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Master Musicians 

Edited by 



BACH. By C. F. Abdy Wiixuhs. 

[Fourtfi Edition. 
BEETHOVEN. By F. J. Crowist. 

[Eighik Edition. 
BRAHMS. By J. Lawrence Erb. 

[Saond Edition. 
CHOPIN. By J. CuiHBERT Hidden. 

[Fourth Edition. 
HANDEL. By C. F. Abdy 

Williams. IThird Edition. 

HAYDN. By J. Cuthbert Hadden. 

[Second Edition. 


Stratton. [Fifth Edition. 

MOZART. By E. J. Breakspeare. 

[Third Edition. 

SCHUBERT. By E. Duncan. 

[Second Edition. 


Patterson. [Second Edition. 

TCHAIKOVSKY. By Edwin Evans. 

ISecond Edi on 
WAGNER. By C. A. Lidgey. 

[Fourth Edition. 

All rights reserved 

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C. F. Abdy WilUams 

M.A. Csntab. ; Mug. Bac, Oxon. et Canub. 

Illustrations and Portraits 

London: J. M. Dent Of Sons Ltd. 
New York : E. P. Dutton & Co. 

First Published . . 1900 
Reprinted . . ■ 1903. 1906, 1921 


The position of Johann Sebastian Bach as one of a 
numerous family of musicians is unique. Of no other 
composer can it be said that his forefathers, contemporary 
relations, and descendants were all musicians, and not 
only musicians, but holders of very important offices as 
such. All his biographers have therefore given some 
account of his family antecedents before proceeding to 
the history of his life ; and I have found myself obliged 
to follow the same course. In other respects I have 
adopted the plan made use of by the older biographers, 
of keeping the account of his life distinct from that of 
his compositions. 

Every biography is necessarily based on that written 
by his two sons, four years after his death, published by 
Mizler, and the one published in 1802 by Forkel, who 
was intimate with the sons. Hilgenfeldt's account follows 
these, and in later years further information has been 
acquired from the searches into archives, and other 
ancient documents, by C. H. Bitter and Philipp Spitta. 
Any details concerning the life and works of this remark- 
able man are interesting; and it is probable that 
researches will be continued for some time to come. 
Thus, last year (1898) a "celebration" took place at 
Ohrdruf in memory of Bach's school career there; and 


Dr Friedrich Thomas took the opportunity of publishing 
some details of the Bach family which had escaped Spitta. 

The name of Bach is reverenced by Thuringian organ- 
ists, and I this year had interesting conversations with his 
successors at Arnstadt and Miihlhausen, Herr Kellermann 
and Herr Moller. But the chief music-seller at Arnstadt 
told me that " Bach's music is out of date ; no one 
has now any interest in such old-fashioned compositions." 

The two recent important accounts of Bach's life are 
those of C. H. Bitter, 1865, 2 vols.; second edition 
1880, 4 vols. ; and Philipp Spitta, 2 vols, a translation 
of which by Mrs Clara Bell and Mr FuUer-Maitland was 
published by Messrs Novello in 1884. With regard to 
the last, I have to thank Messrs Novello for kindly 
allowing me the use of the book at a time when it was 
out of print. I understand that a second edition has 
since been published. 

References to Spitta apply to the first edition of the 
translation ; all others to the original German. 

Dicemhtr 1899. 






The Bachs of Thuringia — Veit Bach, the ancestor of John Sebastian — His 
sons and descendants— A breach of promise of marriage — ^J. Christoph 
Bach of Amstadt — His cantata ''Es erhob sich ein Streit" — John 
Michael Bach of Gehren — His character — His compositions — J. 
Christoph Bach of Ohrdruf and his descendants — The sons of John 
Sebastian Bach — The clan feeling — A sixteenth century q-uodUbet . i 


Bach's attitude towards art — His birth— The death of his father — Moves to 
Ohrdruf — Performances in the Ohrdruf choir — Removal to Lune- 
burg — His industry as a boy — Expeditions to Hamburg and Celle — 
Joins the Court Orchestra at Weimar — Is appointed organist at 
Arnstadt — Troubles with the church authorities — Successfully com- 
petes for a new post ....... ao 


Bach's salary — He borrows a cart from the Consistory for his furniture— 
The agreement is made verbally — Bach's first marriage — His dutiei 
at St Blasius— The festival compositions — Repairs to the organ— 
Difficulties with the Pietists — He resigns his post — Is appointed 
chamber-musidan at Weimar — His duties there— His relations with 
Walther — Studies instrumental music -^ His journeys — His compe- 
tition with Marcband ....... 34 


Bach becomes capcllmeister to the Duke of Cfithen— His Weimar pupils— 
His new duties — Death of his wife — Journey to Hamburg — He com- 
petes for an organistship there— The post is sold — Disgust of Mathe- 
son at the transaction— Bach endeavours to meet Handel — His second 
marriage — Is obliged to leave Cdthen • .... 48 




The poiition and duties of the Cantor of St Thomas' School at Leipsic 
—The condition of the school in 1722— Kuhnau's death— Competition 
and election of two cantors in succession — Bach ofTers himself — Is 
elected—Difficulties with the authorities— The Council make irritating 
regulations — Bach endeavours to leave Leipsic — Election of a new 
Rector, and temporary disappearance of Bach's troubles . . 59 


Home life at Leipsic-'Personal details — Music in the family circle — Bach's 
intolerance of incompetence — He throws his wig at Gorner— His 
preference for Che clavichord — Bach as an examiner — His sons and 
pupils— His general knowledge of musical matters — Visit from Hurle- 
busch— His able management of money — His books and instruments— 
The Dresden Opera— A new Rector, and further troubles — Bach com- 
plains to the Council. ...... 77 


Bach obtains a title from the Saxon Court — Plays the organ at Dresden — 
Attacked by Scheibe— Mizler founds a musical society— Further dis- 
putes — Bach's successor chosen during his lifetime — ^Visit to Frederick 
the Great — Bach's sight fails — Final illness and death — Notice in the 
Leipsic ChronicU—1h^ Council— Fate of the widow and daughter , 84 

The Cantatas and the Chorale . . . . . gi 


The Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass . . , , • 11-I 


The Wohltemperirte Clavier— The Art of Fugue— The Musical Offering- 
Bach as a teacher— Bach's works in England . . . '131 


The Christmas Oratorio—The Magnificat — The lost works — Instrumental 

works— Bach's playing — The Manleren or grace notes , , , X44 



Innovations in the fingering and use of keyed and stringed instruments 151 


The organs in Leipsic churches — Bach's method of accompanying — The 

pitch of organs *.....>• 1^0 


Bach as " Famijien-Vater " — As a choirmaster— His eagerness to learn all 
that was new and of value in music — He finds time to conduct public 
concerts — His self-criticism— Bach was never a poor man — His repu- 
tation was gained by his playing rather than compositions— Portraits 
— Public monuments . , • ■ • • .170 





List of Illustrations 

Portrait of Bach, by Hausmann (Photo- 
gravure) ..... Frontispiece 


The House at Eisenach in which J. S. 

Bach was Born .... To face 3i 

St Michael's Church, Ohrdruf, with the 

Lyceum, now the Burgerschule . „ 22 

The Keyboard of Bach's Arnstadt Organ, 

now in the Rathhaus . . . „ 27 

The Thomasschule at Leipsic . • „ S9 

St Thomas' Church, Leipsic : the Thomas- 
schule is on the right . . . „ 68 

St John's Church, Leipsic . . . „ 89 

Facsimile of Music . . . . „ 133 

The Performance of a Church Cantata, 


Chapter I 

The Bachs of Thuringia — Veil Bach, the ancestor of John Sebastian — 
His sons and descendants — A breach of promise of marriage — J. 
Christoph Bach of Arnstadt — His cantata ' ' Es erhob sich ein Streit " 
— John Michael Bach of Gehren — His character — His compositions 
— ^Joh. Christoph Bach of Ohrdruf, and hU descendants — The sons 
of Joh. Sebastian Bach — The clan feeling — A sixteenth century 

John Sebastian Bach came of a large family of Thurin- 
gian musicians, whose members have been traced back to 
the first decade of the sixteenth century. The name 
frequently occurs in the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies among the inhabitants of Arnstadt, Erfurt, Grafen- 
rode, Molsdorf, Rockhausen and other villages ; and that 
it has not yet disappeared is shown by the fact that the 
Erfurt Directory for 1899 contains the addresses of no 
less than thirteen Bachs. 

The subject of this biography considered that the 
founder of his family was Veit Bach, who had settled 
at Presburg in Hungary as a baker and y,, 

miller. Owing to religious persecution, how- p a f 
ever, he sold what he could of his property, , j, .j 
returned to Thuringia with the proceeds, and ■^ 

settled at the village of Wechmar near Gotha. Here 
he recommenced his trade, and occupied his leisure with 


the cithara, or cither, even taking it to the mill, where he 
played it to the rhythmical tapping of the wheels. " He 
must," says John Sebastian, "at any rate have learned 
time in this way.'' The date of his birth is unknown. 
He died 1619 and left two sons, Hans and Johannes. 
All his descendants, to the number of Sixty, were, with 
only two or three exceptions, musicians. Hans Bach, 
the great-grandfather of John Sebastian, was a weaver 
by trade as well as a musician. His father, Veit, 
sent him to Gotha to study music under a relative, 
Caspar Bach, the "town piper." In his capacity of 
"Spielmann" or "Player" Hans travelled about to 
different towns in Thuringia to take part in the " town 
music" with his violin, and as he was also very 
humorous he became popular, and twice had his por- 
trait painted. He died of the plague in 1626. He 
seems to have left several children, of whom three 
were musicians — 

JoHANN, 1 604-1 6 7 3. 
Christoph, 1613-1661. 
Heinrich, 1615-1692. 

The following genealogy will enable the reader to dis- 
tinguish the various members of this remarkable family. 
The names of sons only are given, as the daughters do 
not appear to have distinguished themselves. The list of 
nearly sixty names is not, however, by any means exhaustive. 
Spitta gives many more, and there were of course a great 
number whose names are entirely lost, for a peasant and 
artisan family is not usually careful to keep its genealogical 
tables in order. 


(From Hilgenfeldt.) 

1. Vbit Bach, 155- -i6i-, the Founder. 

Sons of Ye\t. 

2. Hans d. 1626. 3. Johannes . . . 

Sons of Hans. 
4. Johann, 1604-1673. 5. Christoph, 1613-1661. 6. Heinrich, 

Sons ^Johann (No. 4). 
7. Johann Christian, 1640- 1682. 8. Johann iEciDius, 1645- 
'7I7' 9- Johann Nicolaus, 1653-1682. 
Sons 0/ Christoph (No. 5). 
10. Georg Christoph, 1642-1697. 11. Joh. Ambrosius, 1645- 
1695. 12. Joh. Christoph, 1645-1694. 

Sons (>/ Heinrich (No. 6). 
13. Joh. Christoph, 1643-1703. 14. Joh. Michael ... ij. 
Joh. GiJNTHER . . . 

Sons o/Joh. Christian (No. 7). 
16. Joh. Jacob, 1668-1692. 17. Joh. Christoph, 1673-1727. 

Sons of Joh. iEgidius (No. 8). 
18. Joh. Bbrnhard, 1676-1749. 19. Joh. Christoph, 1685-174- 

Son o/Joh. Nicolaus (No. 9). 

20. Joh. Nicolaus, 1682- 174-. 

Sons (/Georg Christoph (No. 10). 

21. Joh. Valentin, 1669-1720. 22. Joh. Christian, 1679-1707. 

23. Joh. Georg, 16 — 17 — . 

Sons of Joh. Ambrosius (No. 11). 
24. Joh. Christoph, 1671-1721. 25. Joh. Jacob, 1682-171-, 
26. JOHANN SEBASTIAN, 1685-1750. 

Sons of Joh. Christoph (No. 12). 
27. Joh. Ernst, 1683-173- 28. Joh. Christoph, 1689-1736. 

Sons of Joh. Christoph (No. 13). 
29. Joh. Nicolaus, 1669-1740. 30. Joh. Christoph . . , 
31. Joh. Friedrich ... 32. Joh. Michael . , , 



Children 0f]oh. Michael (No. 14). 

33. JoH. LuDwiG 1677-1730. Maria Barbara (first wife of Joh. 


Sons o/Joh. Christoph (No. 17). 

34. JOH. Samufx, 1694 ... 35. JOH. Christian, 1696 . , . 

36. JOH. GiJNTHER . . . 
Son o/Joh. Bernhard (No. 18). 

37. JOH. Ernst, 1722-1781. 

Sons o/]6h. Christoph (No. 19). 

38. Jon. Friedrich, 1703 . . . 39. Joh. August, 17 . . . 

40. WiLHELM HiERONYMUS, 17 . . . 

Sons of Job. Valentin (No. 21). 
41. Joh. Lorenz, 1695 ... 42. Joh. Elias, 1705-1755. 
43. Joh. Heinrich . , . 

Sons o/Joh. Christoph (No. 24). 
44. Joh. Friedrich, 1695 ... 45. Joh. Bernhard, 1700-1742 (?) 
46. Joh. Christoph, 1702-1756. 47. Joh. Heinrich, 
1707 . . . 48. Joh. Andreas, 1713-175-. 

Sons o/Joh. Sebastian (No. 26). 
49. WilhelmFriedemann, 1710-1784. 50. Joh. Christoph and 
a twin brother, 1713 + same year. 51. Carl Philipp 
Emanuel, 1714-1788. 52. Joh. Gottfried Bernhard, 
I7IS-I739. 53- Leopold August, 17x8-1719. 54. 
Gottfried Heinrich, 1724-1736 (?). 55. Christian 
Gottlieb, 1725- 1728. 56. Ernst Andreas, 1727 -f 
same year. 57. JoH. ChristopiI Friedrich, 1732-1795. 
58. Joh. Aug. Abraham, 1733-1734. 59. Joh. 
Christian, 1735- 1782. 6°- (^ daughters). 

Johann (No. 4) was born at Wechmar. He was 
apprenticed to the town piper of Suhl and became organist 
at Schweinfurt. In 1635 he married the daughter of his 
former master, and became director of the town musicians 
at Erfurt. During the time he was there the city was 
suffering terribly from the effects of pillage and quarter- 
ing of soldiers, poverty and disorder; yet Johann Bach 

Music and War 

managed to found a family which multiplied rapidly, and 
soon filled all the town musicians' places, so that for some 
century and a half, and long after no more of the family 
lived in the place, the town musicians were known as 
"The Bachs." 

He married twice, his second wife being Hedwig 

He was organist of the Prediger Kirche at Erfurt, and 
was called by his contemporaries an " illustrious musician," 
and he in a kind of way forestalled John Sebastian in 
being skilful in both sacred and secular, vocal and 
instrumental music. 

The three towns of Erfurt, Arnstadt and Eisenach, now 
became the chief centres of the Bach family. 

Christoph Bach (No. 5), the grandfather of Sebastian, 
bom at Wechmar, entered the service of the Grand Duke 
of Weimar as lackey and musician. In 1642 he was a 
member of the Guild of Musicians at Erfurt, and in 1654 
was Court and Town musician at Arnstadt, where his 
younger brother Heinrich was living. He does not seem 
ever to have been an organist, but a " Kunstpfeifer." 

During the Thirty Years' War the town pipers and 
musicians had sunk very low in public estimation, and 
about the middle of the seventeenth century _, rp,-. 
a strong effort was made by their various y j ytr 
guilds to raise themselves to a more dignified 
position, in keeping with the worthiness of their calling. 
To this end they combined in drawing up a code of 
statutes, which was ratified by the Emperor Ferdinand 
III. ;^ the Bach family seem, however, to have kept 
aloof from this combination, and there is no doubt that 
' See Glossary, "College of Instrumental Musicians." 


they were better educated than the majority of town 

Heinrich (No. 6) was appointed organist of the Fran- 
ciscan Church at Arnstadt in 1641, which office he filled 
for fifty years. He suffered severely from the war, which 
disorganised everything, and his salary, like that of every 
one else, got into arrears. Moreover there were war taxes 
to be paid, and the soldiery seem to have robbed and 
plundered at their will. He petitioned the Count of 
Schwarzburg for his salary as he "knew not where to 
find bread for himself and his young family." The 
Count ordered his salary to be paid, but the keeper 
of the funds immediately resigned. It is supposed that 
Bach managed to eke out his existence by cultivating a 
small plot of land which it was usual to give to organists 
in Thuringia as part of their salary. He kept to his 
pious and simple life all through the horrors of the times, 
(which reduced the mass of the people to a state of coarse- 
ness and immorality), and brought up six children, three 
of whom became famous musicians in their day. In the 
funeral sermon preached by Olearius, he is mentioned as 
the composer of chorales, motets, concertos, fugues and 
preludes, but few of his compositions have been preserved. 

