Historically informed performance
Informed performance is an approach to the performance of classical music, which aims to be faithful to the approach and style of the musical era in which a work was conceived. It is based on two key aspects: the application of the stylistic and technical aspects of performance, known as performance practice; because no sound recordings exist of music before the modern era informed performance is derived from academic musicological research. Historical treatises, as well as additional historical evidence, are used to gain insight into the performance practice of a historic era. HIP performers will base their interpretations on scholarly or urtext editions of a musical score, unencumbered with suggestions or changes made by editors in eras. Informed performance can trace its roots to the late 19th century, but was principally developed in a number of Western countries in the late 20th century. Concerned with the performance of Medieval and Baroque music, it has since come to encompass music from the Classical and Romantic eras as well.
The practice has been a crucial part of the Early music revival movement of the 20th and 21st centuries. Quite the phenomenon has begun to affect the theatrical stage, for instance in the production of Baroque opera, where informed approaches to acting and scenery are used. There are some critics who contest the methodology of the HIP movement, contending that its selection of practices and aesthetics are a product of the 20th century and that it is impossible to know what performances of an earlier time sounded like. For this reason, the term "historically informed" is now preferred to "authentic", as it acknowledges the limitations of academic understanding, rather than implying absolute accuracy in recreating historical performance style; the choice of musical instruments is an important part of the principle of informed performance. Musical instruments have evolved over time, instruments that were in use in earlier periods of history were quite different to their modern equivalents. Many other instruments have fallen out of use, having been replaced by newer tools for creating music.
For example, prior to the emergence of the modern violin, other bowed stringed instruments such as the rebec or the viol were in common use. The existence of ancient instruments in museum collections has helped musicologists to understand how the different design and tone of instruments may have affected earlier performance practice; as well as a research tool, historic instruments have an active role in the practice of informed performance. Modern instrumentalists who aim to recreate a historic sound use modern reproductions of period instruments on the basis that this will deliver a musical performance, thought to be faithful to the original work, as the original composer would have heard it. For example, a modern music ensemble staging a performance of music by Johann Sebastian Bach may play reproduction Baroque violins instead of modern instruments in an attempt to create the sound of a 17th-century Baroque orchestra; this has led to the revival of musical instruments that had fallen out of use, to a reconsideration of the role and structure of instruments used in current practice.
Orchestras and ensembles who are noted for their use of period instruments in performances include the Taverner Consort and Players, the Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, the English Baroque Soloists, Musica Antiqua Köln, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and La Chapelle Royale. As the scope of informed performance has expanded to encompass the works of the Romantic era, the specific sound of 19th-century instruments has been recognised in the HIP movement, period instruments orchestras such as Gardiner's Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique have emerged. A variety of once obsolete keyboard instruments such as the clavichord and the harpsichord have been revived as they have particular importance in the performance of Early music. Before the evolution of the symphony orchestra led by a conductor and Baroque orchestras were directed from the harpsichord. Many religious works of the era made similar use of the pipe organ in combination with a harpsichord. Informed performances make use of keyboard-led ensemble playing.
Composers such as François Couperin, Domenico Scarlatti, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote for the harpsichord and organ. Among the foremost modern players of the harpsichord are Robert Hill, Igor Kipnis, Ton Koopman, Wanda Landowska, Gustav Leonhardt, Trevor Pinnock, Skip Sempé, Andreas Staier, Colin Tilney. During the second half of the 18th century, the harpsichord was replaced by the fortepiano, a precursor to the modern piano; as the harpsichord went out of fashion, many were destroyed. In the 20th and 21st centuries, the fortepiano has enjoyed a reviva
The Baroque is a ornate and extravagant style of architecture, painting and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles, it was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, exuberant detail, deep colour and surprise to achieve a sense of awe; the style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome spread to France, northern Italy and Portugal to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century; the English word baroque comes directly from the French, may have been adapted from the Portuguese term barroco, a flawed pearl. Both words are related to the Spanish term berruca; the term did not describe a style of music or art.
