Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach at Eisenach right next to the Bach House and the Bach Museum. Whether it is about the short biography, the biography, about facts or his life: You won't miss exciting photos on this Bach website in every section.

Johann Sebastian Bach Facts + Bach Short Biography + Johann Sebastian Bach Video Biography = Bach's Life

The second location in the life of Johann Sebastian Bach: The city of Ohrdruf. Even two monuments remind us of his time there. One is about a famous tribute of composer Ludwig van Beethoven to Bach. The other Bach monument reminds of the whole Ohrdruf branch of the Bach Family of Musicians and is located in a green area. In the life of Johann Sebastian Bach the city of Lueneburg in Northern Germany is next  but there is no monument for and of Johann Sebastian Bach.



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Whatever you might like to find about the theme of Bach: here on this website you will find it. If you are looking for a biography about Johann Sebastian Bach, you will find the perfect recommendation on this website. If you are looking for a short bio about Johann Sebastian Bach, or an even shorter one, or if you are looking just for an ultra-short biography, then you can find it here, and you may start reading it right away. Plus, you will find just Johann Sebastian Bach Facts. Here at "Bach on Bach" you always have a choice with a few clicks. Because the mentioned three versions of short biographies regarding the theme of Johann Sebastian Bach isn't all, we offer. There is another option too, which probably is the shortest biography about Johann Sebastian Bach in the whole world. If you don't like to read all this, there is a short biography as a mini video too. Why is that so? Well, maybe you want an entertaining summary ASAP. Or, you prefer some more lines than in a short biography. Perhaps you prefer the questions and answers style; then the FAQ section is your best bet. Are you in the mood to read about Johann Sebastian Bach in a one-hour length or do you prefer to be entertained by the composer during the weekend? Actually, for each desired length, you will find the perfect resource on this Bach website. Even for your homework, you will find the ideal spot here: the Johann Sebastian Bach facts deliver the Royal Court Composer concisely arranged. It's true: Johann Sebastian Bach in five minutes: that is really strange. But you'll find it on this Bach portal.

Bach Cities + Bach Places

A remembrance of Johann Sebastian Bach in Weimar. All Bach monuments on this page follow his biography. The first one is the picture on top of this page: Johann Sebastian Bach at Eisenach. The second one is located in the Bach city of Ohrdruf. Here is the one in Weimar. However, there are two photos of a Bach monument in Weimar because his life led Johann Sebastian Bach to this dreamlike city twice.


There are more Johann Sebastian Bach monuments than you might expect. Because more cities call themselves Bach Cities than you would relate to the world famous composer in this world-famous family of musicians. One of these Bach cities is the wonderful city of Gotha, and one is the proud city of Erfurt, both almost in the middle of Germany. And Gehren is a Bach city. Actually, it's more a Bach place. Sangerhausen is a Bach city. And of course: Hamburg. However, these Bach cities and Bach places are not the more familiar Bach cities that you would associate with Johann Sebastian Bach.


The "Bache" – this was the German plural for the Bachs back then. They were an early trademark, maybe one of the first ever. They were not just many family members, but many of these Bachs made music back then. In the church records of the Bach city of Erfurt alone. 60 Bach church records are listed. At the Bach place of Gehren the father-in-law of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Michael Bach lived and performed. And of course there once lived Maria Barbara Bach too, his daughter. With the Bach place of Wechmar, you associate the mill, in which the whole music history of the not only the most famous but as well by far the largest family of musicians on earth began. Here – on this Johann Sebastian Bach website – we introduce all Bach cities and Bach places. Not only those who are directly related to the Thomas Cantor, but actually four categories. One Bach city after the other, and in the order, Johann Sebastian Bach lived and worked there. A little challenge with that is Weimar, as Bach lived there twice, so it is not perfect for the order. Because we do not only present Bach cities which are related to Johann Sebastian Bach, here and now there are three further categories. Besides the four Bach cities which are related to the childhood and youth of Johann Sebastian Bach, plus the five Bach cities, in which he worked and acted, there are Bach cities, in which he just once performed music, to which he traveled or in which he inspected an organ. One category finally is Bach cities and Bach places, which are connected tightly to the story of the Bach family of musicians: Gotha and Wechmar are examples.

Johann Sebastian Bach Museums + More

The same Johann Sebastian Bach monument like on the photo above, but from a different angle of view. In addition to Bach's journey of life you get an idea of my "chaos": while Bach moved from Weimar to the city of Arnstadt and returned later, you will find my two photos of Weimar here. At Weimar Johann Sebastian Bach's first stay was six months, a second period was almost a length of nine years.