Johann Christian Bach (No. 7), a viola player and 
music director, belonged to Erfurt, whence he went to 
Eisenach, being the first of his family to settle there. 

Johann ^gidius Bach (No. 8) became director of the 
town musicians and alto-viola player at Erfurt in succes- 
sion to his brother Joh. Christian (No. 7) and his cousin 
Ambrosius (No. 11) when they moved to Eisenach. 
Like several others of his clan he married the sister of his 
elder brother's wife, and soon after became organist of 


J. Ambrosius Bach 

St Michael's Church, which post he held to an advanced 

John Nicolaus Bach (No. 9) was a town musician and 
good performer on the viola-da-gamba. He died of the 
plague in 1682. 

Georg Christoph Bach (No. 10), born at Erfurt, was an 
usher in a school at Heinrichs near Suhl, but became 
cantor,, first at Themar, near Meiningen, and afterwards 
at Schweinfurt, where he died. He was a composer, but 
his works are all lost. 

Johann Ambrosius Bach (No. 11), the father of John 
Sebastian, was twin brother to Johann Christoph (No. 12). 
The two brothers had a most remarkable likeness, not 
only externally but in character and temperament. They 
were both violinists and played in exactly the same style ; 
they thought and spoke alike, and their appearance was so 
similar that it is said their own wives could not distinguish 
them apart. They suffered from the same illnesses, and 
died within a few months of one another. 

Ambrosius first settled at Erfurt as an alto-viola'' 
player, and was elected a member of the Town Council. 
Here he married Elizabeth Lammerhirt, the daughter of 
a furrier, and a relation of Hedwig the wife of Johann 
(No. 4). He now moved to Eisenach, and was suc- 
ceeded at Erfurt by his cousin ^gidius (No. 8). He 
undertook the care of an idiot sister who died shortly 
afterwards, and for whom a funeral sermon was preached, 
in which the Ba,ch brothers are referred to as being " gifted 
with good understanding, with art and skill, which make 

^ The violas were divided into alto, tenor and bass, as the trombones 
are now. The leading stringed instrument was called discant-viola 
or discant-violin. 


them respected and listened to in the churches, schools, 
and all the township, so that through them the Master's 
work is praised." Little is known of the life of Ambrosius 
beyond the fact that he is mentioned in the church 
register at Dornheim as "the celebrated town organist 
and musician of Eisenach." Six children were born, the 
youngest being Johann Sebastian. 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 12) was Court musician 
to Count Ludwig Giinther at Arnstadt. The first thing 
we hear of him relates to a kind of action for breach of 
promise of marriage brought before the Consistory at 
Arnstadt by Anna Cunigunda Wiener, with whom he 
had "kept company" and exchanged rings. The Con- 
sistory (a spiritual court) decided that Bach must marry 
her, but, with the independence of character which was 
peculiar to his family, he refused and defied them — an 
unheard-of thing for a musician to do in those days 
— declaring that he "hated the Wienerin so that he 
could not bear the sight of her."^ The case lingered 
for two and a half years, and ended in his favour. He 
remained single for many years afterwards, marrying 
eventually a daughter of the churchwarden of Ohrdruf. 

Quarrels between Graser, the town musician, and Johann 
Christoph Bach led to the dismissal of all the Court 
musicians on account of the disunion which made it im- 
possible for music to prosper. For a time, therefore, he 
had to make a meagre living by "piping before the 
doors," but after the death of the Count his successor 
reappointed Bach " Court musician and town piper." At 
this time Adam Drese was Capellmeister at Arnstadt, and 
there exist catalogues of the Court musicians which are 
' Sjpitta, vol. i. p. 162. 

J. Christoph Bach 

of interest as showing the kind of musical establishment 
that prevailed at the petty courts in Germany. One of 
these catalogues gives the names of seven singers, four 
violinists, three viola players, a contrabassist, and the 
organist Heinrich Bach (No. 6). 

There were trumpeters, and extra singers from the 
school, who could also play stringed instruments, so that 
on occasion a very respectable string orchestra _,, 

was available, consisting of twelve violins, three , 

alto violas, three tenor violas, two bass viols, 
and a contrabasso. The violoncello does not . , 

seem to have been represented. Christoph 
Bach's income in later life was sufficient not only to raise 
him above want, but to enable him to leave something to 
his family, on his death, in 1694, at the age of forty-eight. 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 13) was born at Arn- 
stadt, and studied under his father Heinrich (No. 6). 
He was appointed organist at Eisenach in 1665, which 
post he held till his death sbcty years later. He and his 
brother Michael (No. 14) were born during the worst 
time of the disturbance produced by the war, yet such was 
the vigour of their race that, uninfluenced by the general 
degeneracy and misery, they both became celebrated 
composers, Michael leaning towards instrumental, and 
Christoph to vocal music. An important church work, 
describing the strife between Michael and a /-/i h 
the Devil, " Es erhob sich ein Streit," is n t t 
fully described with musical quotations by 
Spitta (vol. i. p. 45, &c.). For its performance it 
required two five part choirs, two violins, four violas, 
one bassoon, four trumpets, drums, double bass, and 
organ. The cantata is preceded by a " sonata " for the 


instruments, without trumpets and drums, something 
in the form of the French overture. The work itself 
is modelled on those of Hammerschmidt, who, with 
Schiitz, created a form which culminated in the Handel 
oratorio. Spitta says that it shows "power of invention 
and genius," and that "it was impossible that so im- 
portant a composition should fail to make an impression 
on many sincere artistic natures, in spite of the small 
amount of intelligent sympathy which was shown for 
Johann Christoph Bach, alike by his contemporaries and 
by posteritj." Sebastian Bach thought very highly of his 
uncle's work, and performed it at Leipsic. 

Johann Christoph composed many chorale-vorspiele for 
the organ, of which forty-eight are preserved in a MS. 
formerly belonging to Spitta. The themes are worked 
out on the same lines as those of John Sebastian, but in 
a more elementary form. His vocal compositions are, 
however, much in advance of his instrumental works, and 
he seems certainly to have been the most important 
member of his family before his great nephew appeared. 

Johann Michael Bach (No. 14) was an accomplished 
organist. His character may be imagined from the 
account of his appointment to the organistship of Gehren 
near Arnstadt, when we are told that after his examina- 
tion, the authorities thanked the Count for having sent 
. them a peaceable, retiring, and skilful per- 

. , former. He was also made parish clerk, and 

. * his income from the two posts amounted 

income . ..,, „ j r j 

to 74 gulden, 18 cords of wood, 5 measures 

of corn, 9 measures of barley, 3^ barrels of beer, 

some land, and a house free of rent. Besides being 

a composer he made clavichords and violins. His 


Other Bachs 

youngest daughter became Sebastian Bach's first wife. A 
cantata on " Ach ! bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ " by 
him is preserved in the Bach archives in the Royal 
Library at Berlin, "full of interesting details and in- 
genious ideas." ^ It is scored for four voices, two violins, 
three violas, bassoon, and organ, and is preceded by a 
" sonata." Twelve of his motets are preserved, but they 
are incoherent in structure, being composed in a time of 
transition. Some of them are to be accompanied by 
strings which double the various voice parts, and ten of 
them are interwoven with chorales. In " Das Blut Jesu 
Christi" for five voices "the deep feeling of the com- 
positions overcomes us with irresistible power, and one 
forgets the imperfection of the body in the beauty of the 
soul which shines through." ^ Four of the motets are for 
double chorus and in some one can feel "the romantic 
spirit of Sebastian Bach." 

Johann Giinther Bach (No. 15) was a good organist, 
and deputised for his father when absent from Arnstadt. 
Little is known of his Ufe, but Hilgenfeldt says he is men- 
tioned as a capable instrument maker as well as organist. 

Johann Jacob Bach (No. 1 6) did not follow the musical 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 17), also born at Erfurt, 
was cantor and organist of Unterzimmern near, Erfurt. 
In 1698 he succeeded Michael Bach in the Cantorship 
at Gehren. He was threatened with removal by the 
Arnstadt authorities on account of his temper, though 
the threat was never carried out. He died in 1727. 

Johann Bernhard Bach (No. 18), born at Erfurt, was 
at first organist in his native town, then at Magdeburg 
1 Spitta, vol. i. p. 52. ' Spitta. 



and afterwards succeeded Johann Christoph (No. 13) in 
1703, as Court and town organist at Eisenach, and was 
also made Chamber Musician to the Duke of Sax-Eisenach, 
Of his compositions there remain four suites for orchestra, 
some small pieces for cembalo and some chorale arrange- 
ments. According to Spitta he was one of the most able 
composers of his time, following the lines of Pachelbel. 
His orchestral works were so esteemed by John Sebastian 
that he copied them, and the copies still exist. 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 1 9) was " Raths-Musik- 
director" (Town Council Musical-director) at Erfurt, in 
succession to ^gidius. 

Johann Nicolaus Bach (No. 20), a surgeon, settled in 
East Prussia, where he brought up a numerous family. 

Johann Valentin Bach (No. 21) was town musician 
and head watchman at Schweinfurt. 

Of Johann Christian Bach (No. 22), and Johann Georg 
(No. 23), nothing is known. 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 24), the elder brother of 
Sebastian, organist and schoolmaster at Ohrdruf, was a 
pupil of Pachelbel, and appears to have made some 
reputation as a musician, since he refused an invitation 
to go to Gotha as organist, on account of an increase of 
salary being given him at Ohrdruf.^ 

Johann Jacob Bach (No. 25) entered the Swedish 

* During a visit to Ohrdruf in August 1899, Herr Landrathamts- 
Secretar Kellner kindly gave me the following information. The 
descendants of J. S. Bach's eldest brother continued to live in 
Ohrdruf until 1863, as cantors, clergymen, schoolmasters, lawyers, 
etc. There are at present living in direct descent Herr Herrmann 
Julius Bach, Merchant, of Budapest, Herr Alfred Wilhelm Bach, 
Apothecary, of Witten, and two young sons of the latter, 


More of the Family 

guard as oboe-player. He followed Charles II. of Sweden, 
and took part in the battle of Pultawa, and, after a stay at 
Bender in Turkey, retired to Stockholm as Court musician. 

Johann Sebastian Bach (No. 26). 

Johann Ernst Bach (No. 27) was organist at Arnstadt, 
while Johann Christoph Bach (No, 28) went into the 
grocery trade. 

Johann Nicolaus Bach (No. 29) was University and 
Town organist at Jena, and after having travelled to Italy 
for study, returned to Jena, where he remained till his 
death at the age of eighty-four. He was an able com- 
poser, of whose works, however, only a mass remains, 
which is much praised by Spitta. 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 30) taught music in 
Hamburg, Rotterdam, and finally in England. 

Johann Friedrich Bach (No. 31) succeeded J. Sebastian 
as organist at Miihlhausen, the only member of his 
family who is mentioned as unsatisfactory in character, 
he being given to drink. Gerber calls him by mistake 
Johann Christoph. 

Johann Michael Bach (No. 32) was an organ-builder. 
He went to Sweden, and all traces of him were lost. 

Johann Ludwig Bach (No. 33) held the post of capell- 
meister to the Duke of Sax-Meiningen. His compositions 
were highly valued by Johann Sebastian, who copied 
many of them. Hilgenfeldt distinguishes him as a fine 

Johann Samuel Bach (No. 34), and Johann Christian 
Bach (No. 35), settled at Sondershausen as musicians. 

Johann Giinther Bach (No. 36) was tenor singer and 
schoolmaster at Erfurt. 

Johann Ernst Bach (No. 37) studied law and became 



a barrister, but was also an organist and composer. He 
died in 1781 as Capellmeister to the Count of Weimar. 

Johann Friedrich Bach (No. 38) became a school- 
master, as did also his brother Johann .(Egidius (No. 
39). Of Wilhelm Hieronymus (No. 40), nothing is 
known. 1 

Johann Lorenz Bach (No. 41) was organist at Lahm 
in Franconia. 

Johann Elias Bach (No. 42) studied theology, and 
became cantor and school-inspector at Schweinfurt, his 
native town. 

Of Johann Heinrich Bach (No. 43) nothing is known. 

Tobias Friedrich Bach (No. 44) was cantor of Ude- 
stadt, near Erfurt. 

Johann Bernhard Bach (No. 45), according to Adlung, 
was a capable composer and organist. 

Johann Christoph Bach (No. 46) filled the double role 
of cantor and schoolmaster at Ohrdruf. 

Johann Heinrich Bach (No. 47) was cantor at Oehrin- 
gen, in Wiirtemburg, and musician to Count Hohenlohe ; 
while Johann Andreas Bach (No. 48) was oboist at 
Gotha, and afterwards organist at Ohrdruf. 

We now come to the sons of Johann Sebastian. An 
account of their services to art will be found in C. H. 
Bitter's "Die Sohne Sebastian Bachs," published by 
Breitkopf and Hartel, 1883. We must be here content 
with a bare outline of their biographies. 

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (No. 49), born at Weimar, 
was a pupil of his father and of Graun, concert-meister of 
Merseburg. He went to the University of Leipsic, where 
he distinguished himself in law and mathematics. In 
1732 he became organist of St Sophia at Dresden, but 


Sons of J. S. Bach 

giving this up, he accompanied his father on his various 
journeys. In 1747 he became music-director of a church 
in Halle, and is sometimes called the "Halle Bach." 
Quitting this post he lived without employment at various 
places, and died at Berlin in 1784 in great poverty and 
misery, having been given to drink. 

Fdtis and Bitter say he was the greatest organist in 
Germany after his father, and Forkel states that his 
" clavier - playing was light, brilliant, and ^ „ „ , 
charming," and his "organ style was ele- 
vated, solemn, and full of religious feeling." 
He extemporised much but composed little, * 

though some sonatas for clavecin, both solo and with 
violin, some polonaises, organ-pieces, concertos, fugues, 
symphonies and cantatas have come down to us. 

Johann Christoph (No. 50) died in infancy. 

Carl Philipp Emanuel (No. 51) the most celebrated 
of Sebastian's sons is called the "Berlin Bach," having 
lived in that city for twenty-nine years. He ™. „ .. 
studied at St Thomas' School at Leipsic „ , 

under his father, and afterwards joined the 
University of Leipsic as a student of law, but completed 
this course of study at Frankfort on the Oder. In 
1738 he entered the service of Frederick the Great 
at Berlin as cembalist. In 1767 he went to Ham- 
burg in succession to Teleman as director of music, 
after having with great difficulty obtained leave from 
the Court at Berlin to depart. Here he remained 
till his death in 1788. He was a prolific composer 
in all styles. A catalogue of his works is given 
by F^tis, among the most important of which are 
those for clavier, and his "Attempt to explain the 



true art of Clavier-playing," the first treatise on the 
subject if we except Couperin's "L'art de toucher le 
clavecin." It describes the method of John Sebastian, 
from which the present style of piano-playing is developed, 
and the -rules for the execution of the "Manieren"; 
while in the second part, thorough bass and accompani- 
ment of voices are treated of. He became the greatest 
theorist of his time, and in his autobiography he 
says, "In composition and clavier-playing I have never 
had any teacher but my father." Hilgenfeldt remarks 
that he was intended for a learned profession and only 
studied music as an amateur j but Bitter shows that he 
was an artist, and was brought up as a practical musician, 
his scientific studies being secondary to music. 

Emanuel occupies a very important position in the 
history of music. His period was one of transition. 
-, . Polyphony had reached its highest point. 

, .^. . Oratorio had been developed to its greatest 
position m , J J J 1 • 1 ■ u J 

^ . J splendour, and organ and clavier-playmg had 

, . reached their highest development on the 

■^ old lines. His services to art were that he 

opened new paths in clavier-music, which made possible the 
creations of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Bitter con- 
siders him the father of that particular kind of form which 
has been found suitable to the modern piano : viz. the 
sonata form. His smaller sonata forms were based on 
those of the preludes in the Wohltemperirte Clavier which 
are in two sections, and this form was developed by 
Haydn and his successors. The form is found in the six 
sonatas of 1742, but it had been used by Krebs in his 
" Preambles " two years earlier. 

Johann Gottfried Bernhard Bach (No. 52) was given 


J. Christian Bach 

the post of organist at Miihlhausen in response to an 
earnest letter from his father to the authorities. He, 
however, shortly afterwards went to Jena to study law, 
and died there in 1739 of a fever. 

Leopold August (No. 53) died young. 

Gottfried Heinrich Bach (No. 54) is only known as 
having lived in Leipsic in the year 1754. 

Christian Gottlich Bach (No. 55) lived only three years. 

