in Lueneburg he decided to start his first job at Arnstadt, a lovely small town. Next place - at a higher payment - was Muehlhausen. Next on the road of live was Weimar, World Musical Heritage like Bach, but officially by UNESCO (...I made Bach a world musical heritage myself!). Than he left Thuringia and moved north to Koethen, a little community in Saxony-Anhalt. Final station and his longest period to stay at one place finally became Leipzig, the capital of Saxony. Leipzig was ever since a proud city of culture and music. And still today Leipzig is overwhelming visitors with music hertitage like few cities in the whole world. Johann Sebastian Bach died in 1750.


49  What a lovely little Bach town: Arnstadt, Thuringia.


50  Called “the city of gates and towers”: Bach town Muehlhausen, Thuringia.


51  World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO: Bach town Weimar.


52  Bach town Koethen, Johann Sebastian's fate - a place where he could picture himself forever, before things turned bad.

53  Proud music capital: Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. Bach town - that goes without saying.


54  Bach Cantata, Bach Fuge, Bach Music


55  Quality forever: Bach’s handwriting, Bach’s work.


56  Or if you will in English: Bach cantata, Bach fugue, Bach Air (...funny, same like in German), the Brandenburg Concerts and the Ave Maria (... last multilingual again - funny again). World famous terms among lovers of classical music. And there are more: the French Suites, which is the Französischen Suiten, the Ratswechsel-Kantate, the Bauern-Kantate. Matthäus-Passion and Johannes-Passion. Bach was not only a quality enthusiast in both composing and playing music, he was as well a workaholic, excuse me Basti. His whole life work was so extensive, that long after his death a society was founded just to collect and organize his compositions, which today is called Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, the Bach Work Catalog. It is an overwhelming collection of way more than one thousand pieces. And when we believe the most trusted professor, a true Bach specialist, actually the Bach specialist on earth, Professor Dr. Dr. Christian Wolff, Universities of Harvard and Leipzig, this is only ten percent of Bach’s overall work, as ninety percent seem to be lost forever. When the Bach Society had finished the job it dissolved. That is why there is a New Bach Society today. Just if you ask yourself why there is a New Bach Society and where and why “the old one” disappeared. At least you may buy Bach’s whole remaining work on music CDs at ten percent of its price. If nothing would have been lost, it would have cost you ten times the actual amount. Is this positive thinking? I don’t know. And you need only ten percent of the storage space. Yes, I do stop it now.


57  Almost hidden: the Johann Sebastian Bach Monument at Weimar, Thuringia.


58  Do you see the two trees on the picture above? The Bach Monument is located exactly between the two trees.


59  I got close enough with my camera - now it's impressing big: the Bach Monument, hidden at Weimar.

60      Bach Short Biography


61  The Wedding Church of Bach at cute Bach village of Dornheim, a 30-minute walk from Arnstadt.


62  A monument remembering the wedding of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach.


63  A really likeable small and cosy Bach Restaurant invites visitors to a romantic place at Dornheim.


64  You think you read about it above? Yes you did. That was when you thought just the communities is a little poor for a biography. Am I correct? Now, here it is a little bit more detailed but never demanding to be a real biography. I will try to provide background regarding a biography in your language consulting Yo Tomita’s bibliography which contains some 53,000 positions regarding Bach. But first things first.


65  A biography from the Bach expert: Harvard professor Christoph Wolff’s Johann Sebastian Bach, in both English and German.


66  Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany (...again)


67  Eisenach: what a nice town, rich in historic treasures.


68  Johann Sebastian Bach was the eightth child of eight children, the pet of the family so to speak, born on March 21st and on March 31st 1685 at Eisenach. His father was Johann Ambrosius Bach and his mother was Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt.


69  Rich in historic buildings, monuments and fountains: the Bach town of Eisenach, Thuringia.


70  Bachhaus (Bach House) and next door Bach Museum.


71  Johann Sebastian Bach Monument.


72  The Bach House at Eisenach back then, around 1900.


73  House of Birth is assumed some 27 seconds of walk east of the Bach House in the area of the Ritter Lane and Luther Street in Eisenach. Wait a minute, how can somebody be born on two days in a month. It’s depending on the calendar you chose. There was a Gregorian and a Julian right at that time. It was just changing when Johann Sebastian was born. Scientists fought for centuries, what is true but later on they agreed that 21st of March is the correct date of birth. In the age of nine years Johann Sebastian’s mom died. Shortly after that his dad married again. Then his father’s brother died. And as these two brothers seemed to love each others from the bottoms of their hearts that gave him the rest - he died too. It is said that Johann Sebastian was a very bad student and missed a lot of days and hours in school. Other biographers state, the reason was he was needed by dad to perform music as a brilliant singer.


74  Johann Sebastian in Ohrdruf


75 Lovely Bach town of Ohrdruf, the residence of Johann Sebastian’s oldest brother.

76  The beautiful palace at Ohrdruf.


77  The church of Ohrdruf, where Bach's brother was organist.


78  After mom and dad of Johann Sebastian had died he moved to his oldest brother to Ohrdruf. There Johann Christoph Bach was teacher and cantor. He educated young Johann Sebastian playing the piano and the organ. There is a story that the young composer Johann Sebastian tried very hard to get information out of booklet which his oldest brother didn’t want to let him read and had locked. So Johann Sebastian silently stepped down the stairs at night to the little cabinet with the iron grill and put his little hands through the door. He managed to grab the booklet and copied it in numerous full moon nights as he needed the rare light to see the notes. When is brother found out he was so angry that he took this copy away and never returned it to Johann Sebastian until he died. Why? We will probably never know until time travel begins in the close future.


79  Studying Abroad: Learning in Lueneburg


80  Where Johann Sebastian Bach was studying with his friend Erdmann: Lueneburg, south of Hamburg in Northern Germany. This place was considered abroad back then.


81  Johann Sebastian left Ohrdruf when his oldest brother needed all the space as his family grew bigger. Together with his best friend Georg Erdmann he walked to Lueneburg. Lueneburg was considered abroad back than, a small town south of Hamburg in the North of Germany. Here he got a scholarship and made some additional money for a living with singing and making music. After finishing school as one of the best he returned to Thuringia and got a first job at Weimar. This sequence was over that fast, that some of the shorter biographies, such as this one don’t mention it. Johann Sebastian had been working at Weimar twice. Look at the pics of his monument at Weimar and you’ll figure out on your own.


82  The text on the Johann Sebastian Bach Memorial reveals that he lived and worked in Weimar twice.


83  First “Real Job” of Bach at Arnstadt


84  City Hall of Arnstadt, the front is restored beautifully.


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