Prior to the 18th century, the French baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms related to jewelry, An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of Charles V's treasures. The word appears in a 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, which describes baroque as "only used for pearls that are imperfectly round." A 1728 Portuguese dictionary describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."The French term for the artistic style may have had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, a philosophical term, invented in the 13th century by scholastics to describe a complicated type of syllogism, or logical argument. In the 16th century the philosopher Michel de Montaigne associated the term'baroco' with "Bizarre and uselessly complicated." In the 18th century, the term was used to describe music, was not flattering. In an anonymous satirical review of the première of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie in October 1733, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic wrote that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances changed key and meter, speedily ran through every compositional device.
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, loaded with modulations and dissonances. The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, the movement limited, it appears that term comes from the word'baroco' used by logicians."In 1788, the term was defined by Quatremère de Quincy in the Encyclopédie Méthodique as "an architectural style, adorned and tormented". The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835. By the mid-19th century, art critics and historians had adopted the term as a way to ridicule post-Renaissance art; this was the sense of the word as used in 1855 by the leading art historian Jacob Burkhardt, who wrote that baroque artists "despised and abused detail" because they lacked "respect for tradition."Alternatively, a derivation from the name of the Italian painter Federico Barocci has been suggested.
In 1888, the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin published the first serious academic work on the style, Renaissance und Barock, which described the differences between the painting and architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque. The Baroque style of architecture was a result of doctrines adopted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545–63, in response to the Protestant Reformation; the first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers. The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. Lutheran Baroque art developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists. Baroque churches were designed with a large central space, where the worshippers could be close to the altar, with a dome or cupola high overhead, allowing light to illuminate the church below.
The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven. Another feature of baroque churches are the quadratura. Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real; the interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, an
A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are called labrosones meaning "lip-vibrated instruments". There are several factors involved in producing different pitches on a brass instrument. Slides, crooks, or keys are used to change vibratory length of tubing, thus changing the available harmonic series, while the player's embouchure, lip tension and air flow serve to select the specific harmonic produced from the available series; the view of most scholars is that the term "brass instrument" should be defined by the way the sound is made, as above, not by whether the instrument is made of brass. Thus one finds brass instruments made of wood, like the alphorn, the cornett, the serpent and the didgeridoo, while some woodwind instruments are made of brass, like the saxophone. Modern brass instruments come in one of two families: Valved brass instruments use a set of valves operated by the player's fingers that introduce additional tubing, or crooks, into the instrument, changing its overall length.
This family includes all of the modern brass instruments except the trombone: the trumpet, horn and tuba, as well as the cornet, tenor horn, baritone horn and the mellophone. As valved instruments are predominant among the brasses today, a more thorough discussion of their workings can be found below; the valves are piston valves, but can be rotary valves. Slide brass instruments use a slide to change the length of tubing; the main instruments in this category are the trombone family, though valve trombones are used in jazz. The trombone family's ancestor, the sackbut, the folk instrument bazooka are in the slide family. There are two other families that have, in general, become functionally obsolete for practical purposes. Instruments of both types, are sometimes used for period-instrument performances of Baroque or Classical pieces. In more modern compositions, they are used for their intonation or tone color. Natural brass instruments only play notes in the instrument's harmonic series; these include older variants of the trumpet and horn.
The trumpet was a natural brass instrument prior to about 1795, the horn before about 1820. In the 18th century, makers developed interchangeable crooks of different lengths, which let players use a single instrument in more than one key. Natural instruments are still played for period performances and some ceremonial functions, are found in more modern scores, such as those by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Keyed or Fingered brass instruments used holes along the body of the instrument, which were covered by fingers or by finger-operated pads in a similar way to a woodwind instrument; these included the cornett, ophicleide, keyed bugle and keyed trumpet. They are more difficult to play than valved instruments. Brass instruments may be characterised by two generalizations about geometry of the bore, that is, the tubing between the mouthpiece and the flaring of the tubing into the bell; those two generalizations are with regard to the degree of taper or conicity of the bore and the diameter of the bore with respect to its length.