Ernst Andreas Bach (No. 56) died the year he was 

Johann Christoph Friedrich (No. 57), was called the 
"Biickeburger Bach " from his holding a post as Chamber 
musician to Count von Lippe at Btickeburg. He com- 
posed oratorios, Passion music, and many other things. 
He was remarkable for a deep insight into the essence 
of harmony, and a very good style of clavier-playing, 
which approached that of his brother Emanuel. He 
is also mentioned as a man of amiable and upright 

Johann August Abraham Bach (No. 58) died young. 

Johann Christian (No. 59), called the "Milanese" and 
afterwards the " English " Bach, was born at Leipsic, and 
at the age of fourteen (on the death oi ~,, „ ... 
his father), he went to his brother Emanuel %. , 

at Berlin. When his education was com- 
pleted he went to Milan, where he worked hard at 
the composition of songs. His wealth of melody, and 
the facility with which he produced it, led him to attach 
himself to the Neapolitan school of composition, the 
result being shown in a number of works which the 
greatest singers of his day took as their favourite con- 
cert songs. His clavier works were chiefly written for 

B 17 


amateur lady pupils, and it has been said that the great 
increase of clavier dilettanti towards the end of the 
eighteenth century is to be attributed directly to the 
influence of Christian Bach. 

He composed concertos, operas, oratorios, besides 
every kind of clavier and other instrumental music in 
the fashion of the day; "but," says Schubart, "in the 
midst of his frivolity the gigantic spirit or his father 
always shines." He was organist of Milan Cathedral, 
and from there went to London, where he remained till 
his death in 1782. Although he made a large income 
from his pupils and compositions, he died deeply in 
debt, and his widow (an Italian prima donna) received 
a pension from the Queen. 

The eight daughters of Sebastian showed none of the 
musical talent of their brothers, and, with the exception 
of three, they all died young. One of them married 
Bach's pupil Altnikol, of whom we shall hear later. The 
family gradually died out, and after the sons of Sebastian, 
none showed exceptional musical ability. 

The clan feeling was very strong. It was a family 
custom to meet together at Erfurt, Eisenach or Arnstadt 
_ .. once a year, and to spend a day in friendly 

. intercourse. The day was begun with the 

* singing of a chorale, after which jokes and 

all manner of pleasant pastimes were indulged in. 
One of their favourite pursuits on these occasions 
was the singing of " quodlibets '' consisting of the 
endeavour to make three or four popular or well- 
known songs harmonise together, these extempore 
efforts being intended more as a joke than as serious 


A Quodlibet 

Hilgenfeldt quotes a quodlibet of the sixteenth century 
of which we give a few bars : 

The Lord's Prayer, 









Va • ter 

The Creed. 

Him - mel-reich. 



Easter Song. 

glau ben 

aU'an ei - TTnen 









Je - sus Christus unser Hei 

Baptism Song. 



Christ unser Herri 2uin Jor-dan kam. 

The Ten Commandments, 


H' w-d-* 


Mensch willt du le - bea 

se ■ lig - lich. 


Chapter II 

Bach's attitude towards art — His birth — Death of his father — Removal 
to Ohrdruf— Performances in the Ohrdruf choir — Removal to LUne- 
bm-g — His industry as a. boy — Expeditions to Hamburg and Celle 
— ^Joins the Court Orchestra at Weimar — Is appointed organist at 
Arnstadt — Troubles with the church authorities — Successfully com- 
petes for a new post. 

The life and character of John Sebastian Bach have a 
pecuHar interest, not only for musicians and amateurs of 
music, but for every one who can appreciate sterling 
worth, combined with genius of the highest rank, and a 
„ ,, modesty as great as it is rare. "Anyone," 

. , said Bach, "could do as much as I have 

, - ' done if he worked as hard." And this 
capacity for hard work is perhaps not the 
least among the many remarkable characteristics of 
the man. We find in him little of that desire for 
applause, for recognition, which is usually one of the 
strongest motives in an artist. He was content to labour 
as few men have laboured, in a remote corner of Germany, 
simply for art, and art alone. His greatest works never 
saw the light of publication during his life-time: he 
seemed to compose just because he obeyed the inward 
spirit of genius which drove him onward, and though his 
chamber works became fairly well known, his larger com- 
positions were rarely performed outside the church or 
place for which they were composed. " The sole object 



Ti)c JIuusc at Eircnacli in wbich ]. S. .Cach was born 

Boyhood Promise 

of all music," said he, " should be the glory of God and 
pleasant recreation," and the "glory of God" was the 
mainspring of every action of his simple and pious life. 
! He was born on or about March 31st, 1685 ^ at 
Eisenach in Thuringia, under the shadow of the famous 
Wartburg. A house still standing in the Frauenplan is 
pointed out by tradition as his birthplace, and contains 
a tablet to that effect. He was the youngest son ot 
John Ambrosius Bach, at that time Court and Town 
musician of Eisenach, a place which had a good reputation 
for its music. 

The lofty artistic and moral standard which permeated 
the whole of the numerous members of the Bach family 
seems to have culminated in the subject of this sketch. 
We have seen that for many generations they had been 
musicians, and had held the chief posts as organists and 
town musicians throughout Thuringia ; and John Sebastian 
naturally had no other thought than to follow the family 
profession. Of the first few years of his life little is known. 
It is probable that he learned the violin from his father. 

In January 1695, when he was not yet ten years old, 
his father died, and his eldest brother Johann Christoph, 
who was organist of St Michael's Church at r t 

Ohrdruf and had married, now undertook to nhrd f 
provide for him and educate him. Johann ■' 

Christoph, who had been a pupil of Pachelbel for three 
years, taught his younger brother the harpsichord. 
Sebastian soon mastered all the studies and pieces he 
was given to learn, and began to aspire to higher things. 
His brother had made a MS. collection of composi- 
tions by Froberger, Fischer, Kerl, Buxtehude, Pachelbel, 
» See Spitta, " Life of Bach," vol i. p. 181, note. 



Bruhns, Bohm, and others, and this book was eagerly 
yearned for by Sebastian, The MS. was kept in a book- 
case, shut in with a wire lattice-work, and his brother for 
some unknown reason denied him the use of it. Such 
was his zeal, however, that he managed to abstract it 
through the lattice-work, night after night, for six months, 
until he had copied the whole of it by moonlight ! His 
pleasure in it was of short duration, for when he began to 
practise the music his brother discovered the copy, and 
was hard-hearted enough to confiscate it. No reason is 
assigned for his having done so, and Sebastian did not 
recover it imtil his brother's death in 172 1. 

At Ohrdruf he joined the Lyceum,^ where he laid the 
foundation of his general education, in Latin, Greek (from 
the New Testament), theology, rhetoric and arithmetic. 
He also took part in the chorus, whose duties were to 
perform in church on Sundays and festivals, as well as to 
sing motets at weddings and funerals, and at certain times 
to sing in the streets.^ He became one of the principal 
singers, and had a fixed salary. 

When he was fifteen he was obliged to leave his 
brother's house, and he now determined to make his 
„, own way independently of assistance from 

, . ^ others. Recommended by Herda, the cantor 

is own ^j. ^^ Lyceum, he went to the school of 
the convent of St Michael at Liineburg, 
accompanied by his friend Georg Erdmann, about Easter 

* The Lyceum is now the Burgerschule. It is shown in the photo- 
graph on the left hand side. 

" The custom of singing in the streets is still kept up. The writer 
heard one Sunday morning this year at Ohrdruf, excellent singing by 
the choir-boys, in four parts, two treble and two alto. 

St Michael's Church. Ohrdruf 
with the Lyceum, now the Burgerschule 

Earnest Student 

1700, and both were admitted to the choir as discantists 
with a salary. Bach's voice soon broke, but he remained 
three years at LUneburg as accompanist at rehearsals, 
besides playing the violin when required and taking 
part in the band that played through the streets at 
the New Year. His salary was probably twelve thalers 
a year, besides free board and lodging, and a share 
in the profits of the processional performances in the 

Liineburg, like Eisenach, seems to have cultivated 
music with considerable energy. Besides the choir of 
which Bach became a member, there was a similar one 
belonging to the school of St John, and the rivalry 
which naturally arose led to collisions, which were put an 
end to by certain streets being allotted to each choir for 
its performances. 

Bach, being now above want, devoted the whole ef his 
available time to self-improvement, in spite of the great 
demands made on him by his duties. He found in the 
library of the convent compositions by all the best com- 
posers up to that period — Hammerschmidt, Scheldt, 
Able, Briegel, Schiitz, Rosenmiiller, Michael, Schop, Jeep, 
Krieger, Selle, Criiger, and his own relatives Heinrich and 
John Christoph Bach. To these compositions we know 
that he devoted unremitting study, and at the same time 
worked with enormous industry day and night to improve 
his technique on keyboard instruments. 

The organist of St John's Church was Bohm, a native 
of Thuringia, and a man of considerable genius. He 
had studied in Hamburg, and his compositions show the 
influence of Sweelinck and of Reinken the organist of St 
Catherine's Church. The distinguishing characteristics of 



his school were " technical neatness, pleasing ingenuity, 
and a taste for subtle effects of tone."^ 

Bach was now learning all he could from Bohm, but in 
order to further advance himself he made several expeditions 
to Hamburg on foot, a distance of some 2 5 English miles. 

Of one of these expeditions the following story is 
told. Bach, on his return journey, sat down outside an 
inn halfway between the two cities with not sufficient 
money in his pocket to avail himself of the excellent 
dinner that was being prepared, the odours of which 
reached him from the kitchen, when a window was 
suddenly opened and two herrings' heads were thrown 
out. The herring in those days, as now, was one of the 
favourite articles of food in Germany, and the boy at 
once picked up the two heads. Inside each he found a 
Danish ducat. Who his benefactor was never became 
known to him ; and the money not only paid for a 
dinner, but another journey to Hamburg as well. 

From Reinken he obtained models for his early com- 
positions of which Spitta mentions three as showing 
Reinken's influence; organ arrangements of the two 
chorales "Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit,"^ "An Wasser- 
flussen Babylon " ; ^ and a toccata in G. 

But Bach was not satisfied to study only the works of 
his own countrymen. About forty-five English miles to the 
south of Liineburg is Celle, where the ducal court main- 
tained a band which played French dance music, and 
where also French harpsichord music was held in con- 
siderable estimation. He took frequent opportunities of 

• Spitta, vol. i. p. 195. 

^ In a MS. collection in possession of F. A. Roitzsch oi Leipsic. 
' MS. in Lib. of R. Inst, for church music, Berlin 

First Post 

hearing this band, and so became familiar with the French 
style of music, which he admired, and much of which 
he copied. 

Spitta considers that the chorale partitas " Christ, der 
du bist der helle Tag," and " O Gott, du frommer Gott,"^ 
were composed at Liineburg, since they were certainly 
early works, and show the influence of Bohm, in the 
elaboration of the motives and the use of basso ostinato, 
&c. It would seem that there was no good organ at 
Liineburg, for his compositions of this period are either 
for harpsichord or, if for organ, show that he was not yet 
experienced in writing for the latter instrument. 

In 1703 Bach was invited by Johann Ernst, younger 
brother of Duke Wilhelm Ernst, to join his orchestra 
at Weimar as a violinist with the title of " Hof-musikus," 
or Court musician. This brought him into contact with 
a great deal of instrumental music, especially Italian 
works, and among musicians he there met Westhoff, the 
Duke's private secretary, a good violinist, and Johann 
Effler an organist. 

From Weimar he paid a visit to Arnstadt, only a few 
miles off, the former meeting-place of his family. Here 
he had an opportunity of trying the organ lately erected 
in the " New Church," the organist of which was Borner, 
a man of no great attainments. The Consistory heard 
him, and, at once dismissing Borner, offered p. 

Bach the post : a high-handed proceeding, . . 

which they softened by making Borner " 

" organist at Matins " and deputy to the 
Franciscan Church, on his full salary. Bach's salary 
was raised by outside contributions, and the youth of 
' Peters, vol. 244. 



eighteen found himself more highly paid than any of his 
fellow officials. 

On August 14th, 1703, he was solemnly installed, and 
exhorted to industry and fidelity in his calling, and to act 
as an honourable servant and organist before God, the 
authorities, and his superiors. His official duties were to 
play on Sunday and Thursday mornings, and at one ser- 
vice on Mondays ; so that he had ample leisure for study. 

The organ, which was a very fine one of two manuals, 
had the following stops : 

Oberwerk (Great). 

1. Principal (open diapason), 8 ft. 

2. Viola da gamba, 8. 

3. Quintaton, 8. 

4. Gedackt, 8. 

5. Quint, 6. 

6. Octava (principal), 4. 

7. Mixture, 4 ranks. 

8. Gemshorn, 8 ft. 

9. Cymbal, 3. 

10. Trumpet, 8. 

11. Tremulant. 

12. Glockenaccord. 

Brust-positiv (Choir). 

1. Principal (open diapason), 4 ft.i 

2. Still gedact, 8. 

3. Spitzflote, 4. 

4. Quint, 3. 

5. Sesquialtera. 

' See Glossary, Positiv, 


The l\c\'lio.ira> ul Bath's Arnbtadt Organ 
now in tlie Raihhaus 

First Cantata 

6. Nacht-horn, 4 ft. 

7. Mixture, 4 ranks. 

8. Octava, 2 ft. 

9. Glockenaccord. 


1. Principal, 8 ft. 

2. Sub-bass, i6. 

3. Posaune, 16. 

4. Violon bass, 16, 

5. Octava, 2. 

Couplers for manuals and pedals.* 

The keyboards, of which we give a photograph, are 
preserved in the Rathhaus. The instrument was built 
by Wender of Miihlhausen in 1703. 

Bach had also the direction of a small school choir, 
which was augmented by " adjuvanten " or amateur singers, 
and he had to accompany and attend the rehearsals of 
the church choir, besides which he probably played the 
violin in the Count's band. There was also a theatre 
belonging to the Count, in which " Singspielen " or 
operettas were occasionally performed. 

The cantata for the first day of Easter, " Denn du wirst 
meine Seele nicht in der Holle lassen," which was after- 
wards remodelled for use at Leipsic, was com- „. 
posed at Arnstadt, probably for Easter 1704.* r t i 
It was his first cantata, and is in character 
similar to those in vogue in Northern Germany. 

It consists of a short introductory sonata, for three 

' The above list, which slightly differs from that of Spitta, was 
taken from the existing stop handles. 
* Spitta, vol. i. p. 231. 



trumpets, drums, strings and organ, then a bass solo, 
"For thou shalt not leave my soul in hell," in which 
are important ritornels. This is followed by a recita- 
tive, a duet for soprano and alto in Italian aria form,^ 
a tenor solo, " Be not dismayed," after which the cantata 
closes with a soprano aria, " Up soul, and be joyful." 

During his stay at Arnstadt he chiefly cultivated 
instrumental music and composition, and, according to 
Mizler, began to show his eminence in organ-playing. 

In 1704, Johann Jacob, Sebastian's elder brother, who 
had entered the Swedish Guard as an oboe-player, came 
to bid farewell to his family and friends. For him Bach 
wrote the early "capriccio on the departure of his beloved 
brother." This was modelled on Johann Kuhnau's "Bible 
Sonatas." 2 

A chorale arrangement for two manuals and pedals 
" Wie schon leuchtet uns der Morgenstern " of this period 
exists in MS. in the R. Library at Berlin, and seventeen 
variations on " AUein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr " were in 
the possession of the late Dr Rust of Leipsic. 

Towards the end of 1705 Bach determined to go to 
Liibeck to hear and study the style of Buxtehude, one 
„. . of the greatest organists then living. He 

Jf^ f found a deputy, and having obtained one 

month's leave of absence, started on foot, 
on the journey of over 200 miles, with the object of 
arriving in time to hear the "evening performances" 
at the Marienkirche, which took place in November and 

* i.e. like many of Handel's songs, which have a da capo after the 
change of ke)'. 

" For an account of these see J. G. Shedlock, " The Pianoiorte 
Sonata," London, 1895. 


Cited to Appear 

December, which were peculiar to Liibeck, and which 
Buxtehude had worked up to a high pitch of excellence. 
They consisted of sacred music both vocal aijd instru- 
mental, with organ solos.^ 

Bach outstaid his leave of absence by some three 
months, and on his return to Arnstadt in February 1706 
received a " citation " to appear before the Consistory 
to explain his conduct. The Consistory at the same 
time brought a charge against him of neglecting the 
training of the choir, and of introducing unseemly 
variations on the organ during the singing of the chorale, 
whereby the congregation were thrown into confusion ; 
and they complained of the great length and unseemly 
figuration of his preludes to the chorales. 

