You see 5 children, two boy, three girls. On the left is the oldes boy, next is the oldest girl. Next is a girl, than a boy again and finally a girl. They are on the floor and they are looking to the photographer. All children are smiling.
You see 5 children, two boy, three girls. On the left is the oldes boy, next is the oldest girl. Next is a girl, than a boy again and finally a girl. They are on the floor and they are looking to the photographer. All children are smiling.

Five Musical Bach Sons: These Are Four Famous Bach Sons, Two Even More Famous Than Their Daddy 

"Daddy & Sons" : These are six really good musicians.



Okay, let's just do a common "bean-counting". So let us first of all note that five sons of the ten children who survived ( ! ) were musical. Very musical even, because only if you are very musical, you can become a musician, organist, music teacher or play in a band. There were five sons. Because there was also Bernhard. Bernhard was something like the black sheep in the family (... I know, there's no such thing in your family, and of course there's none in ours, but in many families there is a black sheep). Bernhard caused his father a lot of grief, and Johann Sebastian himself wrote of him as the "miserable" son. In his famous letter to his school friend Erdmann. After all, Bernhard had run away from his last musician's job and left his father to pay his debts.


Johann Sebastian had more pleasure with his other musical sons. There were four of them, and he had two musical sons by Maria Barbara, his first wife, and two musical sons by his second wife, Anna Magdalena. By the way, there is not a single picture of Maria Barbara and of Anna Magdalena only one, which almost no scientist contradicts. The silhouette of Maria Barbara is absolute nonsense, but it will never disappear from Wikipedia. Of Anna Magdalena, on the other hand, the only picture is not shown, because an expert is of the opinion that the lady in the picture is precisely not Anna Magdalena. She is still included in the English Wikipedia contribution, but ... who knows for how long. She is shown in the scene "Singing Muse on the Pleiße". If this will be the case one day, then you can also look at the picture on one of my websites (... there, around in the middle of the page then larger). But be careful: Don't confuse the portrait of Esther Meynell, by far the most successful author on the subject of "Anna Magdalena" with the second wife of Johann Sebastian Bach. This author drawn by my cousin Briana for me, because the original picture of Esther Meynell was too blurred for publication. The whole process of how this picture came into being can also be discovered on this page, and it is ... promised ... really cool.

Nope, a boy group ... that is what the famous Bach sons have never been.



And now here's something to really "shine" with your project, homework or essay: Very few people today know that twoin fact, even two of Bach's sonswere more famous than their father ... in his time. And the other two sons were also famous where they made music. This now becomes somewhat a little complicated, because today hardly anyone knows the names of the four sons unless they at least know that Johann Sebastian Bach had children at all.


So ... how did something like that go? How do I start? Well ... today, there's always some style of music coming into fashion again and again. Or a boy band or a girl band, of course. Hip-hop didn't exist at some time, but later on it did. It was the same with Rock 'n' Roll. And at some point the Beatles made music in a – at that time – completely new sound, and later ABBA did the same. And it was a little bit similar in the past. However, the time periods until something changed again were much longer than today. There were so-called eras: People built in a certain style, clothes were hip in a certain way, and music can also be assigned very well to each era. It is also called fashion ... even today. You can see it well on cars, or on the clothes of people on slides or from even earlier, on black and white photo prints with jagged edges.


Thus, Johann Sebastian Bach was firstly an excellent pipe organ player during his lifetime and towards the end of his life the first people already noticed that he would probably even be the best musician and composer of a whole epoch. This epoch was at that time the today called Baroque or also the Baroque Age. Now the examples from before "limp" a little bit, because the baroque age lasted a whole 200 years. Not even the youngest boy band is hip that long, and no musical style remains current that long. But back then ... back then, people lived in the Baroque era for a round 200 years. And it just so happened that Johann Sebastian Bach died – roughly, that is – exactly in the last years before the end of the Baroque era, which was in fact 1770. Bach died in 1750.


Now happened, what causes a misunderstanding with some people – I tell you now in passing – and that has also to do with this change of the general taste. So Johann Sebastian Bach had made music, completely in the taste of the baroque age. But the Baroque came to an end (... relatively) shortly after Bach's death. The public wanted to hear at the time of Bach's death (... quite roughly it was this time ...), "something else" and Bach's dreamlike music now suddenly interested no one anymore. Because it, his music, nobody wanted to hear anymore, no orchestra, no musician and no band played it anymore. It was forgotten. It hasn't really disappeared. So, like Troy, which was only dug up again or some Roman forts in today's Europe. No ... because nobody wanted to hear it anymore, nobody played Bach's music anymore. And shortly after, nobody knew it anymore either. And the "old Bach", as King Frederick of Prussia called him, was soon known to no one either.

They celebrated the Bach sons from Milan, Italy to London, United Kingdom and from Berlin and Potsdam to Hamburg in Germany. And two were considered even more famous than their dad.



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Bach's four sons were already composing and playing music in the style that was exciting after the Baroque. Not before 1750, of course, and they too were successful. And because they now played internationally – one son even with King Frederick in Potsdam and Berlin, later he was a star in Hamburg (... well, that was now both locations in Germany) – another was at the same time first the Milan Bach, and then also the London Bach. Now they compared the fame of the five Bachs at their respective times. And there two of the sons won fiercely. At that time. Today ... for a long time ... no longer.


So at first, and about 80 years after his death, people didn't want to know anything about Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Sebastian Bach's music. That is a very long time. But then there was one Bach fan who was himself a gifted musician. And he thought that it was time to prove to the world that Bach's music was not only top-notch for the taste of the time, but that it was and remained of timeless quality. Complicated? Well, think about it. A song you think is cool today: Do you think you'll still like it six months from now? Or after a whole year? And what about ten years from now, or 50 years from now, or 100 years from now? If a song, or all the songs of a group, is still great after 30 or 40 years, then such a title will be "covered" again and again today, the older generation will still speak of an "evergreen" (... probably only in German an old-fashioned word for a music piece, that is loved for a very long period): While you may have never heard the somewhat old-fashioned word evergreen, ask your grandpa what "Beyoncé feat. Milli Vanilli" means): He may not have an answer to that ... but then he is familiar with the word evergreen. So now we have found out that after many years and especially after many decades people remember less and less composers, their works or single pieces of music.


Back to the four well-known and famous Bach sons: Their music, too, became unfashionable again a short time after it was exciting ... and no one wanted to listen to them anymore and their music was no longer played. And of course, all four Bach sons were also forgotten very quickly after their death.


But Johann Sebastian Bach's entire surviving work, that was "brought back to life" by this one likewise world-famous musician, in fact Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Or rediscovered. Exactly 100 years after the first performance of the world-famous St. Matthew Passion, this miraculous work was "re-first-performed" – so to speak – a little shorter, because Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy thought that his audience might otherwise be "confused and unable to follow" because of the length. 100 years later. Exactly to the day – because it was Good Friday again – also then and 100 years later. And probably even to the hour. Only much later, really much later, did they found out that they had been mistaken for decades about the year of the first performance of the St. Matthew Passion: Today we know that the "second premiere" was exactly 101 years later, possibly even to the minute.

Here may now show up also "the black sheep" again: Bernhard has it certainly not meant badly ... and he didn't want to annoy his dad either. And ... do you remember how famous all the Bach sons were? Bernhard: not at all. Two sons, there – where they worked – quite well. And two sons were very famous. Their dad, the one on the far left, he is – today – more famous than all the other musicians.


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