While all modern valved and slide brass instruments consist in part of conical and in part of cylindrical tubing, they are divided as follows: Cylindrical bore brass instruments are those in which constant diameter tubing predominates. Cylindrical bore brass instruments are perceived as having a brighter, more penetrating tone quality compared to conical bore brass instruments; the trumpet, all trombones are cylindrical bore. In particular, the slide design of the trombone necessitates this. Conical bore brass instruments are those in which tubing of increasing diameter predominates. Conical bore instruments are perceived as having a more mellow tone quality than the cylindrical bore brass instruments; the "British brass band" group of instruments fall into this category. This includes the flugelhorn, tenor horn, baritone horn, horn and tuba; some conical bore. For example, the flugelhorn differs from the cornet by having a higher percentage of its tubing length conical than does the cornet, in addition to possessing a wider bore than the cornet.
In the 1910s and 1920s, the E. A. Couturier company built brass band instruments utilizing a patent for a continuous conical bore without cylindrical portions for the valves or tuning slide; the second division, based on bore diameter in relation to length, determines whether the fundamental tone or the first overtone is the lowest partial available to the player: Whole-tube instruments have larger bores in relation to tubing length, can play the fundamental tone with ease and precision. The tuba and euphonium are examples of whole-tube brass instruments. Half-tube instruments have smaller bores in relation to tubing length and cannot or play the fundamental tone; the second partial is the lowest note of each tubing length practical to play on half-tube instruments. The trumpet and horn are examples of half-tube brass instruments. For half tube instruments the'fundamental', although half the frequency of the second harmonic, is in fact a pedal note rather than a true fundamental The instruments in this list fall for vario
A synthesizer or synthesiser is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound. Synthesizers may imitate traditional musical instruments such as piano, vocals, or natural sounds such as ocean waves, they are played with a musical keyboard, but they can be controlled via a variety of other devices, including music sequencers, instrument controllers, guitar synthesizers, wind controllers, electronic drums. Synthesizers without built-in controllers are called sound modules, are controlled via USB, MIDI or CV/gate using a controller device a MIDI keyboard or other controller. Synthesizers use various methods to generate electronic signals. Among the most popular waveform synthesis techniques are subtractive synthesis, additive synthesis, wavetable synthesis, frequency modulation synthesis, phase distortion synthesis, physical modeling synthesis and sample-based synthesis. Synthesizers were first used in pop music in the 1960s. In the late 1970s, synths were used in progressive rock and disco.
In the 1980s, the invention of the inexpensive Yamaha DX7 synth made digital synthesizers available. 1980s pop and dance music made heavy use of synthesizers. In the 2010s, synthesizers are used in many genres, such as pop, hip hop, metal and dance. Contemporary classical music composers from the 20th and 21st century write compositions for synthesizer; the beginnings of the synthesizer are difficult to trace, as it is difficult to draw a distinction between synthesizers and some early electric or electronic musical instruments. One of the earliest electric musical instruments, the Musical Telegraph, was invented in 1876 by American electrical engineer Elisha Gray, he accidentally discovered the sound generation from a self-vibrating electromechanical circuit, invented a basic single-note oscillator. This instrument used steel reeds with oscillations created by electromagnets transmitted over a telegraph line. Gray built a simple loudspeaker device into models, consisting of a vibrating diaphragm in a magnetic field, to make the oscillator audible.
This instrument was a remote electromechanical musical instrument that used telegraphy and electric buzzers that generated fixed timbre sound. Though it lacked an arbitrary sound-synthesis function, some have erroneously called it the first synthesizer. In 1897 Thaddeus Cahill was granted his first patent for an electronic musical instrument, which by 1901 he had developed into the Telharmonium capable of additive synthesis. Cahill's business was unsuccessful for various reasons, but similar and more compact instruments were subsequently developed, such as electronic and tonewheel organs including the Hammond organ, invented in 1935. In 1906, American engineer Lee de Forest invented the first amplifying vacuum tube, the Audion whose amplification of weak audio signals contributed to advances in sound recording and film, the invention of early electronic musical instruments including the theremin, the ondes martenot, the trautonium. Most of these early instruments used heterodyne circuits to produce audio frequencies, were limited in their synthesis capabilities.