Bitter gives the whole of the report of this " citation," 
in which the several charges are put to Bach and 
answered by him. 

"The organist of the New Church, Bach, is required 
to say where he has been for so long of late, and from 
whom he received leave of absence ? " 


"He has been to Liibeck in order to learn things 
connected with his art, but that he had previously asked 
permission from the Herr Superintendent." 

1 The organ had fifty-four stops, three manuals, and pedal ; and 
the post of organist at this church was one of the best in Germany. 
It had one drawback, however ; on the resignation or death of an 
organist, the person appointed to succeed him was obliged to marry 
his daughter. Mattheson and Handel in 1704 and Bach in 1706 
had thought of applying for the post, but were all frightened away by 
this condition, Buxtehude's successor was Johann Christian Schiefer- 
decker, who had been harpsichord player in the opera at Hamburg. 



Der Superintend. 

"He had only asked permission for four weeks, but 
had remained away four times as long as that." 


" Hopes that the organ would have been played by 
him whom he had put in, in such a manner that no 
complaint can be made on that point." 


"Charge him with having made extraordinary varia- 
tions in the chorales, and with intermixing many 
strange sounds, so that thereby the congregation were 
confounded. He must in the future, when he wishes to 
introduce some tonus peregrinus, continue in it, and not 
go off too quickly to something else, or, as he had 
hitherto been in the habit of doing, play a tonum con- 
trarium. And then it is very strange that up to this 
time he has had no rehearsals, because he will not agree 
with the scholars. Therefore he is to declare whether he 
will play both figural and choral music with the scholars, 
since a capellmeister cannot be kept. If he will not do 
this, let him say so categorically of his own accord, that 
a change may be made, and some one who will under- 
take it can be appointed to the post." 


"If an honest Director be appointed, he will play 


Explanations Needed 


" He must explain his conduct within eight days. 
That scholar Rambach (the choir prefect) now appear, 
and be reproved for the disorders which up to this time 
have taken place between the scholars and the organist 
of the New Church." 


"The organist, Bach, played for too long a time, 
but after this was notified to him, by the Herr Super- 
intendent, he at once went quite to the opposite extreme 
and has made it too short." 

The Consistory. 

"Accuse him (Rambach) of having gone to a wine- 
cellar last Sunday during the sermon." 


"Was very sorry, and it should never happen again, 
and the clergy have already spoken to him very severely 
about it. The organist need not complain of him about 
the conducting, because it was undertaken not by him, 
but by the youth Schmidt." 


" He must for the future behave quite differently and 
better, otherwise the gift which was intended for him 
would be withheld. If he has anything to remember 
against the organist, he must bring it forward at the 
proper place, and not take the law into his own hands. 


but behave in such a way as to give satisfaction, as 
he had promised. The servant of the Court is now 
ordered to tell the Rector to have Rambach imprisoned 
on four successive days for two hours each day."' 

Bach was always irritable and obstinate, and had 
completely alienated his choir. He was too much 
engaged in composition to take any interest in training 
it, and it was in any case not good enough for him. 
The Consistory allowed that there were faults on both 
sides, and hoped that by giving him more time than the 
eight days he would come to some agreement with the 
choir : but in vain. For Bach having come fresh from 
the artistic Ufe of Liibeck found the drudgery of training 
the rough scholars unbearable. The answer that he was 
required to give in eight days completely left his mind, 
and after more than eight months the Consistory again 
" represented to the organist Bach that he should declare 
whether, as he has been ordered to do, he will rehearse 
with the scholars or not; as, if he feels no shame in 
remaining in the Church and receiving the salary, he 
must also not be ashamed to ' make music ' {i.e. rehearse) 
with the scholars : for it is intended that these should 
exercise themselves, so that for the future they may have 
more skill in music." 


" Will make the declaration on this subject in writing." 

The Consistory. 
" Furthermore ask him by what power he has latterly 
allowed the strange maiden to appear, and to make music 
in the choir." 


Second Post 


"Has already spoken about it to Master Uthe."^ 

The " strange maiden " who made music with Bach in 
private in the church seems to have been his cousin, 
Maria Barbara, youngest daughter of Michael Bach of 
Gehren,^ whom he married in the following year. It is 
not known how the matter ended, but Bach, from this 
time, began to endeavour to find another post. 

An important post at St Blasius, Miihlhausen, some 
20 miles north of Gotha, fell vacant through the death 
of Johann Georg Ahle on December 2nd, 1706, and 
there were many candidates. It seems, from „ , 

Gerber's account (vol. ii. p. 764), to have . 

been at first offered to Johann Gottfried ^" 

Walther of Erfurt, but to have been declined 
by him ; ^ and when Bach, whose friction with the Con- 
sistory made him anxious to leave Arnstadt, offered 
himself as a candidate, the Council, after hearing him play, 
were unanimous in his favour. 

The church of St Blasius is a fine Gothic building, in 
strong contrast to the homely, towerless New Church at 
Arnstadt; and the office of organist is proportionately 
more important. Its present holder is Herr Musik- 
director Moller. 

' A preacher in the New Church. 
' No. 14 in the Genealogical Table. 

' This Walther was the author of the " Musikalisches Lexicon," 
Leipsic, 1732. 


Chapter III 

Bach's salary — He borrows a cart from the Consistory for his furniture — 
The agreement is made verbally — Bach's first marriage — His duties 
at St Blasius — The festival compositions — Repairs to the organ — 
Difficulties with the Pietists — He resigns his post — Is appointed 
chamber-musician at Weimar — His duties there -His relations with 
Walther — Studies instrumental music — His journeys — His competi- 
tion with Marchand. 

The competition took place at Easter 1707, and terms 
were arranged a month later. An organist is rarely a 
highly paid individual : but modern organists may well be 
astonished at the meagreness of the salary for which the 
greatest of their predecessors was content to work. The 
request for the loan of a cart to bring his modest furniture 
from Arnstadt brings the matter very plainly before us. 
One sees in Thuringia, even at the present day, the 
clumsy four-wheel carts which have not varied in shape 
for centuries, drawn by a cow and a pony, rarely by two 
horses ; and one can easily imagine such a cart conveying 
the household goods of the young musician across the 
plain from Arnstadt to Gotha, and from Gotha to Miihl- 

The terms were eighty-five giilden (about j£8, i os.) ; 
three maker (twelve bushels) of corn, two cords of wood, 
six trusses of brushwood ; the last in place of some arable 


At Muhlhausen 

land formerly held by the organist. The cost of convey- 
ance to his door was to be borne by the Council. In 
addition, he was to receive annually three pounds of 
fish, and he asked that a cart might be lent him for 
transporting his furniture from Arnstadt, to which request 
the Council agreed. 

A fire had, a fortnight before, destroyed a large portion 
of the parish of St Blasius, and when the clerk brought 
the agreement to the Council to sign, pens and ink were 
not forthcoming, so that a verbal agreement was made to 
all the terms. 

The actual appointment took place on June isth; and 
a fortnight later he was again in Arnstadt, where he 
thanked the Council for past favours, announced his 
resignation, and gave up the key of the organ. A sum 
of five giilden was due to him as salary, but he requested 
the Consistory to pay this to his cousin Ernst,^ who had 
formerly assisted him, but who was now ill and poor. 

His duties at St Blasius were to play the organ on 
Sundays, saints' days and festivals. He was anxious to 
raise the whole of the church music to a higher level, and 
mentioned this wish to the Council in an w' h f 
address. His predecessor Able had left a M"hl 

number of compositions which were frequently , 

performed, but Bach, not being satisfied 
with them, as quickly as possible made a good collection 
of music and had it performed, paying for it out of his 
own pocket. He also made eiforts to improve the choir 
and orchestra; 

He received considerable assistance in these endeavours 
from his pupil Johann Martin Schubart (who afterwards 
' No. 27 in the Genealogical List. 



succeeded him in his post at Weimar), and from his choir 
leader, Johann Sebastian Koch, afterwards Capellmeister 
to Count Reuss, and a Bachelor of Theology at Jena 

In October 1707, Bach returned to Arnstadt for his 
wedding, which took place on the 17th of that month, 
and it is evident that he had parted on good terms with the 
Consistory, for the prescribed fees were remitted. In 
September of the same year Tobias Lammerhirt, of Erfurt, 
a maternal uncle of Sebastian, had died, and left 50 
gulden (about ;^5) to each of his sister's children, and 
this legacy must have been welcome to Sebastian at the 
time of his wedding. 

Among the duties expected of the organist of St Blasius, 
was the composition of a cantata for the yearly change of 
Town Council (Rathswahl) ; and it was customary to 
have the music printed after the performance, at Miihl- 

The first of the cantatas thus composed by Bach is 
preserved ; it was for the festival of 1 708, and was per- 
formed in the Church of the Holy Virgin on February 4 
of that year. The text is taken from the Old Testament^ 
together with part of a hymn or a chorale, and Bach 
called it a motet. It was accompanied by three trumpets, 
drums, two flutes, two oboes, a bassoon and strings, the 
band being divided into four groups of brass, wood-wind 
(with cello), reed, and strings. The form is in imitation 
of some of Buxtehude's church cantatas.^ 

Bach found the organ of St Blasius in very bad con- 

' This is, according to the Bachgesellschaft, the only cantata 
published in Bach's life-time. Its title is "Gott ist mein Konig," 
No. 71 of the Bachgesellschaft edition, 


St Blasius Organ 

dition. It had not sufficient bellows, and there was in- 
sufficient pressure on the bass pipes, owing to there being 
too small a wind passage. There was no 3 2 feet stop and 
the trombone was too weak. Moreover the choir-organ 
had become useless, as had also several stops in the great. 

He drew up a list of deficiencies which he presented 
to the Council, and asked for the addition of a " Glocken- 
spiel" or peal of bells, to be acted on by pedals, an 
invention of his own. The latter addition was at once 
subscribed for by the parishioners. There n . • ^^ 
was a smaller organ in the church, which ^ 
he proposed to sell and apply the proceeds * 

to repairing the principal organ. The Council placed 
the entire management of the matter in his hands, and 
he obtained an estimate from Wender the organ-builder 
who agreed to do the work for 230 thalers,^ and to allow 
40 thalers for the small organ. 

The requirements were : — 

Three new bellows ; stronger wind to the four old ones,^ 
a new 32 feet stop with a separate wind chest for it ; 
renewal of the old bass wind chests ; new and larger 
pipes, with differently arranged mouthpieces for the bass 
trombone ; the addition of the new glockenspiel of twenty- 
four bells ; the trumpet on the great to be removed and 
a 1 6 feet bassoon to take its place ; the gemshorn to be 
changed for a viol da gamba of 8 feet ; a 3 feet nassat to 
be put in instead of the quint ; revoicing of all the rest 
of the pipes ; sundry alterations in the choir-organ ; and 

• The thaler =3 shillings. Bitter says 200 thalers was offered for 
the work and 50 thalers to be allowed for the small organ. 

* The organ in the Nicolai Church at Leipsic had in 1885 ten 
bellows, requiring four men to manipulate them. 



a coupler to connect it with the third manual ; the tremu- 
lant to be put in working order. 

Unfortunately, however, difficulties soon began to arise. 
He was looked upon as an outsider, for the post had 
previously always been held by a native ; and obstacles 
which appeared insurmountable soon began to beset 
him. Religious differences arose between the " Pietists " 
and the " Old Lutherans," the former being led by J. A, 
Frohne, dean of Miihlhausen, and the latter by G. C. 
Eilmar, archdeacon of the Church of the Blessed Virgin. 

Bach sided with the orthodox Lutherans, and Eilmar 

was godfather to his first child. The Pietists conceived 

of art as part of "the world," and therefore absolutely 

hostile to a Christian life : it could only be rightly used 

„. .. . in religion, and then only in the narrowest 

, . possible of " spiritual songs " from which all 

of music ^ . r. , 1 5 J TT 

•' expression must be excluded. Hence any 

attempt to introduce higher forms or new ideas must 

be sinful. It is easily seen, therefore, that Frohne would 

naturally place what obstacles he could in the way of 

Bach's endeavours to raise church music to the highest 

possible artistic standard. Moreover, the Pietists were 

opposed to the doctrine of regeneration by baptism, and 

to the whole of the simple but truly religious views which 

Bach had inherited from generations of his family, 

dedicated to the work of the church as organists and 

cantors. He was no theologian, and was perfectly content 

with the faith of his fathers. 

The most beautiful and deeply religious of his church 

cantatas were a sinful abomination in the eyes of the 

Pietists. What wonder then that he should have found 

difficulties and obstacles and want of appreciation in 


Weimar Appointment 

carrying out his aims. Even while he was in the midst 
of the interesting work of repairing his organ, the situa- 
tion began to become intolerable, and a post at Weimar 
falling vacant, he took steps to obtain it. 

On June 5 he went to Arnstadt for the second 
wedding of his friend Pastor Stauber, who had performed 
the service a year before at Bach's own wedding, and on 
June 25th 1708 he sent in his resignation to the Council 
at Miihlhausen, a year after he had received „ • 

the appointment. He had alw^ays been on *• ^ / 

the best of terms with them, and it is evident, ^ 

from the tone of his letter of resignation, that he was 
sorry to leave them. The Council on their side also 
regretted the step, but granted his dismissal, only requir- 
ing that he should supervise the repairs to the organ, 
which were not completed till 1709. 

The post at Weimar, which he now obtained, was that 
of Court-organist and chamber-musician to Duke Wilhelm 
Ernst of Saxe-Weimar. Forkel says that he made a 
journey to Weimar, and so pleased the Duke ™, . , 

with his organ-playing, that the post was at ^* ■ t 

once offered to, and accepted by him. ^^ 

"Here," says Hilgenfeldt, "he devoted him- 
self to acquiring that overwhelming mastery of the 
organ for which his fame is assured for all time : and he 
also laid the foundation for his future greatness as a 

His circumstances were now very favourable. His 
employer was a man of wide culture and refinement, 
deeply interested in music and other branches of art, but 
more particularly in church music. He was religious, 
and took much interest in religious matters ; and in all 



things he and Bach were in the closest sympathy. Bach's 
position at Weimar was much the same as that of Franz 
Liszt at the same Court in the nineteenth century.^ 
It is interesting to observe how this small and poor 
Court for such a long period was famous for its encourage- 
ment of art and literature. Bach in the first decades of 
the eighteenth century, Goethe and Schiller in the last 
quarter of the eighteenth and first part of the nineteenth, 
Liszt and Wagner later on, besides many lesser men, 
received help and encouragement at this remarkable 
Thuringian " Residenz." 

Bach, as we have seen, was appointed organist and 
" Kammermusikus " (chamber-musician) — his salary for 
the first three years being 156 gulden, 15 groschen 
{£'^5j 13s- 3d.), which was always punctually paid, 
but in 1711, 171 3, and 17 14 it was considerably in- 

The organ of the castle was small, but had a good 
pedal. There were 9 stops on the Great, 8 on the 
Choir, and 7 on the Pedal. The pitch was a minor third 
below the kammerton or ordinary pitch. 

As Kammermusikus Bach played the harpsichord and 
violin, and afterwards became " Concertmeister " or 
leader. The number of musicians was about twenty-two, 
including singers, but the latter could also play some 
instruments, and many members of the band performed 
on several. The orchestra would also be occasionally 
strengthened by the addition of the town musicians. 
Johann G. Walther was organist of the town church, and 
a great friendship sprang up between the two men. He 

' This is pointed out by G. H. Lewes in his " Life of Goethe," 
vol. i. p. 314. 


Sight-Reading Poser 

was connected with Bach by marriage, his mother being 
a Lammerhirt. One of his chorales has been erroneously 
ascribed to Bach. It is Peters, vol. 245, Book vi., No. 
24 — "Gott der Vater wohn' uns bei." 

Bach stood godfather to Walther's eldest son, and a 
friendly rivalry in composition arose between them. Later 
on, however, some unfortunate disagreement seems to 
have arisen between the friends, for Walther, in his 
Lexicon, omits the mention of events and compositions 
during the nine years' period at Weimar, which must 
have been well known to him. 

Forkel tells the following anecdote : — Bach, while still 
at Weimar, had advanced so far in clavier playing that he 
said to a friend that he believed he could play anything at 
first sight. His friend invited him to breakfast in a week's 
time, and for a joke placed on the harpsichord a newly 
composed piece which looked simple enough. While 
the friend was preparing breakfast in the next room. 
Bach instinctively began playing what he saw on the 
harpsichord, but was not able to advance very far. He 
tried several times, but always with the same result. On 
joining his friend, he laughingly acknowledged that no 
one could play everything at first sight, it was not 

Amongst other things Bach began to study Italian 
instrumental music at Weimar, especially with regard to 
the forms then in use, the concerto, the suite and the 
sonata. To this period may therefore perhaps be assigned 
some of the concertos for clavecin and other instruments, 
the suites for violin, etc., and the sonatas for harpsichord 
and violin. 

