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Unformatted text preview: Lecture 8 M US 103 February 25, 2009 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) • German Baroque composer & organist • Harpsichord player o The lowest ranked instrument in an orchestra. Orchestra had hierarchy; higher-sounding instruments got the solos, melodies, etc. Lower-sounding instruments held down harmonic scaffolding. • Fundamentally religious composer – Lutheran. • Characterized by tonality, absolute music, balance, symmetry, respect for consonance. Considered the father-figure of all European musical traditions • Stylistic synthesizer – brought together different styles to form new ones • First job in Weimar as the organist in the chapel. Left after complaining about the conditions there. Many of his organ works and cantatas composed here. • Then lived in Cothen were he composed secular music and dedicated himself to instrumental music. Worked for Prince Leapold. Also associated with college music society. Left when wife of prince cut down on music. Here he composed most of his orchestral suites and Brandenburg concertos . • 1722 moved to Leipzig, applied for the cantorship – originally rejected but then got the job. Wrote more than 250 cantatas there. Worked all the time, had to compose a cantata for each Sunday....
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2009 for the course MUS 103 taught by Professor Simona.morrison during the Spring '08 term at Princeton.
- Spring '08