The ondes martenot and trautonium were continuously developed for several decades developing qualities similar to synthesizers. In the 1920s, Arseny Avraamov developed various systems of graphic sonic art, similar graphical sound and tonewheel systems were developed around the world. In 1938, USSR engineer Yevgeny Murzin designed a compositional tool called ANS, one of the earliest real-time additive synthesizers using optoelectronics. Although his idea of reconstructing a sound from its visible image was simple, the instrument was not realized until 20 years in 1958, as Murzin was, "an engineer who worked in areas unrelated to music". In the 1930s and 1940s, the basic elements required for the modern analog subtractive synthesizers — electronic oscillators, audio filters, envelope controllers, various effects units — had appeared and were utilized in several electronic instruments; the earliest polyphonic synthesizers were developed in the United States. The Warbo Formant Orgel developed by Harald Bode in Germany in 1937, was a four-voice key-assignment keyboard with two formant filters and a dynamic envelope controller.
The Hammond Novachord released in 1939, was an electronic keyboard that used twelve sets of top-octave oscillators with octave dividers to generate sound, with vibrato, a resonator filter bank and a dynamic envelope controller. During the three years that Hammond manufactured this model, 1,069 units were shipped, but production was discontinued at the start of World War II. Both instruments were the forerunners of the electronic organs and polyphonic synthesizers. In the 1940s and 1950s, before the popularization of electronic organs and the introductions of combo organs, manufacturers developed various portable monophonic electronic instruments with small keyboards; these small instruments consisted of an electronic oscillator, vibrato effect, passive filters. Most were designed for conventional ensembles, rather than as experimental instruments for electronic music studios, but contributed to the evolution of modern synthesizers; these instruments include the Solovox, Multimonica and Clavioline.
In the late 1940s, Canadian inventor and composer, Hugh Le Caine invented the Electronic Sackbut, a voltage-controlled electronic musical instrument that provided the earliest real-time control of three aspects of sound —corresponding to today's touch-sensitive keyboard and modulation controllers. The controllers were impl
Meantone temperament is a musical temperament, a tuning system, obtained by compromising the fifths in order to improve the thirds. Meantone temperaments are constructed the same way as Pythagorean tuning, as a stack of equal fifths, but in meantone each fifth is narrow compared to the perfect fifth of ratio 3:2. Equal temperament, obtained by making all semitones the same size, each equal to one-twelfth of an octave (with ratio the 12th root of 2 to one, narrows the fifths by about 2 cents or 1/12 of a Pythagorean comma, produces thirds that are only better than in Pythagorean tuning. Equal temperament is the same as 1/11 comma meantone tuning. Quarter-comma meantone, which tempers the fifths by 1/4 comma, is the best known type of meantone temperament, the term meantone temperament is used to refer to it specifically. Four ascending fifths tempered by 1/4 comma produce a perfect major third, one syntonic comma narrower than the Pythagorean third that would result from four perfect fifths.
Quarter-comma meantone has been practiced from the early 16th century to the end of the 19th. In third-comma meantone, the fifths are tempered by 1/3 comma, three descending fifths produce a perfect minor third one syntonic comma wider than the Pythagorean one that would result from three perfect fifths. Third-comma meantone can be approximated by a division of the octave in 19 equal steps; the name "meantone temperament" derives from the fact that all such temperaments have only one size of the tone, while just intonation produces a major tone and a minor one, differing by a syntonic comma. In any regular system the tone is reached after two fifths, while the major third is reached after four fifths: the tone therefore is half the major third; this is one sense. In the case of quarter-comma meantone, in addition, where the major third is made narrower by a syntonic comma, the tone is half a comma narrower than the major tone of just intonation, or half a comma wider than the minor tone: this is another sense in which the tone in quarter-tone temperament may be considered a mean tone, it explains why quarter-comma meantone is considered the meantone temperament properly speaking.
"Meantone" can receive the following equivalent definitions: The meantone is the geometric mean between the major whole tone and the minor whole tone. The meantone is the mean of its major third; the family of meantone temperaments share the common characteristic that they form a stack of identical fifths, the tone being the result of two fifths minus one octave, the major third of four fifths minus two octaves. Meantone temperaments are described by the fraction of the syntonic comma by which the fifths are tempered: quarter-comma meantone, the most common type, tempers the fifths by 1⁄4 of a syntonic comma, with the result that four fifths produce a just major third, a syntonic comma lower than a Pythagorean major third. A meantone temperament is a linear temperament, distinguished by the width of its generator, as shown in the central column of Figure 1. Notable meantone temperaments, discussed below, occupy a narrow portion of this tuning continuum, with fifths ranging from 695 to 699 cents.