The sonata of this date was usually performed by two 



violins and a violoncello, with a figured bass part for a 
harpsichord or organ {e.g. the twelve sonatas of Purcell in 
Italian style, and the four sets of twelve sonatas each by 
Corelli op. i, 2, 3, 4). These sonatas had nothing in 
common with the modern sonata as begun by Emanuel 
Bach and perfected by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. 

Bach has left some examples in the sonatas for two 
violins and clavier (Peters, 237); for flute, violin, and 
clavier (Peters, 237) : by clavier must be understood here 
a part for figured bass, which would be played by violon- 
cello or double bass and harpsichord. Besides this, he 
adopted the form for other combinations, such as violin 
and figured bass, flute and figured bass (Peters, 232 to 
23s) viola da gamba and figured bass, etc. (Peters, 239). 

Bach and Walther had plenty of encouragement in this 
kind of music, since the Duke's nephew Joh. Ernst (who 
unfortunately died young) had considerable skill on the 
violin, and also was a fair composer. They vied with 
one another in arranging Italian concertos for the harpsi- 
chord and organ. Sixteen of Vivaldi's violin concertos 
were arranged by Bach for the harpsichord (Peters, 217) 
and three for the organ (Peters, 247).^ Walther arranged 
thirteen for organ from the works of Torelli, Taglietti, 
Albinoni, etc., and they are preserved in MS. in the 
Royal Library at Berlin. The arranging of these con- 
certos led Bach to the use of the new form for clavier 
compositions, of which the well-known Italian concerto is 

' Vivaldi takes an important place as one of those who studied 
and brought forward form. He wrote concertos for one, two, three 
and four solo violins, improved the orchestra, and invented new 
means of expression. He died in 1743 at Venice. See Spitta, vol. i. 
p. 411. 


Halle Incident 

an example. Is it possible that the friendly rivalry was 
the commencement of the estrangement with Walther ? 

Bach was in the habit of making expeditions to try 
different organs, or for other musical purposes, and his 
reputation began to spread through North and /iff 

Central Germany. He invented a peculiar 
form of fingering for keyboard instruments ^ 

in order to increase his facility, and his use of the 
pedal rose to unheard-of heights. He also became an 
expert in questions of organ construction, and was often 
called upon to give his opinion in this respect. He 
was very ingenious in his use of the stops and of artistic 
combinations, but, unfortunately, with one small excep- 
tion, none of his registering has come down to us. 
He was never in command of a really fine instrument, 
and the above exception, which consists of the chorale 
"Ein feste Burg," Peters, vol. vi.. No. 22, seems to 
have been written for the newly arranged organ at Miihl- 
hausen. It is for three manuals — the left hand has to play 
on a " fagott," and over the right hand is written " sesqui- 
altera." These directions are omitted in Peters' edition, 
but are given in Walther's collection at Konigsberg. 

In 1 713 he went to Halle, where a large organ of 
sixty-three stops had recently been placed in the Lieb- 
frauenkirche. Here he won laurels by his magnificent 
playing, and, since the post was vacant through the 
death of F. W. Zachau, he offered his services to the 
Council as organist. He remained long enough to go 
through the prescribed test of composing and conducting 
a cantata, after which he returned to Weimar in haste 
to fulfil his engagements. The authorities of the church 
wrote to him stating the salary and conditions, but Bach, 



considering that the payment was inadequate to the 
amount of work, returned the agreement they had sent 
him to sign. The Halle authorities then said that Bach 
had only opened the negotiations in order to obtain an 
increase of salary at Weimar. This naturally annoyed 
him, and drew from him a firm and dignified answer to 
the affront. 

In 1 7 14 Bach went to Cassel to try an organ, which 
had been recently renovated. His extraordinary execu- 
tion, especially on the pedals, so astonished the Crown 
Prince Friedrich (afterwards King of Sweden) that he 
drew a valuable ring from his finger and presented it to 

On the first Sunday in Advent 1714 he paid his first 
visit to Leipsic, where he conducted his cantata, " Nun 
Komm, der Heiden Heiland," and made the acquaint- 
ance of Kuhnau, Cantor of the Thomas Church, whose 
works he much admired. 

The autograph score of this cantata is still in existence, 
and on it is noted, in Bach's own hand, the order of the 
service in just the same way as any modern organist, who 
was taking a service in a strange church, would note it. 
„ , , The order on this occasion was a prelude 
T 1 on the organ, then a motet, then the kyrie, 

which was preceded by a prelude on the 

S€WtC€ • 

organ. Then came the epistle, the litany 
(which was sung), and the prelude to the chorale. Then 
the gospel, and after this the cantata, which was also pre- 
ceded by a prelude. To this followed the sermon, then 
the Communion, during which he had to extemporise 
another prelude to a chorale, and the service concluded 
with a voluntary on the organ. 


Examining an Organ 

The organ solo portions of the service were all called 
" Preludes " ; and it does not seem that a concluding 
"voluntary" was usual. The prelude was played at 
the beginning of the service, and before the chorales. 
With us it is customary to simply play through the tune 
of a hymn or chant, in order to let the congregation know 
what they are to sing, and to give them time to find their 
places in the books. In Germany an artistic and some- 
what elaborate prelude, in which the organist is expected to 
show his skill, precedes each chorale. 

A hymn was sung between the epistle and gospel, in 
the place of the " Gradual " of the Roman service, and 
here the most elaborate prelude was introduced, based on 
the melody of the hymn. 

Before the " church music," which takes the place of 
our anthem, an extempore prelude was played in order to 
allow the instruments to be tuned. This was in the form 
of a fantasia, in which the performer had to remain longest 
in the key which most coincided with the strings to be 
tuned. The prelude had to stop on a sign from the 
conductor that the instrumentalists were ready. It was 
supposed to have some connection with the piece that 
was to follow, but the unhappy effusions of incompetent 
organists led to occasional remonstrance from the 

In 1 716 the Council of the Liebfrauenkirche at Halle 
invited him to examine their organ, which was _ 
now completed. He answered their invitation . , 

very politely, and with Kuhnau of Leipsic and ■' 

Ch. F. Rolle of Quedlinburg began the ex- ^^^ organ 
amination in the second week after Easter. The organ 
was built by Cuncius of Halberstadt, and the three ex- 



aminers reported that he had carried out the work (which 
had occupied three years) in the most satisfactory way 
possible, the only part requiring alteration being the 
bellows. After many difficulties, owing to the smallness 
of the salary, the authorities eventually found an efficient 
organist in G. Kirchoff, a pupil of Zachau and a man or 
the same age as Bach. 

About 1 716 the friend of Bach's youth, G. Erdmann, 
visited him. He had held a legal post under the Russian 
government since 17 13. 

In the autumn of 171 7 Bach made a journey to 
Dresden to hear the performances at the theatre, which 
was supported by Friedrich August I. There happened 
to be visiting Dresden a famous French organist and 
(^ f f harpsichord player Jean Louis Marchand, 

.,, organist at Versailles, and of several churches 

,, , , at Paris. He enjoyed an immense reputa- 
Marchand ^. , ' i ^i , , ■ 

tion as player and composer, though his 

compositions have not borne the test of time, and are 
now entirely forgotten. Vain, arrogant, and conceited, 
the spoilt idol of French society, he came to Dresden, 
where his playing became much in favour at the Court 
and he was given two medals. Soon after Bach's 
arrival there arose a discussion among the artists as to 
which was the greater performer. The Court musicians 
took the part of Marchand, while the members of the 
orchestra, who were mostly Germans, preferred Bach. 
The matter ended in Bach's being persuaded by his 
friends to write to Marchand, offering to go through 
any musical test that Marchand might suggest, on con- 
dition that he would undergo the same test. 

The challenge was accepted; a date was fixed for a 


A Victory 

meeting at the house of Field Marshal von Flemming,^ 
a jury of musicians was chosen, and a brilliant company 
assembled. Bach and the jury arrived punctually, but 
Marchand did not appear. After a time he was sent 
for, when it was found that he had departed by express 
coach that morning from Dresden, certain, no doubt, 
of being defeated. Marchand seems to have heard 
Bach privately beforehand ; while Bach was already 
familiar with Marchand's works, and admired them 
much. Spitta ^ considers that they are not inferior to 
those of Couperin in variety and grace, but are rather 
thin for the more solid German taste. The news of 
Bach's victory soon spread far and wide, and did much 
to enhance his already great reputation. He, however, 
never seems to have obtained any recognition from the 
Court at Dresden. 

' According to Bitter. - Vol. i. p. 585. 


Chapter IV 

Bach becomes capellmeister to the Duke of Cbthen — His Weimar pupils 
— His new duties — Death of his wife — Journey to Hamburg— He 
competes for an organistship there — The post is sold — Disgust of 
Mattheson at the transaction— Bach endeavours to meet Handel — 
His second marriage — Is obliged to leave Cothen. 

Bach returned from Dresden to prepare for a jubilee at 
Weimar, in commemoration of the two hundredth anni- 
versary of the Reformation. The festival took place from 
October 31st to November 2nd, and for it Bach com- 
posed at least one cantata and perhaps two. On this 
occasion the Duke established a fund, of which the 
interest was to be distributed yearly, the Court organist 
to receive 3 gulden from it. 

The old capellmeister, Samuel Drese, had for twenty 
years been too much out of health to fulfil his duties. 
The duke, however, would not dismiss him, but gave 
him a deputy, G. C. Strattner, at a salary of 200 
gulden. Drese died on December i, 17 16, and it 
would seem natural that Bach should be appointed in 

„ ., his place. For some reason, however, he 

was passed over, and Dres'e's son (who had 

^^ ' succeeded Strattner as deputy capellmeister) 

was installed. Bach, therefore, accepted an 

offer made by Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen of a 

capellmeister-ship, and in November 171 7 moved to 


Organ Pupils 

Cothen. His post at the Weimar Castle organ was 
filled by his' pupil Schubart. 

Amongst Bach's duties at Weimar was that of compos- 
ing and conducting a certain number of sacred pieces 
every year, to texts by Franck, the secretary to the 
Superior Consistory of the Principality of Weimar, and 
librarian to the duke. Franck was a good poet, and 
had written excellent masques, besides occasional pieces 
for weddings, etc. 

Bach's fine playing naturally attracted many pupils. In 
those days there were no Conservatoires or Academies 
of Music ; and pupils were " articled," as in „ .. 

our own country, to eminent organists, taking ^ 

much the same place as apprentices in any trade — ^in fact, 
they were called apprentices. His first pupil, who was 
also his amanuensis, was J. M. Schubart; of J. C. Vogler, 
Gerber says that Bach considered him his best organ pupil. 
He became Court organist and burgomaster of Weimar. 

Another pupil was Joh. T. Krebs, who, however, did 
not begin studying till he was married and had already 
a post as organist at Buttestadt near Weimar, whence he 
used to walk weekly to Weimar, for seven years, to obtain 
instruction from Walther, and afterwards from Bach. 

Krebs' son, Joh. Ludwig, became a pupil of Bach at 
Leipsic at the age of thirteen, and Bach had a very high 
opinion of him. He received the appointment of organist 
of Buttestadt. According to Gerber, he was Bach's pupil 
and assistant at the harpsichord for nine years, and was 
second only to Vogler in eminence. 

In repayment for his elder brother's care at Ohrdruf, 
Bach took charge of his nephew Bernhardt at Easter, 1715, 
^ No. 45 in the Genealogy. 
D 49 


teaching him the clavier and composition. Bernhard after- 
wards was appointed organist of Ohrdruf, in succession to 
his father. Some of his compositions still exist in MS. 
and show the influence of his uncle. 

Bach's duties at Cothen did not comprise any organ 
playing or church music : in fact, he never held an 
organistship after he left Weimar. The organ of the 
castle was merely a little chamber instrument, with only 
thirteen stops, of which ten belonged to the two manuals 
and three to the pedals. . 

The Prince was highly cultivated, with a great taste 
for music, which had been developed by travels in Italy. 
After the custom of German princes of that time, he 
became a patron of art, practising it himself. Spitta 
(vol. ii. p. 3) infers from an inventory in the ducal 
archives at Cothen, that he played the violin, gamba, 
and harpsichord. 

There is no sign of there having been a trained chorus 
at Cothen. One of the members of the band was Chr. F. 
Abel, who afterwards became famous as a viola-da-gambist, 
while his second son Karl Friedrich was the well-known 
virtuoso on this instrument. 

J. Schneider became a pupil of Bach's at this time. 
He was a violinist in the band, but afterwards became 
organist of the Nicolai-church at Leipsic. Bach's salary 
here amounted to 400 thalers (about £60) ; it com- 
menced from August i, though he remained in office at 
Weimar until November. 

The private performances at the castle were full of 
zeal for art. The Prince would not part with Bach, 
even for a short time, and took him on his journeys; 
Bach reciprocated this feeling, and cherished his memory 


Death of his Wife 

after hi? early death. In the Royal Library at Berlin 
is the autograph of a serenade written for the 
Prince's birthday. It is scored for soprano and bass 
solo voices, string band, harpsichord, two flutes and 
one bassoon : this being the entire resources available. 
The words, which are very meagre, are by an unknown 
author, probably Bach himself. The cantata itself 
is not published, but its music is used with other 
words in the Whitsuntide Cantata " Erhohtes Fleisch 
und Blut."i 

In May 1718, and again in 1720, Bach and six 
members of the orchestra accompanied the Prince to 
Carlsbad. In November 17 18 the Prince and his 
younger brother and sister stood god-parents to Bach's 
seventh child, Leopold August, who died in the following 
year. The fact of so many high personages standing 
sponsor to this child is a proof of the estimation 
in which the Prince's capellmeister was held. 

Bach's artistic journeys were continued from time to 

time, and on December 16, 1717, he found himself at 

Leipsic again, in response to an invitation to r^ 

*^ . ° , ^ . , . J Examines a 

examme a large new organ recently erected 

in the University Church of St Paul. The "^^/jl^^ 

builder was Johann Scheibe, and Bach ■ ^ 

declared it to be one of the best organs in Germany. 

In July 1720, on his return from the second visit with 

Prince Leopold to Carlsbad, he was met with the terrible 

news that his wife had died, and had been n th f 

buried on the 7 th of that month. She was , .-^ 

only thirty-six, and was in good health when •' ■' 

he left her. She had borne him seven children, had been 

' Spitta, vol. ii. pp. 6, 7. 



the best of companions, and was keenly sympathetic 
towards her husband's work. 

He went to Hamburg to perform a new cantata on the 
text " He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he 
y. .. . that humbleth himself shall be exalted," 

TT I in November 1720. He found Reinken 

* still playing the organ of St Catherine, 
though now ninety-seven years old. Reinken, though 
a very great artist, was vain, and jealous, and it was 
a question how he would receive Bach. Mattheson, 
who did not love him, said that he was a "constant 
admirer of the fair sex, and much addicted to the wine 
cellar of the Council," though he admitted that he had 
no equal on the organ in his own style. Moreover, he 
kept his instrument in excellent tune, and was always 
talking of it. When Bach came, an appointment was 
made, and he played for more than two hours, half an 
hour of which was occupied in a masterly improvisation 
on the chorale " By the waters of Babylon," in motet 
style. After the performance, at which the chief men 
of the city were present, Reinken came to him, and 
saying, " I thought this art was dead, but I perceive that 
it still lives in you," invited him to visit him, and treated 
him with every attention. Reinken's praise was the more 
complimentary, because he himself had copiposed and 
published a very successful arrangement of the same 

The organ at St Catherine had four manuals and pedal, 

with an abundance of good reeds, of which Bach was 

fond (a specification is in Niedt, Mus. Handl. II., p. 176). 

There was also a posaune, a 32 ft. open diapason, and 

> Hilgenfeldt, p. 26. 


a mixture of lo ranks. It dated from the sixteenth 
century, and had been renovated in 1670 by Besser 
of Brunswick. '^ 

A still larger instrument was that of St James' Church 
in the same city, built by Arp Schnitker between 1688 
and 1693, containing sixty stops, four manuals and pedal. 
The organist of this church, H. Friese, had recently died, 
and Bach, being tempted by the organ, and the prospect 
of again having an opportunity of composing cantatas, 
offered himself for the post. 