A page still to come soon. What actually are "Bach museums + more"? Well, according to my definition these are those facilities, where you can experience something "special" regarding Johann Sebastian Bach. That is the Bach House in Eisenach or the Bach Archive at Leipzig. Borderline is the city of Lueneburg, which is no doubt a Bach city, it is even a Johann Sebastian Bach city. And, Lueneburg is great. But  ... there is just a church to visit, in which young Johann Sebastian Bach has played music, learned and sung. And that was it regarding JSB. The ladies and gentlemen of the tourism board are invited to tell me if I am wrong. I am serious, and I ask for such. And, there is no Bach museum or such at Ohrdruf as well. The Bach city of Weimar is borderline as well, no Bach monument nor a Bach museum - but I prefer Weimar, Bach wise, to Lueneburg. So we will introduce on that particular site: the Bach Stem House at Wechmar, the Veit Bach Mill at Wechmar, The Bach House at Eisenach, the Bach Museum at Eisenach and the Bach House and the Bach Church at Arnstadt. Also the wedding church in the Bach village of Dornheim and last but not least the Bach Archive at Leipzig, the Bach Museum in Leipzig and finally the St. Thomas Church with the grave of Johann Sebastian Bach in Leipzig.



B-A-C-H : Johann Sebastian Bach Was the Only Composer on the Planet Who Was Able to Sing His Name!


Next "stop" in the life of Johann Sebastian Bach: the city of Arnstadt. Arnstadt is "my" Bach city. The Bach City of all Bach cities. Johann Sebastian Bach had been a very young person when he started with his "real" first job here – and so he is lolling in front of city hall today. For many tourists enjoying their path to his past, it is perfect there to take a photo together with him. Because he wasn't the great composer yet: it is a really fresh way to create a monument. Johann Sebastian Bach "fully relaxed."


A first attempt to explain why you can sing and play Bach ended in a dead alley. It was too hard to tell. And also it is only valid where folks speak German, which is Switzerland, Austria and ... Germany of course. Too much of a good thing for someone who prefers to listen to music, not to perform music. But what doesn't work with a first effort, you try – with real professional support – in a second. And the result of this, you may find in the German section of my website. Of course, it would help if you learn German beforehand. I am kidding. Now I am serious: I will provide you with the translation. But after that, you will have to find a musician, a professor, a teacher or somebody who is perfect in that and ask him, what is different between notes in the German-speaking world and the English speaking world. I am told that it's not possible to sing B-A-C-H in the English speaking world.



The Ursprung – by Johann Sebastian Bach


How likable: the village of Dornheim, some five minutes drive away from the Bach city of Arnstadt. A must see when you follow the footsteps of Johann Sebastian Bach. The biography mentions Dornheim only marginally, but today a visit makes perfect sense. The wedding church, the little churchyard and the cemetery close behind. A monument for Bach. The charming snuggery, which you discover in the background: you'd better check it out when it's open before you start your trip to this Bach place. What a likable Bach village right next to an impressing Bach city.


Maybe, if you are interested in Johann Sebastian Bach - and you are not just excited by his music – you have heard about the following: the "Ursprung," you might translate it as the "Origin," but we won't call it that way in the future. The term "Ursprung" is a shortcut for Bach fans for a collection of the musicians in Bach's family until 1735. This list was collected and written by Johann Sebastian Bach himself when he was fifty years old. Fifty-three musicians arranged perfectly by numbers. On this website, you will find the Ursprung in the original handwriting, in a proper font in old German, in a modern font and ... I guess you hoped for such: in an English translation. For German readers, thanks to Martin Schlu, there is another version, which is a change from the back then German way of talking and writing to a nowadays way to express things. The whole title, by the way, is "Ursprung der Musicalisch-Bachischen Familie," which is "Origin of the Musical-Bachish Family" or better translated, if there is such a thing: the "Origin of the Musical Bach Family."



The Letter From Bach to George Erdmann

© AnitaE /

Exquisite: the still young Johann Sebastian Bach in the city of Muehlhausen. Right next to his monument's foundation. As if he didn't belong on it yet. Johann Sebastian Bach lived in the Bach city of Muehlhausen only for a short period. Inside Thuringia, the next place was: Weimar. Again. Two more Bach cities added to the whole life journey: that is first the Bach city of Koethen in Saxony-Anhalt and finally the Bach city in general, Leipzig in Saxony.


Are there many personal letters of Johann Sebastian Bach still existing as an original? There is just one. That is the famous letter from Bach to his friend George Erdmann. While some artists left truckloads of personal letters, some of them at least a reasonable number, there exists only one letter; to Erdmann written by Johann Sebastian Bach. You read clearly, how a desperate Bach contacted his former school friend and requested whether he knew about a vacant job for the Thomas Cantor. Where the original letter to George Erdmann can be found today – was a challenge for us, but we achieved it nevertheless so that this chapter could be accomplished.




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Original Documents and Signatures of Johann Sebastian Bach


At the Bach Square in the city of Koethen (...see the hint on the left in the photo?), you find the monument of Johann Sebastian Bach. Behind the Bach monument, you see the house, where Bach once lived with his family. Actually, it is the second home in Koethen. The first doesn't exist anymore. The life of the Bachs or the Bache, like they were called back then, led the family to this first Bach city outside of Thuringia: Koethen in Saxony-Anhalt.