While the term meantone temperament refers to the tempering of 5-limit musical intervals, temperaments that approximate 5-limit intervals well, such as Quarter-comma meantone, can approximate 7-limit intervals well, defining septimal meantone temperament. In Figure 1, the valid tuning ranges of 5-limit, 7-limit, 11-limit tunings are shown, can be seen to include many notable meantone tunings. Meantone temperaments can be specified in various ways: by what fraction of a syntonic comma the fifth is being flattened, what equal temperament has the meantone fifth in question, the width of the tempered perfect fifth in cents, or the ratio of the whole tone to the diatonic semitone; this last ratio was termed "R" by American composer and theoretician Easley Blackwood, but in effect has been in use for much longer than that. It is useful because it gives us an idea of the melodic qualities of the tuning, because if R is a rational number N/D, so is 3R + 1/5R + 2 or 3N + D/5N + 2D, the size of fifth in terms of logarithms base 2, which tells us what division of the octave we will have.
If we multiply by 1200, we have the size of fifth in cents. In these terms, some notable meantone tunings are listed below; the second and fourth column are corresponding approximations to the first column. The third column shows how close the second column's approximation is to the actual size of the fifth interval in the given meantone tuning from the first column. Neither the just fifth nor the quarter-comma meantone fifth is a rational fraction of the octave, but several tunings exist which approximate the fifth by such an interval. Equal temperaments useful as meantone tunings include 19-ET, 50-ET, 31-ET, 43-ET, 55-ET; the farther the tuning gets away from quarter-comma meantone, the less related the tuning is to harmonic timbres, which can be overcome by tempering the timbre to match the tuning. A whole number of just perfect fifths
In music, ornaments or embellishments are musical flourishes—typically, added notes—that are not essential to carry the overall line of the melody, but serve instead to decorate or "ornament" that line, provide added interest and variety, give the performer the opportunity to add expressiveness to a song or piece. Many ornaments are performed as "fast notes" around a main note. There are many types of ornaments, ranging from the addition of a single, short grace note before a main note to the performance of a virtuostic and flamboyant trill; the amount of ornamentation in a piece of music can vary from quite extensive to little or none. The word agrément is used to indicate the French Baroque style of ornamentation. In the Baroque period, it was common for performers to improvise ornamentation on a given melodic line. A singer performing a da capo aria, for instance, would sing the melody unornamented the first time and decorate it with additional flourishes and trills the second time. A harpsichord player performing a simple melodic line was expected to be able to improvise harmonically and stylistically appropriate trills and appoggiaturas.
Ornamentation may be indicated by the composer. A number of standard ornaments are indicated with standard symbols in music notation, while other ornamentations may be appended to the score in small notes, or written out as sized notes. A composer will have his or her own vocabulary of ornaments, which will be explained in a preface, much like a code. A grace note is a note written in smaller type, with or without a slash through it, to indicate that its note value does not count as part of the total time value of the bar. Alternatively, the term may refer more to any of the small notes used to mark some other ornament, or in association with some other ornament's indication, regardless of the timing used in the execution. In Spain, melodies ornamented upon repetition were called "diferencias", can be traced back to 1538, when Luis de Narváez published the first collection of such music for the vihuela. A trill known as a "shake", is a rapid alternation between an indicated note and the one above it.
In simple music, trills may be diatonic. The trill is indicated by either a tr or a tr~~, with the ~ representing the length of the trill, above the staff. At a moderate tempo, the above might be executed as follows: In Baroque music, the trill is sometimes indicated with a + sign above or below the note. In the late 18th century, when performers play a trill, it always start from the upper note. However, " Koch expressed no preference and observed that it was scarcely a matter of much importance whether the trill began one way or the other, since there was no audible difference after the initial note had been sounded." Clive Brown writes that "Despite three different ways of showing the trills, it seems that a trill beginning with the upper note and ending with a turn was envisaged in each case."Sometimes it is expected that the trill will end with a turn, or some other variation. Such variations are marked with a few grace notes following the note that bears the trill indication. There is a single tone trill variously called trillo or tremolo in late Renaissance and early Baroque.