There were seven other candidates, the two most im- 
portant being a son of Vincentius Liibeck, and Wiedeburg, 
capellmeister to the Count of Gera. An ^ 
examination was fixed for November 28, the , * t t 
examiners being the elders of the church, ■' rr i 
together with Gerstenbiittel the cantor, * 

Reinken, and two other Hamburg organists, Kniller and 
Preuss. Wiedeburg, Liibeck and one other candidate 
retired. The tests were performances of the two chorales 
"O lux beata Trinitas," and " Helft mir Gott's Giite 
preisen," and an extemporised fugue on a given 

Bach could not wait for the examination, since his 
duties at Cothen required him to return home. He was, 
however, excused having to submit to the test, on account 
of his great reputation, and arranged to announce by 
letter whether he would accept the post. He wrote in 
the affirmative, though the contents of his letter are not 
known. The committee had his letter publicly read, and 
then elected an entirely unknown man, J. Joachim Heit- 
mann, who had done nothing for the art of music, but 
' Spitta, vol, ii. p. 18, 



who on January 6, 1721, paid to the treasury of the 
church four thousand marks, which he had promised in 
the event of his being elected. The committee came to 
the conclusion that "the sale of a post of organist should 
not become a custom, since it pertained to the service of 
God ; but if, after election, a person of his own free will 
should show his gratitude by money payment, the church 
should not refuse it." 

Neumeister, a famous preacher, who had not been able 
to prevent this extraordinary transaction, left the com- 
mittee in anger. Mattheson thus describes the state of 
public opinion when it became known.^ " I remember, 
and no doubt other people still remember likewise, that 
some years ago a great musician, who since then has, as 
he deserves, obtained an important appointment as cantor, 
appeared in a certain town of some size, boldly per- 
formed on the largest and finest instruments, and at- 
tracted universal admiration by his skill. At the same 
time, among other inferior players, there offered himself 
the son of a well-to-do artisan, who could prelude better 
with thalers than with his fingers, and the office fell to 
him, as may easily be guessed, although almost everyone 
was angry about it. It was nigh upon Christmas-tide, 
and an eloquent preacher, who had not consented to this 
simony, expounded very beautifully the Gospel concerning 
the angelic music at the birth of Christ, which very 
naturally gave him the opportunity of expressing his 
opinions as to the recent event as regarded the rejected 
artist, and of ending his discourse with this noteworthy 
epiphonema : ' He believed quite certainly that if one of 

' In " Der Musicalische Patriot," 1728, quoted by Spitta, vol. iU 
p. 20. 


Seeking Handel 

the angels of Bethlehem came from heaven, who played 
divinely, and desired to be organist of St James' Church, 
if he had no money he would have nothing to do but to 
fly away again.' " 

Bach had no equal in Germany as an organ player — 
this was soon admitted on all sides.^ Handel's fame had 
reached Germany from England, both as a composer and 
organ player. Comparisons were made between Handel's 
oratorios and Bach's cantatas and Passion music — the 
former were widely known, while the latter were hardly 
yet appreciated, and were forgotten after the death of the 

We have a contemporary opinion in Mattheson, who 
had often heard Handel. " No one," says he, " can easily 
surpass Handel in organ playing, unless it were Bach of 
Leipsic, for which reason these two are mentioned first, 
out of their alphabetical order. I have heard them in 
the prime of their powers, and have often competed with 
the former both in Hamburg and I.iibeck."^ Handel, 
however, did not devote himself so entirely to the organ 
and organ compositions as Bach; he left no unaccom- 
panied solos for that instrument. Moreover, it is doubt- 
ful if he found instruments of respectable size in England. 

Bach and Handel never met, though they were twice 

very near one another. Handel came to „ , 

Tj 11 u- i.- .. ■ VI Endeavours 

Halle, his native town, in 1 7 1 9, while on a . . 

journey as impresario for the opera in Lon- tt d 1 

don. Bach hearing of it, made a journey to 

Halle from C6then,.but unfortunately arrived there the 

very day Handel had left. In 1729, he made another 

' Scheibe Kritikus Musicus, 1745, pp. 839, 875. 

' VoUk. Capellmeister, 1739, quoted by Spitta, vol. ii. p. 26. 



attempt to meet Handel by sending him a polite invitation, 
through his son Friedemann, to come to Leipsicj but 
Handel refused the invitation. On a third visit of Handel 
to Halle, Bach was dead. Bach greatly admired Handel's 
music, and copied some of it for his own use. 

We have seen that Bach's first wife died in 1 720. It was 
not at all in accordance with the family traditions to remain 
D II a widower, and in 1 7 2 1 he began to think of 

, ., re-marrying. He opened negotiations in this 
^ year with Anna Magdalena Wiilken, a Court 
singer at Cothen, twenty-one years old, and the youngest 
daughter of the Court trumpeter, and was married to her 
on December 3 in the same year. 

Bach's second wife was a good musician, and had a fine 
soprano voice, which she used for the performance of her 
husband's works in the privacy of the home circle. She 
had lessons from her husband in clavier and figured bass 
playing, and also gave him immense help in copying 
music; amongst other things, her MS. copy of a great 
part of Handel's Passion-music still exists. 

Just before Bach's second marriage the widow of his 
uncle Tobias Lammerhirt died, leaving him part of her 
estate. This was the uncle who died just before Bach's 
first marriage, leaving him a legacy. The second acces- 
sion of money caused some trouble. The distribution 
under the will of the widow was disputed in the names 
of five relations, Joh. Christoph Bach of Ohrdruf, Joh. 
Jacob Bach, Joh. Sebastian Bach, Maria Wiegand (born 
Bach), and Anna Zimmermann (born Lammerhirt). Un- 
fortunately for the petitioners, they had used the names 
of the three Bachs without ever informing them. As a 
matter of fact, Joh. Christoph was already dead, and Joh. 


A Large Family 

Jacob was in Sweden ; Job. Sebastian was most indignant 
when he heard of it, and wrote to the Council of Erfurt 
disclaiming both for himself and his brother all desire to 
dispute the will ; saying that they were perfectly satisfied 
with their share, and that the petition was drawn up with- 
out any notice being sent to them. The proceedings were 
then dropped at once, and nothing more is heard of them. 

Immediately after their marriage the Bachs started a MS. 
music-book between them, entitled " Clavier Biichlein vor 
Anna Magdalena Bachin, Anno 1720," on ,. . 

the first page of which is written a playful ^, . 

inscription to the effect that the book was „ , 

directed against the Calvinism, and its at- 
tendant melancholy and hostility to all art, which was 
rife at Cothen at this period. This book was followed in 
1725 by a second and larger book ; both are preserved in 
the Royal Library at Berlin. The books contain various 
clavier compositions by Bach, Bohm, Gerhard and others, 
besides sundry hymns and sacred songs, also a song on 
the reflections of a smoker ; and others evidently addressed 
to his wife, to whom he was devoted. 

He had thirteen children, six sons and seven daughters, 
by this wife ; making, together with those by his first wife, 
nineteen children in all. 

Anna Magdalena's portrait was painted by Cristofori, 
and came into the possession of Philip Emanuel, but it 
has now disappeared. 

Most of his chamber music was written at Cothen, 
where he remained more than five years. 

His position was so peaceful and pleasant that he pro- 
posed to spend the rest of his life there. His prince was 
in full sympathy with him, as we have seen. He had 



none of the contentions which seem to be almost in- 
evitable between an organist and his church authorities 
when the organist wishes for anything beyond a mere 
conventional standard of church music.^ He' had nothing 
to do with either the composition or performance of 
church music; and if he had remained there the world 
would have been the poorer by the Passion-music and 
nearly all the cantatas. Fortunately for us, however, his 
circumstances altered. His prince married a lady who 
had no sympathy with music or its professors, and his 
interest in music began to flag. After five years Bach 
found himself again obliged to seek another post : and 
he found one in which he remained till his death. 

^ After leaving Cothen, Bach still held the title of honorary Capell- 
meister to the Prince, until the death of the latter in 1728. Bach 
composed a "Trauer Musik" for his funeral, which is unfortunately 


The Thomasscliulc at Lcipsn 

Chapter V 

The position and duties of the Cantor of St Thomas' School at Leipsic — 
The condition of the school in 172a — Kuhnau's death — Competition 
and election of two cantors in succession — Bach offers himself — Is 
elected — Difficulties with the authorities. The Council make irritat- 
ing regulations — Bach endeavours to leave Leipsic — Election of a new 
Rector, and temporary disappearance of Bach's troubles. 

Of the three ancient schools at Leipsic, St Thomas, 
dating from the thirteenth century under the Augustines, 
was the oldest and most important. It was ^. „, , 
endowed with no less than fifty-four scholar- „ , . 

ships for the encouragement of church music, j . .' 

and its cantor was a person of considerable ^ 

importance, who ranked next below the Rector and 
Conrector. These three officials, together with the chief 
Latin master, were " Superiores," who kept apart from the 
" Inferiores " or lower masters. The cantor's duty was to 
teach singing for seven hours a week, to take the boys to 
church on Thursdays at 7 o'clock in the morning, and to 
give certain Latin lessons. He had also to take his turn 
with the other Superiores in inspecting and examining the 
boys for one week in four. The boys lived with them, and 
the regulations of the school required all to get up at 5 in 
summer, 6 in winter, to dine at 10, to have supper at 5, 
to go to bed at 8. 

The boys of the Thomas-school had to supply the 



music every Sunday in four churches, St Thomas, St 
Nicholas, St Peter and St Matthew ; but at St Peter's only 
chorales were sung, so that the younger singers sufificed for 
this duty. 

A motet or cantata was performed every Sunday at 
the Thomas-Church and Nicolai-Church alternately : a 
custom which still continues ; the service is at 9 a.m., and 
the cantata, which is always accompanied by the town 
orchestra with the organ, takes somewhat the place of the 
anthem in an English cathedral. The composition to be 
performed on each Sunday is now announced in the 
previous Saturday's papers. 

On great festivals the music was performed in both 
churches at once, and twice a day. The cantor was 
responsible for the music at one church, the choir 
prefect for that at the other. 

In order to lighten the work that this must have 
imposed on the boys, the choir that sang at St Thomas 
in the morning would sing the same music at St Nicholas 
in the afternoon ; and the cantata which was sung at St 
Nicholas in the morning would be repeated at St Thomas 
in the afternoon. The rehearsals took place on Saturday 
afternoons from about 2.30 to 4. 

Wedding and funeral music had also to be supplied 
by the cantor. Moreover he had not only to choose the 
music for these occasions, and teach it to the choir, but 
appear in person to direct it, though he frequently left 
the last duty to the prefect. 

The choristers had to take part in certain processions at 
Michaelmas, New Year, on St Martin's and St Gregory's 
days : and these performances were conducted by the 
prefects. For this purpose they were divided into four 


Office of Cantor 

choirs, but the four choirs had only two or three voices 
for each part. The cantor had to direct the music in 
the two other churches, i.e. St John and St Paul, to in- 
spect their organs, and to superintend the town musicians 
who took part in the church music. 

The holidays consisted of one week during each of the 
fairs,^ followed by a week of half-holidays. In the sum- 
mer four weeks of half-holidays. Morning lessons were 
omitted on Saints' days, funeral days, and academical 
speech days. Four whole holidays in the year took place 
on the " Name days " of the four principal masters. 

In Lent no church music was performed, except on 
the festival of the Annunciation; and on the last three 
Sundays in Advent there was no church music. 

The above list of holidays may seem at first sight 
ample ; but it had this great drawback : the masters were 
never free, as in English schools, to go away for change 
of scene. The boys appear to have lived with them 
throughout the year. It is possible that German boys 
do not cause so much anxiety to their masters as English 
boys, and that work was not carried on at such high 
pressure as nowadays ; it is quite certain that no master 
of an English public school could pursue his work con 
tinuously, year after year, as these old Germans seem to 
have done, without breaking down in health. 

The cantor was provided with a residence in the school : 
the salary was loo gulden (about jQiz), but the whole 
income from various sources amounted to about 700 
thalers (about ;£ioo), together with certain allowances 

^ The three fairs, called "Messe,"are held at Easter, Michaelmas 
and New Year. Leipsic is at these times crowded with merchants 
from all parts of the world. 



of corn, wine and firewood. A curious custom, though 
not an uncommon one in those days, was, that certain 
scholars twice a week went round the town to collect 
donations for the school ; and out of these, 6 pfennige 
(about three farthings) per week were taken for each 
scholar and divided between the four upper masters. 
The moneys collected during the processional singing 
in the streets, and also the fees paid for funerals and 
weddings were divided according to certain fixed rules. 
Bach mentions to Erdmann that when the air of Leipsic 
is good there are few funerals, and therefore the cantor's 
income is smaller. Many efforts were made by the public 
to evade these taxes, by holding funerals and weddings 
without music; and there arose a certain feeling of in- 
dignation that an important school and church official 
should partly derive his means of subsistence from money 
obtained by begging. 

Owing to the insufficiency of accommodation the school 
was a centre of illness, until the building was enlarged. 

The Rector, Ernesti, was very old — he was a learned 
man, but was not able to control either masters or boys. 
The former quarrelled among themselves, and neglected 
their duties ; the boys were undisciplined, and the many 
calls on their time for musical performances made their 
education difficult. When Ernesti was appointed there 
were one hundred and twenty boys in the lower school ; 
there were now only fifty-three. 

The scholarships had plenty of applicants, but the better 
class of citizens sent their sons to the other schools. The 
lowest classes of the Thomas School consisted of boys of 
the worst character, who went about the town barefoot 
and begging. 



All reform which might result in curtailing his salary 
was opposed by Ernesti, and the cantor seconded his 
opposition. Things therefore grew worse and worse till 
his death in 1729. In 1730 the superintendent reported 
that the school had run wild, and that there were so few 
scholars that it was proposed to close the lower classes 
altogether. As to the singing, it must have been very 
bad. The slow processions in the worst of weather, the 
running up long flights of stairs to sing before the doors of 
the higher "flats" ruined the voices. Kuhnau „, , 
complained in 1 7 1 7 that the trebles lost their , . 

voices before they had learned to use them. 
In addition to this, they were undisciplined and often 
feeble and miserable from illness, so that they did not 
offer an attractive material for the cantor to work upon. 

Kuhnau worked his hardest to remedy this state of 
things, but without avail. In reply to his very reasonable 
request that at least two trebles should be set apart for 
church music only, and not allowed to run about the 
streets and attend funerals for money, the Council 
took no further steps than to allow 4 gulden for this 
purpose, and that two boys should be released from the 
winter processions. 

When from 1693 to 1729 a house in the Briihl, one 
of the chief streets of Leipsic, was used for the perform- 
ance of operas during the fairs, much damage was done to 
the musical tendencies of the inhabitants of Leipsic. The 
students of the University, who had formerly taken an 
important part in the performance of the church cantatas, 
now left Kuhnau (after he had been at the troulde of 
training them), and joined the chorus of the opera. The 
trouble was most acute when Telemann was organist of 



the Church of St Matthew. He had been a student in 
the University, had composed an opera, and had formed 
a musical society amongst the students. Looking upon 
him as one of themselves, they entirely left Kuhnau, 
who had to supply the music for the churches as best 
he could. A new and operatic style of music came 
into vogue under Telemann at St Matthew's Church, 
which became very popular; and his musical society 
became the most important in Leipsic. There were 
sixty members, who practised twice a week from 8 to 
10 in the evening, and their performances, which took 
place during fair time, became important. This " Musical 
Union" practised in the coffee-houses, and members of 
the public were admitted ; its meetings had none of the 
formality of school practice, but were cheerful and 
attractive. Some of its better instrumentalists obtained 
engagements in good bands, as at Dresden, Darmstadt, 
Wolfenbiittel and Hamburg. 

Telemann's post, when he left, was successively occupied 
by good musicians, and the union and opera were kept 
up ; the cantor had, in consequence, a hard time of it. 
At festivals and fairs, when he was naturally anxious to 
do well before the public, he had nothing to rely on but 
a few inefi&cient town musicians and unruly schoolboys. 

The organ at the Thomas Church was "belaboured 
first by one, then by another pair of unwashed hands," 
the director of the music being either unable to play it, 
or absent. Kuhnau begged that a regular organist should 
be appointed, but he begged in vain. The Council, like 
everyone else, were more interested in the attractions of 
the opera than in the serious music of the two important 


The Thomas School 

At last even the boys took to the opera. Those who 
had any voices got engaged by an impresario, ran away 
from school, and returned only to appear in the theatre 
during fair time, thus exciting the admiration and envy 
of their former school-fellows. The music at the Thomas 
School had reached its lowest ebb at the time of Kuhnau's 

Kuhnau, the cantor of this School of St Thomas at 
Leipsic, died on June 5, 1722. Six candidates applied 
for the post — Fasch, a former pupil of Kuhnau, and now 
capellmeister to the Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst \ _j, „ 
RoUe, musical director at Magdeburg, and j. v- 1. 
formerly organist of Quedlinburg ; Telemann, 
who had composed cantatas for St Thomas' Church, and 
operas for the Leipsic theatre, cantor at Hamburg ; G. 
F. Kaufifmann, a pupil of Buttstedt, and organist of Merse- 
burg ; Graupner, capellmeister of Darmstadt ; and Schott, 
the organist of St Matthew's Church at Leipsic. 