There is a whole chapter on this website regarding original documents of Johann Sebastian Bach, which still exists from a period of over 300 years ago. Plus, you will find a collection of unusual many different signatures of the Thomas Cantor.


Impressing - and that is true for his work, his life and also for the monument in the music metropolis of Leipzig, Saxony: Johann Sebastian Bach lived and worked there for twenty-seven years. Actually, Leipzig is the Bach City in general. Bach's life journey ended here, and his career peaked in titles, works and the appreciation, which Johann Sebastian Bach was receiving in almost three decades. However, his glory back then cannot compare to all the admiration he receives nowadays.


A pilgrimage destination for thousands of Bach fans: the grave of Johann Sebastian Bach inside the St. Thomas Church. It is the last resting-place of the Thomas Cantor, close to the Lord's Table. Those who read the biography about the master, realize that the appreciation of a city for such an exceptional artist today is quite different compared to 250 years earlier. Today Johann Sebastian Bach is adored in the musical metropolis of Leipzig.


The grave of Johann Sebastian Bach, which hasn't been there forever. The career of Bach ended dramatically in 1750: Biographers report that the Council of Leipzig officially looked for his replacement, while Bach still was recovering – until he died from exhaustion. The Leipzig population adored Bach all these years. Today the Bach City of Leipzig honors Johann Sebastian Bach even with two monuments. Both are located directly next to the St. Thomas Church.



The Music of Johann Sebastian Bach


This was the reason to create my Bach website: the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. While exploring my roots, I wanted "to get closer" to the master's music. The problem: how in the world do I find those music pieces which match my taste of music within Bach's life work of some 1,120 pieces which comprises 157 CDs? Where do I begin? I didn't manage it. The "Very Best of Johann Sebastian Bach" was a CD I bought. I hoped to get a clearer view, but of course, I got none. Similar CDs and collections mirrored my estimated reasons and considerations as to why Bach's works on these CDs were mixed in the way they were. My conclusion: you won't find the very best music pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach anywhere anyway. And, which one you consider the best, that is always a matter of taste anyway.


It is a matter of taste to decide which are the most popular and the most famous pieces of Johann Sebastian Bach if you do know how to collect them objectively. Twenty years ago that would have been almost impossible, but this is not true anymore. Google and Youtube are the options today. I had a particular system to look for those, and I found the most popular and the most famous pieces - not "the best" - for you.


Now you will be able to listen to these pieces, some in full, some in a small portion and some in a tiny fraction. All have a maximum length of three minutes. Plus, you will find the option to choose from many picture themes and a collection of photos, which exactly match the musical theme best or those you just love. The offer is broad. If you watch pictures of palaces, probably the Concert 2 or Concert 3 of the "Brandenburg Concerts" of Johann Sebastian Bach match perfectly. Maybe you would choose the "coffee pictures" while you listen to the "Coffee Cantata." And if you are under the age of five, you might have the most fun with the kitten or the puppies photos. The "Père Lachaise Cemetery" in Paris, France is perfect when you listen to a work from the French Suites. The "Ave Maria," which is not created by Johann Sebastian Bach alone, will become even more exciting if you watch pictures of nature, fall or flowers with it. See me smiling; please be reminded: not every picture theme matches every music work. Many photo themes have nothing to do with Johann Sebastian Bach at all and are just lovely to watch.



Johann Sebastian Bach for Children


The goal of this project is to spread the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and the knowledge about him throughout the world even more. And that is accurate reporting about the jobs in his life, about the Bach Genealogy and the many Bach cities and Bach places in Germany, in which the master once was living and acting.


It is my opinion that there are subjects in general, which aren't that much excitement for everyone. However, it is more about not to frustrate someone with a first encounter. That actually is the basis of my entire Bach website, and this is all about the project "Bach on Bach." This project wants intentionally to be a counterpart to more extraordinary differently designed projects about Johann Sebastian Bach.


Exciting children and students with Bach, or to use my words from above again, not to scare them away: that is a challenging fraction of an aspect inside this project. Transporting a highly complicated matter with excitement, to edit it, to make it ready to consume, that is what I want to offer with the whole project on a cross-media basis. That is why I organized the website in multimedia style. It is a website to experience Bach, a website to discover Johann Sebastian Bach. For some of you, it might even be a "Bach Adventure Park," discovering all the antique portraits, the unique information, and themes, which you don't find anywhere else. FAQs are perfect for those who like to explore something this way. The facts deliver information – fast, but to the point as well – and in a different way. And for those who are scared away from too long biographies, here is not just one short biography, but a total of four short biographies. Short, shorter and really short. To read them, to experience them, to enjoy them. Or, just to lean back, relax and watch the short biography show as a video biography.


However, this paragraph is not written for kids. It is created for music teachers, for musicians with children, for schools, music schools, for music societies, for parents and grandparents. With fun and with the interaction plus audiovisual offers like shows, music videos, and background I want to offer Johann Sebastian Bach in a pedagogical way, in a way that is possible only with a modern medium. This Johann Sebastian Bach website is supposed to be the opposite of boring – and that is, in particular, the case for kids and students.



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