Johann Sebastian Bach Essay

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Johann Sebastian Bach was, is, and will forever be one of the most infamous and genius contributors to the world of Baroque music. His work in defining the various styles within the Baroque genres and composing has had a very pervading impact. As a pianist who has been studying classical music for over fourteen years, I, along with countless others, would certainly say that Bach holds a very highly regarded reputation as a composer. Bach took a step in the Baroque genre when he separated the sections of the toccata in a different way than most. The pieces of his toccati were represented in pairs of other pieces. Some examples include "Fantasia and Fugue," "Toccata and Fugue," and "Prelude and Fugue." The latter is exemplified in his composition of "Das Wohltempiert Klavier." This movement toward separation of the pieces was previously elaborated upon by Bach's teacher, Dieterich Buxtehude. Buxtehude, however, did not literally present the whole piece in two sections, but rather composed the music in such a way that there was an underlying, audible sectionalization within the piece. This sectionalization carried throughout his collections and cycles of music for decades to come, in famous compositions such as "Das Wohltempiert Klavier." The preludes which Bach composed were unique to his name, and contained a number of complex and awe-inspiring sections. His preludes were usually composed using a single rhythm and some sort of arpeggio. Such preludes are sometimes tiring and exhausting on the listener's ear, because they seem unending and ruthlessly written. Bach's consistent use of a busy but regular rhythm creates a driving force throughout the piece, and is known as motor rhythm. While the general public may rece... ... middle of paper ... ...cin school. It was this freedom of choice that Bach followed suit in when composing his orchestral suites. Rather than opening with preludes, his orchestral suites began with ouvertures, giving a much more powerful and eye-opening experience. Plus, it is difficult for a large sum of instruments to adhere to the runs and phrases in a prelude. In his time, Bach preferred there to be a sense of magnificent somberness, which the prelude certainly would not have given off. Bach, too, eliminated the three "vital" sections from his suites, only including one of the three in each of his suites. His compositions of orchestral suites seems to be another example of Bach's ability to be creative, astounding, and eccentric all at once through his music. Rather than following the leader, Bach took great steps in music that changed the face of Baroque music as they knew it.
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