Telemann was elected, and arrangements were made 
for his installation, when he wrote from Hamburg that 
he would not accept the office. The Council were 
therefore, much against their will, obliged to elect 
another, and their choice fell on Graupner, who had 
been nine years a boy in the Thomas School, and was 
a pupil of Kuhnau. He was considered one of the 
best composers for the harpsichord of the day. He 
was backed by strong recommendations and testimonials 
from Heinichen, the capellmeister of Dresden, but the 
Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt refusing to part with him, 
he was forced to retire. 

At the end of 1722 Bach, after long and anxious 
deliberation, offered himself for the appointment. 

E 65 


He did not wish to leave his comfortable post at 
Cothen, and moreover the position of cantor was 
somewhat less dignified than the office of capellmeister. 
T) 1, jf On the other hand, the education of his sons 
, . ,¥ could be better carried out at Leipsic, and 
■^ the marriage of the Prince had to some 

extent put him out of favour. After some three months' 
hesitation, acting on the advice of friends, he went to 
Leipsic and performed his test piece, "Jesus nahm zu 
sich die Zwolfe" (Peters, 1290), on February 7, 1723. 

On the retirement of Graupner Bach was chosen, with 
the proviso that if he could not teach all the Latin 
required, they would pay a deputy to do it for him. Not 
wishing to be behind his predecessor Kuhnau, he under- 
took all the duties, but soon finding the Latin too much 
of a task, he paid his colleague Pezold 50 thalers per 
annum to relieve him of this part of his work. He had 
to sign an agreement to lead a respectable and sober life ; 
_,, to be faithful and diligent in the perform- 

. . ance of his duties ; to have a proper respect 

^^^ ^ for the Council; not to make the church 
music too long or too operatic; to instruct the boys in 
instrumental as well as vocal music ; to treat them with 
humanity; not to send incapable singers to the New 
Church ; ^ not to make any journeys without permission 
from the Burgomaster; and not to accept any office in 
the University without leave from the Council.^ 

After signing this agreement, he had to pass an ex- 
amination as to his religious views, and on the 13th 
of May 1723, he was confirmed in the appointment: 

' i.e. the Church of St Matthew. 
' Spitta, vol. ii. p. 186. 


Cloud and Sunshine 

though the installation did not take place till the 

Bach's residence was in the left side of the school 
buildings: but in 1731 the building was enlarged and 
he for a year lived in a temporary residence, for which 
the Council paid a rent of 60 thalers. 

This particular post of cantor was one of the most im- 
portant in Germany and had been always held by a dis- 
tinguished man. The work was not heavy, though the 
list of duties seems a long one ; and he would have time 
for his own engrossing occupation of composing. He 
still held the rank of a capellmeister, and in addition 
to that of Cothen, he was given honorary rank as capell- 
meister of the Court of Weissenfels in the year he removed 
to Leipsic. 

And with the resumption of church work came diffi- 
culties of many kinds. The authorities never, from first 
to last, recognised that they had one of the -, , . 
world's greatest geniuses to deal with ; in fact . , , 

they did not require a genius ; all they asked ^ ^ . •. ■ 
was that their cantor should be able to 
carry out the church music in a respectable conventional 
manner. Bach, with his lofty ideals, was so often at 
variance with them that the history of his life at Leipsic 
seems at first sight to consist of one long turmoil and 

Yet there are bright spots in the picture ; and nothing 
was able to disturb the equanimity with which, in spite of 
external rubs, he for twenty-seven years continued to pour 
forth his marvellous Passion music and cantatas. 

It was very important from Bach's point of view that 
he should be in a position to control and regulate all the 



church music that was performed at Leipsicj and for 
this purpose he was obliged to take steps to obtain control 
of the students' chorus, which now sang in the University 
Church. The organist there was Corner, a conceited and 
not very competent musician, who had been in the habit of 
directing the music after Kuhnau's death. 

Corner persuaded the authorities that the cantor 
of St Thomas could not possibly serve St Paul's^ as 
well as St Thomas and St Nicholas; and he there- 
fore continued in his post as musical director to the 

The music for the University Festivals had, however, 
been from time immemorial conducted by the cantor; 
and Bach seems to have gained his way in the 
matter. The cantor had a special payment for these 
services; but Corner had appropriated part of it. 
Bach tolerated this for two years, and then addressed 
a letter to the King of Saxony explaining that he, by 
A Am J '■'S'^^ °^ office, conducted the music, but was 

,■, ■^. only paid half the official salary. The letter 

° was dated September 14, 1725, and on the 

17th the Ministry of Dresden wrote to the University 

requiring them to restore the salary to the petitioner, 

or to show their reasons for not doing so. 

The University wrote justifying themselves, whereupon 
Bach, suspecting that they had not properly stated the 
case, petitioned the King to allow him to see a copy of 
their justification. He wrote a refutation of this, and 

• i.e. the University Church. In Bach's lime there were six 
churches at Leipsic — St Thomas, St Nicholas (or Nicolai), St Paul 
(or University Church), St Matthew (or New Church), St Peter (01 
Petri), and St John. 


St Thomas' Church, Leipsic 

'Matthew Passion' Music 

the business dragged on till May 23, 1726, when a 
document, which seems to have been in Bach's favour, 
was presented to the University, and the matter appears 
to have ended. He and Corner were both employed to 
compose the music for extra festivals, but Bach the more 

Though Bach put all his energy into the music at the 
two chief churches, he took care not to be merely a 
cantor. He had formerly been, and still held honorary 
rank as capellmeister ; and having a very proper pride in 
himself and his profession, he now always called himself 
Director Musices and Cantor. Considerable importance 
is attached in Germany to such titles as Professor, 
Doctor, Capellmeister, Musicdirector, etc., which have 
a recognised order of precedence ; and it is significant of 
the conditions that prevailed between Bach and his 
church authorities that the latter nearly always persisted 
in giving him the lower title of cantor. 

The first performance of the Matthew Passion music 
took place in Holy Week of 1729. In his efforts to 
improve the choir, he had asked the Council to allow 
nine of the scholarships to be allotted to boys with 
voices : and he hoped that the magnificent Passion 
music he had just composed and performed would show 
them the importance of providing better material; 
but all was in vain. They took no notice of his request, 
and showed a complete ignorance of the value of their 
cantor's work. 

About this time he became conductor of the Musical 

* According to Spitta, vol. ii. p. 223. But Corner's name appears 
in the "Chronicle" far more often than that of Bach in connection 
with the music for these festivals. 



Union, which had been founded by Telemann, but even 

here troubles arose. The Union was expected to 

strengthen the choir at St Thomas' Church. No money, 

however, being available to pay the students who took part, 

they naturally fell off. Yet when the church music 

deteriorated the Council were the first to blame the 


They now began to observe, or imagine they observed, 

neglect of duty on his part, and addressed various warn- 

D , . ings and admonitions to him. He became 

, . , , defiant and refused to explain, whereupon 
admonished ^, -j i.i. ,. u • • -ui t-u 

they said that he was incorrigible. The 

chief trouble arose over the teaching of Latin. We have 
already seen that the Council had originally offered to 
pay a deputy to do this part of the cantor's work, but 
that Bach had undertaken the whole. Finding it too 
irksome, however, he had himself paid Pezold to act as 
his deputy, but the Council, considering Pezold incompe- 
tent, wished to employ one Kriigel. Instead of settling 
the matter by insisting on Bach's doing the work himself, 
they showed their petulance by bringing charges against 
him of not having behaved with propriety, of sending a 
member of the choir into the country without giving 
notice to the authorities, of going a journey without 
permission, of neglecting his singing classes, and, in 
short, of doing nothing properly. At first it was proposed 
to put him down to one of the lowest classes, next to 
refuse payment of his salary, and at the same time to 
admonish him. His doing " nothing '' consisted in com- 
posing and conducting an enormous number of church 
cantatas, including the Matthew Passion. 

But the Council merely required hack work of him, 


Vestry Squabbles 

and no doubt as they paid him to do hack work 
(which could probably have been equally well done 
by an inferior musician) they had a right to de- 
mand it. 

He had, it is true, given over half the singing practices 
to the choir prefect, but this was only in accordance with 
long established custom, and no one had previously com- 
plained. Moreover the Council themselves had refused 
Bach's request for a more efficient choir, and it was 
only natural that he should not take much interest in 
the drudgery of teaching an unruly rabble, when he 
was occupied with work which was to prove so much 
more important to the world at large. 

In the constant state of conflict between masters, boys, 
Council and Consistory, Bach chose to go his own way. 
With the Rector, Ernesti, who troubled himself little 
about the musical arrangements, he had been on ex- 
cellent terms. 

Several stories are told of the petty tyranny sought to 
be exercised over the great man by an ignorant and fussy 
vestry. Thus, Bach insisted, for sufficient reasons, on 
his right of choosing the hymns and ignoring those 
selected by Gaudlitz, the subdean of St Nicholas. Gaud- 
litz reported him to the Consistory, who sent him a notice 
that he must have the hymns sung which were chosen by 
the preacher. He therefore appealed to the Council, 
showing that it had been the custom for the cantor to 
select the hymns. This caused a squabble between the 
Council and the Consistory, but it is not known how the 
matter ended. 

Another instance occurred over the announcement of 
the performance of a Passion music, for which the Council 



suddenly discovered that their permission was necessary. 
The work had been performed several times previously, 
and the irritating restriction was entirely uncalled for. 
Bach simply reported to the superintendent of the Con- 
sistory that the Council had forbidden the performance ; 
and thus produced another quarrel between the two 
bodies which was to his advantage. 

Bach had not only to organise and train his choir, but to 
teach some of his pupils to play on instruments, since the 
IneMciencv '■°^" musicians were only seven in number, 
of Musicians '^""'^ ^^""^ ^"^ *''^^ ^*""S players. Money 
was not forthcoming to pay professional 
musicians, though there were plenty in Leipsic. Bach 
therefore got hold of the more gifted of his pupils and 
taught them instruments, and many of them became 
accomplished artists. 

The regulations ordered that two hours of singing 
practice should be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and 
Wednesdays, from 12 to 2 ; but as this arrangement 
interfered with the cantor's dinner hour, his colleagues 
petitioned that it should be changed. The Council 
refused to alter the regulation, and in consequence Bach 
soon began to absent himself. 

As the Council could not withhold his salary, they 
not only confiscated certain fees collected for various 
(-, j; f- outside duties but also contrived that he 
, P should obtain no benefit from a legacy left to 

■' be divided among the teachers and poorer 

scholars of the School. Bach was silent for a time, but, 
when at last forced to speak, he wrote a long letter, 
showing how absolutely inadequate were the means placed 
at his disposal : incompetent town players, with mere 


Sick of Leipsic 

boys to complete the bands j singers who, not having 
had time to be trained, were obliged to be admitted to 
the vacant places before they had any knowledge of music ; 
choirs with only two voices to a part, one of whom would 
often be, or pretend to be, ill. 

Bach's letter irritated the Council, who, however, let 
the matter drop after expressing their opinion on it. 

The Council acted according to their lights. Though 
they would not give Bach the means he required for 
carrying out the music properly, they could understand 
when an organ required repairing, and voted sums of 
money from time to time for this purpose, and for the 
purchase of violins, violas, violoncellos for church use ; 
and they allowed Bach to purchase Bodenschatz's Flori- 
legium Portense ^ for the use of the scholars. They did 
not actively hinder Bach's development, but they had no 
conception of the greatness of the man they had to do 
with. They curtailed his income in a moment of anger, 
but soon afterwards reinstated it. 

Bach became thoroughly hurt, and sought for a means 
of leaving Leipsic. The friend of his boyhood, Erdmann, 
now held a post at Dantzic, under the Emperor of Russia, 
and to him Bach applied, in an interesting d i / • 
letter which is still extant.^ He describes , 

his wish to leave Leipsic under four heads: , . . 

( I ) that the post was by no means so advantage- " 

ous as he was led to expect ; (2) that many of the fees had 
been stopped ; (3) that the place is very dear to live in ; 
(4) that the authorities were strange people, with small 
love of music, who vexed and persecuted and were jealous 
of him. Bach asked Erdmann to find him a post at 

* See Glossary, " Spitta quotes it in full, vol. ii. p. 253. 



Dantzic, but nothing came of it, for he remained at 
Leipsic. In spite of the high prices of necessities, he 
saved enough to leave behind him a well-furnished house, 
a sum of money and a collection of instruments and books. 
Like many other good organists he had his rubs with an 
unthinking vestry, but got over them. 

The Rector, Ernesti, died in 1729, and in 1730 Bach's 
Weimar friend, Gesner, was appointed : a member of the 
Council saying that he "hoped that they would fare better 
in this appointment than they had done in that of the 
cantor." ^ 

The new rector was in most respects the opposite of 
Ernesti. He was energetic ; had the power of governing, 
with a special talent for the management of schoolboys. 
He was a brilliant scholar, and did much to revive the 
study of Greek as part of a mental and moral training 
rather than as a mere intellectual gymnastic. 

The Council were delighted, and did everything for 
him. As he was in delicate health they not only had 
him carried to and from the school in a chair, but re- 
mitted his duty of inspecting the school once every 
three weeks. He smoothed over the disputes among 
the masters so that they were no longer at enmity 
among themselves; won the affection of his pupils by 
his new methods of instruction, his interest in their 
welfare, and the enforcement of discipline and morality. 

The State, he said, had need of every kind of talent : 
and if he saw boys working at something useful, which was 
not actually school work, he would encourage them. He 
also revived the Latin prayers morning and evening, which 
had been replaced by prayers in the German language, 
' Spitta, vol. ii. p. 243. 

A Vast Combination 

Between him and Bach there grew up a strong friend- 
ship. He helped the music in every way he could : 
himself applying to the Council for the books, etc., re- 
quired by Bach. 

Gesner, in his appreciation of Bach, appends a note 
in his edition of the Institutiones Oratoriae of Quinti- 
lianus, to the author's remark on the capacity ^ , 
of man for doing several things at once, such . . . 
as playing the lyre, and at the same time -^ 
singing and marking time with the foot. He says, " All 
this, my dear Fabius, you would consider very trivial could 
you but rise from the dead and hear Bach : how he, with 
both hands, and using all his fingers, either on a keyboard 
which seems to consist of many lyres in one, or on the 
instrument of instruments, of which the innumerable pipes 
are made to sound by means of bellows; herewith his hands, 
and there with the utmost celerity with his feet, elicits 
many of the most various yet harmonious sounds : I say, 
could you only see him, how he achieves what a number 
of your lyre-players and six hundred flute-players could 
never achieve, presiding over thirty or forty performers all 
at once, recalling this one by a nod, another by a stamp 
of the foot, another with a warning finger, keeping tune 
and time j and while high notes are given out by some, 
deep tones by others, and notes between them by others. 
Great admirer as I am of antiquity in other respects, yet I 
am of the opinion that my one Bach, and whosoever there 
may chance to be that resembles him, unites in himself 
many Orpheuses, and twenty Arions." ^ 

' Quoted by Bitter, vol, i. p. 303. This appreciation of the skill 
required to conduct a musical performance is remarkable as coming 



Gesner did all he could to smooth away Bach's troubles, 
and probably the latter was much happier than under the 
disorder which prevailed while J. H. Ernesti was rector. 
Moreover, after one more dispute, Bach and the Council 
at last learned to understand one another, and quarrelled 
no more. 

from one who, not being musical, might be expected to think, with 
the majority of non-musicians, that the conductor merely has to " beat 


Chapter VI 

Home life at Leipsic — Personal details — Music in the family circle — 
Bach's intolerance of incompetence — He throws his wig at Gorner 
— His preference for the clavichord — Bach as an examiner — His 
sons and pupils — His general knowledge of musical matters — 
Visit from Hurlebusch — His able management of money — His 
books and instruments — The Dresden Opera — A new Rector, and 
further troubles — Bach complains to the Council. 