Trilling on a single note is idiomatic for the bowed strings. A mordent is a rapid alternation between an indicated note, the note above or below, the indicated note again; the upper mordent is indicated by a short thick tilde. As with the trill, the exact speed with which a mordent is performed will vary according to the tempo of the piece, but, at a moderate tempo, the above might be executed as follows: Confusion over the meaning of the unadorned word mordent has led to the modern terms upper and lower mordent being used, rather than mordent and inverted mordent. Practice and nomenclature vary for all of these ornaments. In the Baroque period, a mordant was what came to be called an inverted mordent and what is now called a lower mordent. In the 19th century, the name mordent was applied to what is now called the upper mordent. Although mordents are now thought of as a single alternation between notes, in the Baroque period a mordant may have sometimes been executed with more than one alternation between the indicated note and the note below, making it a sort of inverted trill.
Mordents of all sorts might in some periods, begin with an extra inessential note, rather than with the principal note as shown in the examples here. The same applies to trills, which in the Baroque and Classical periods would begin with the added, upper note. A lower inessential note may or may not be chromatically raised to ma
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations as well as for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time; the Bach family counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. After becoming an orphan at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother Johann Christoph Bach, after which he continued his musical development in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar—where he expanded his repertoire for the organ—and Köthen—where he was engaged with chamber music. From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, he composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, for its university's student ensemble Collegium Musicum.
From 1726 he published some of his organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened in some of his earlier positions, he had a difficult relation with his employer, a situation, little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by King Augustus III of Poland in 1736. In the last decades of his life he extended many of his earlier compositions, he died of complications after eye surgery in 1750 at the age of 65. Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint and motivic organisation, his adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include hundreds of both sacred and secular, he composed Latin church music, Passions and motets. He adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs, he wrote extensively for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for instance for violin and for harpsichord, suites, as chamber music as well as for orchestra.
Many of his works employ the genres of fugue. Throughout the 18th century Bach was renowned as an organist, while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was appreciated for its didactic qualities; the 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed. Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals and websites devoted to him, other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis and new critical editions of his compositions, his music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including for instance the Air on the G String, of recordings, for instance three different box sets with complete performances of the composer's works marking the 250th anniversary of his death. Bach was born in the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, into a great musical family, his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the director of the town musicians, all of his uncles were professional musicians.
His father taught him to play the violin and harpsichord, his brother Johann Christoph Bach taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music. At his own initiative, Bach attended St. Michael's School in Lüneburg for two years. After graduating he held several musical posts across Germany: he served as Kapellmeister to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, a position of music director at the main Lutheran churches and educator at the Thomasschule, he received the title of "Royal Court Composer" from Augustus III in 1736. Bach's health and vision declined in 1749, he died on 28 July 1750. Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, the capital of the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, in present-day Germany, on 21 March 1685 O. S.. He was the son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the director of the town musicians, Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt, he was the eighth and youngest child of Johann Ambrosius, who taught him violin and basic music theory. His uncles were all professional musicians, whose posts included church organists, court chamber musicians, composers.
One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach, introduced him to the organ, an older second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach, was a well-known composer and violinist. Bach's mother died in 1694, his father died eight months later; the 10-year-old Bach moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach, the organist at St. Michael's Church in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. There he studied and copied music, including his own brother's, despite being forbidden to do so because scores were so valuable and private, blank ledger paper of that type was costly, he received valuable teaching from his brother. J. C. Bach exposed him to the works of great composers of the day, including South German composers such as Johann Pachelbel and Johann Jakob Froberger. During this time, he was taught theology, Greek and Italian at the local gymnasium. By 3 April 1700, Bach and his schoolfriend Georg Erdmann—who was two years Bach's elder—were enrolled in the prestigious St. Michael's School in Lüneburg, some two weeks' travel north of Ohrdruf