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Johann Sebastian Bach Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Nola Bridgens

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

You have probably heard many songs written by Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time, without even knowing it. In this lesson, you will learn about his life and how he came to be such a famous musician.

Did You Know?

Have you ever noticed that eerie music starts playing when a movie gets to a scary part? Chances are you may be listening to Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. He composed this piece when he worked for Duke Wilhelm Ernst, and it is used frequently today by TV and movie directors.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Germany, into generations of musical talent. Practically everyone in Bach's family played an instrument and had a career in music, and his father taught him to play the violin at a young age. When he was seven years old, he went to a school where he studied Latin and religion. His family's strong religious beliefs played a large role in the music he would compose later on in life.

Johann Sebastian Bach
bach

Tragedy

When Bach was only ten years old, he became an orphan when both of his parents died. He was sent to live with his older brother Johann Christoph, an organist at a church. Johann Christoph continued to teach Bach more about music. He lived with his brother until he was 15 and was accepted into a well-known music school.

Early Years

In 1703, Bach worked as an organist at the New Church in Arnstadt. He was there for a few years before he took a position working for royalty, Duke Wilhelm Ernst. He wrote the famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor for the organ during his time with the Duke. An organ is a large musical instrument made of tuned pipes and keyboards.

Bach married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach and together they had seven children. Bach shared his love of music with his family and two of his sons from this marriage became great composers.

In addition to working at a variety of churches throughout Germany and for various royal figures, Bach also taught music lessons. In 1721, Bach wrote the Brandenburg Concertos as a tribute to the Duke of Brandenburg. These orchestra concertos are considered to be some of his greatest works.

Bach Sheet Music
music

Inspiration

Bach's music was heavily influenced by his family's Lutheran religious beliefs. Most of his works were written to be used in the church. He composed Christmas Oratorio to be used throughout the Christmas holiday season while working at St. Thomas Church. In the late 1720s, he also wrote pieces as interpretations of the Bible that are called his Passions.

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