Let us now turn for a moment from this account of 
troubles and see what the man was like in his own 
home. We have fairly full accounts from which to 
draw a picture. It was related in chapter i. how the 
various members of the Bach family clung together, 
meeting once every year at various towns. The same 
traits are found in the household. The pupils and 
sons all loved him. His character was amiable in the 
extreme, but at the same time such as to command 
respect from all. Of his hospitality, especially towards 
artists, we have special mention ; no musician passed 
through Leipsic without visiting him. He never cared 
either himself to blame, or hear others find fault with, 
his fellow-musicians. Of the Marchand incident he 
would never willingly speak. He was modest in the 
extreme, and never seemed to know how much greater 
he was than all the musicians he was fond of praising. 
In the midst of all his occupations he found time for 



music in the family circle, and in later years he used to 

prefer playing the viola, as he was then " in the midst of 

„ rv the harmony." He would occasionally ex- 

Home Life . . ■; . ^ ^ .1. . ■ . 1 

■' temporise a trio or quartet on the harpsichord 

from a single part of some other composer's music : if the 

composer happened to be present, however, he would first 

make sure that no possible injury would be done to his 


Though kindly and generous in his criticisms of others, 
he would never tolerate superficiality and incompetence. 
He was therefore looked upon as an excellent examiner 
when a new organist was to be appointed to a church. 
He was quick-tempered, like most musicians in matters 
of music. It is related that on one occasion, when the 
organist of the Thomas Church, Corner, made a blunder, he 
pulled the wig off his own head, threw it at Corner, and, in a 
voice of thunder, cried : " You ought to be a shoemaker." 

His favourite instrument was the clavichord, on account 
of its power of expression : and he made his pupils chiefly 
practise on this. He learned to tune it and the harpsi- 
chord so quickly that it never took him more than a 
quarter of an hour. " And then," says Forkel, " all the 
twenty-four keys were at his service : he did with them 
whatever he wished. He could connect the most distant 
keys as easily and naturally together as the nearest re- 
lated, so that the listener thought he had only modulated 
through the next-related keys of a single scale. Of harsh- 
ness in modulation he knew nothing : his chromatic 
changes were as soft and flowing as when he kept to 
the diatonic genus." 

Of his conscientiousness in examining organs and 
organists, Forkel ironically remarks, it was such that 


Of Many Parts 

he gained few friends thereby. But when he found 
that an organ-builder had really done good work, and 
was out of pocket by so doing, he would use his influ- 
ence to obtain further payment for the man, and in 
several cases succeeded. 

If he happened to be away from home with his son 
Friedemann on a Sunday, he would make a point of 
attending the church service. He would criticise the 
organist ; would tell his son what course the fugue ought 
to take (after hearing the subject), and would be delighted 
if the organist played to his satisfaction. 

He did his best for his sons and pupils ; in fact he 
treated the latter as sons. He sent his two eldest sons to 
the University of Leipsic, and used his influence to get 
appointments for them and their brothers. On the mar- 
riage of his daughter Elizabeth with his pupil Altnikol, he 
obtained an organistship for him at Naumburg without 
informing him beforehand. 

Though he would have nothing to say to musical mathe- 
matics, his knowledge of everything to do with the art and 
practice of music was astounding. He was intimate with 
every detail of organ construction ; he not only tuned but 
quilled his own harpsichords, and, as we shall see later, 
he invented new instruments. When he was shown the 
newly built opera house at Berlin, he observed the con- 
struction of the dining saloon, and said that if a person 
whispered in a corner, another person, standing in the 
corner diagonally opposite would hear every word, though 
no one else could do so. Experiment proved this to be 
a fact, though neither the architect nor anyone else had 
discovered it. 

An amusing story is told of a visit paid to him at 



Leipsic by one Hurlebusch, a superficial and exceedingly 
conceited organist. Hurlebusch had the reputation of 
being angry if his listeners praised him instead of being 
so overcome with his playing that they could say nothing. 
His visit to Bach was made, not to hear but to be heard 
by, and to astonish, the great man. Bach took him to 
the harpsichord and listened attentively to a very feeble 
minuet with variations. Hurlebusch, taking Bach's 
politeness as a recognition of his great talent, showed 
his gratitude by presenting Friedemann with a printed 
collection of very easy sonatas, recommending him to 
practise them diligently. His host, who could hardly 
repress a smile, thanked him politely, and took leave of 
him without in the least betraying his amusement. 

When we think that the education of his large family, 
the hospitality to strangers, the journeys to try organs in 
various places, were all accomplished on an income of not 
much over ;!f loo a year, we must admire the business- 
like capacity of the man, even though all due allowance 
is made for the difference in the purchasing power of 
money in those days.^ But he managed to collect a by 
no means contemptible library of music and theological 
books; for in his simple piety he took great interest 
in religious questions. He also possessed a goodly 
number of keyboard instruments, several of which he 

^ A rough estimate of this difference may be made thus : The Coun- 
cil paid 60 thalers = ;£'9 a year for a "dwelling" for Bach during the 
alterations to the Thomas School. Such a "dwelling" or "flat" 
would now cost about ;^6o a year. An income of ;^loo in those 
days would therefore represent the purchasing power of about ;f630 
now : not a large sum on which to give nineteen children a first- 
class education, and send two to the univeisity. 


More Storm 

gave to his sons on their obtaining appointments. Of 
stringed instruments he possessed enough for the per- 
formance of concerted music in the home circle. Some 
few of his personal belongings are preserved in the 
De Wit collection at Leipsic, not twenty yards from his 
residence. They consist of his clock, a few pictures and 
trifles belonging to his study table, and show at once that 
they come from a house of refinement and comfort. 

In later life he heard and studied with great pleasure 
the works of Fux, Handel, Caldara, Keiser, Hasse, the 
two Grauns, Telemann, Zelenka, Bendax, and others. He 
knew most of these personally, and received Hasse and 
his wife Faustina as visitors at Leipsic. He often went to 
Dresden from Leipsic to hear the opera there, and used to 
say to his son " Friedemann, shall we not go and hear 
the pretty little Dresden songs again?" He was, says 
Forkel, far too deeply interested in his art and „ , 
his home life to enrich himself by travelling - c- >>/ 
and exhibiting his powers, though he might, -v^ /., 
especially at the time in which he lived, have „. / 

easily become wealthy by so doing. He pre- 
ferred the quiet homely life, and the unbroken work at 
his art, and was contented with his lot. The " glory of 
God," not fame, was his object. But though his home 
life and his work were a source of so much happiness, the 
external horizon began to be stormy again. 

Gesner resigned his post in 1734, and was succeeded 
by the Conrector, Joh. August Ernesti, a young and 
learned man, who, however, had no sympathy with music.^ 

'For his installation Bach composed a cantata "Thomana sass 
annoch betriibt " — " St Thomas School was still in grief." From the 
Leipsic Chronicle, 1734, quoted in Ceniralblatt, 1884. 

F 81 


He was at first on excellent terms with the cantor, and 
was godfather to two of his sons ; but, unfortunately, his 
want of appreciation of music led, within a short time, to 
trouble. Poor Bach seems at Leipsic to have been rarely 
free from disputes and worries. It is true he was proud, 
sensitive, and irritable, where the dignity of his art or his 
own personal rights were concerned; but that the fault 
was not all on his side is shown by his friendly relations 
with the Dukes of Weimar and Cothen, and with all true 
artists. His reputation throughout Germany was by this 
time enormous ; and in Leipsic itself he was considered 
by all except the Council and Consistory, as the " glory 
of the town." It is true his compositions were heard with 
more respect than appreciation ; but his fame as an organ- 
ist, harpsichord player, and learned musician was recog- 
nised at Leipsic as elsewhere. 

The trouble with Ernesti was not of an uncommon 
nature ; where there is a want of appreciation of music on 
the part of learned men, there is very apt to be jealousy 
of the reputation and influence of its professors. Disputes 
arising from this cause seem to have been not at all rare 
in Germany at the time. Ernesti hated music, and was 
undignified enough to make sarcastic remarks to any boy 
whom he happened to see practising an instrument. He 
endeavoured, being young and active, to intermeddle in 
the musical arrangements, with serious results. There is 
preserved in the " Acta " of the Town Council, a " Com- 
plaint" by Bach, dated August 12, 1736, to the effect 
that the Rector Ernesti had exceeded his powers by 
promoting the prefect of the second choir to be prefect 
of the first. This may appear at first sight an unimport- 
ant matter; but, as Bach points out, the prefect of the 


War with Rector 

first choir must not only be chosen on account of his 
voice and character, but he must also have „, 

the ability and knowledge to conduct the . . 
music when the cantor is not able to be -^ ^, . 
present. It stands to reason, therefore, that p f t 

the cantor is the only person who can make the •' 

selection. On the following day Bach addressed another 
letter to the Council saying that Ernesti had threatened to 
reduce and flog any boys who obeyed the cantor's direc- 
tions ; that he (Bach) had not allowed the " incompetent 
Krause " (the prefect chosen by Ernesti) to conduct the 
motet at St Nicolai, but had requested a student, Krebs, 
to do so ; that the boys were afraid to obey Bach in con- 
sequence of the rector's threats ; and that his authority, 
which was necessary for the proper performance of the 
music, would be destroyed if this kind of thing were 
allowed to go on. The quarrel continued j Bach wrote 
two more letters, and, since the Council would not move, 
he appealed to the Court at Dresden. Ernesti also wrote 
stating his side of the question. This Krause was a 
mauvais sujet, was deeply in debt, and had a bad char- 
acter, and the rector wished to give him a chance of re- 
covering his character before leaving school. In order to 
settle the matter, the Council finally ordained that as it was 
Krause's last term he was to remain prefect to the end of it. 
Bitter says that the fault lay as usual on both sides : 
but with this we cannot agree. Bach was a man nearly 
twice as old and experienced as the rector; and he 
was undoubtedly within his rights in insisting on choos- 
ing those responsible for carrying out the music. On 
this occasion Ernesti said he was " too proud to conduct 
a simple chorale." 


Chapter VII 

Bach obtains a title from the Saxon Court — Plays the organ at Dresden 
— Attacked by Scheibe — Mizler founds a musical society — Further 
disputes — Bach's successor chosen during his life-time — Visit to 
Frederick the Great — Bach's sight fails — Final illness and death — 
Notice in the Leipsic Chronicle — The Council — Fate of the widow 
and daughter. 

At the end of 1736 Bach went to Dresden where he 
was given the title of composer to the Saxon Court. 
He had applied for a title three years before, in the 
hope that it would place him in a better position with 
regard to the Council and Consistory ; but it was in 
vain that he hoped for this. Neither his works nor his 
titles were able to impress them. 

We learn from a Dresden newspaper of that date 
that he played from two to four in the afternoon of 
December ist on the new organ in the church of St 
Paul, in the presence of the Russian Ambassador, von 
Kayserling, and many artists and other persons who heard 
him with very great admiration. In the same year, 1736, 
was published a book of hymns with their melodies by 
Schemelli, as a second volume to the book of Frey- 
lingshausen, to which Bach had in his early dajrs con- 
tributed some of the music. On the 14th of May, 1737, 
there appeared a severe criticism of the way in which 
Bach wrote out all his manieren or grace notes, instead 



of leaving them for the performer to add at his discretion. 
The music thereby loses all its charm of har- . ., 
mony, says the critic, and the melody becomes r 'f ' 
incomprehensible. He wonders that a man 
should give himself so much trouble to act against reason. 
The writer was J. A. Scheibe, a young man who had failed 
in a competition for an organistship in which Bach was one 
of the examiners. The attack was answered by Birnb^um, a 
friend of Bach's, in an interesting critical analysis of Bach's 
works. This was answered by Scheibe, and the dispute went 
on for some time, other writers joining in it, until, as Bitter 
remarks, " all their powder was exhausted." Bach, however, 
worked away without troubling himself about the matter. 

In 1738 Mizler,^ a pupil of Bach's, founded a society 
for raising the status of music. Though it was successful, 
the great musician was not induced to join it until 1747, 
nine years later, when he handed into the society a triple 
canon in six voices on the chorale " Von Himmel hoch, 
da komm' ich her " as an " exercise." It is to Mizler's 
society that we owe the preservation of the portrait by 
Hausmann, now in the Thomas-schule, which is reproduced 
in this work : and still further have we to thank it for the 
account of his life, on which all later biographies are based. 

Spitta gives accounts of further disputes. On one 
occasion a prefect having punished some small boys at 
Bach's special order, the rector ordered him to be pub- 
licly flogged, whereupon the prefect immediately left the 
school rather than suffer such indignity. A boy happening 
to pitch a hymn at St Nicholas too low for the congregation 
to sing, Bach was summoned before the Council and told to 
see that it did not happen again. The rector threatened to 
* See Glossary. 



confiscate the boys' money if they obeyed the cantor 
and accused Bach of being accessible to bribery. In 
the Leipsic Chronicle for 1749 we read that on June 8th 

. f, Gottlob Harrer was chosen as the future can- 

^. tor of St Thomas, " when Capellmeister and 

Cantor Herr Sebastian Bach should die." The 
text of the cantata performed before the Council on this 
occasion was " The rich man died and was buried." The 
Council seemed indeed anxious to get rid of the great man 
who had done more than all others to make their city famous. 
There is little more to relate. Bach from time to time 
made his journeys to various towns, and paid visits to 
Erfurt, where his cousin, Joh. Christoph, and Adlung 
were settled. As he advanced in years he gave up these 
journeys. The last he made was to the Court of Frederick 
„. . the Great at Potsdam in 1747. His son 

„ , . , Emanuel had been capellmeister to Frederick 


th r t s'"^^ 1 740 j and the king had frequently, and 
always with more insistence, thrown out hints 
that he would like to hear the great artist. Bach being 
much occupied, and disinclined for travelling, did not ac- 
cede to the king's wishes until they amounted to a positive 
command. Then,taking Friedemann with him, he started for 
Potsdam, which he reached early in May. The story of the 
meeting with Frederick is variously told. We will tell it in 
Friedemann's own words : " When Frederick II. had just 
prepared his flute, in the presence of the whole orchestra, 
for the evening's concert, the list of strangers who had 
arrived was brought him. Holding his flute in his hand 
he glanced through the list. Then he turned round with 
excitement to the assembled musicians, and, laying down 
his flute, said, ' Gentlemen, old Bach is come.' Bach, 


'Only One Bach' 

who was at his son's house, was immediately invited to 
the castle. He had not even time allowed him to take 
ofif his travelling clothes and put on his black Court-dress. 
He appeared, with many apologies for the state of his dress, 
before the great prince, who received him with marked atten- 
tion, and threw a deprecating look towards the Court gentle- 
men, who were laughing at the discomposure and numerous 
compliments of the old man. The flute concerto was given 
up for this evening ; and the king led his famous visitor into 
all the rooms of the castle, and begged him to try the 
Silbermann pianos, which he (the king) thought very highly 
of, and of which he possessed seven.^ The musicians 
accompanied the king and Bach from one room to 
another ; and after the latter had tried all the pianos, he 
begged the king to give him a fugue subject, that he 
could at once extemporise upon. Frederick thereupon 
wrote out the subject (afterwards used in the musical 
oifering), and Bach developed this in the most learned 
and interesting manner, to the great astonishment of the 
king, who, on his side, asked to hear a fugue in six parts. 
But, since every subject is not adapted for so full a 
working out. Bach chose one for himself, and astounded 
those present by his performance. The king, who was 
not easily astonished, was completely taken by surprise at 
the unapproachable mastery of the old cantor. Several 
times he cried ' There is only one Bach.' On the foUow- 

' These pianos were made in the years 1746-7 after the inven- 
tion of Cristofori of Florence, who was the first to use the hammer 
action. This action, however, did not suit Bach's touch, and though 
he praised the tone, he does not appear to have become possessed of 
one. The writer was shown one of the above-mentioned Silbermann 
pianos in the Palace of Sansouci at Potsdam in 1884. 



ing day he played on all the organs in the churches of 
Potsdam, and again in the evening on the Silbermann 
pianos. From here he paid a visit to Berlin, where he 
was shown the opera house." ^ 

A newspaper account of the visit to Frederick 
varies in several details from the above ; but as the 
account of the son, who was with Bach, and perhaps 
an eye-witness, is the more trustworthy, we have not 
thought it necessary to trouble our reader with the 
second account. ^ 

In the following year the enormous strain he had all his 
life put upon himself began to take its effect. Although of 
J . ,,. unusual strength, the work had worn out his 
body. First his eyes, which had been used 
day and night from the time he copied his brother's book 
by moonhght, began to give way. The weakness gradually 
increased, and pains began to trouble him, yet he could 
not believe that he was near his end. Friends persuaded 
him to undergo an operation at the hands of an eminent 
English oculist, who was then in Leipsic. But the result 
of two operations was that he lost his sight altogether, and 
his health was so broken down by them that he never again 
left his house, while he was in constant pain till his death. 

But he continued to work, even through his hours of 
greatest suffering. He set the chorale " When we are 
in the greatest need " in four parts, dictating them to 
Altnikol, his son-in-law. An extraordinary thing happened 
ten days before his death; one morning, he was able 
to see well and to bear daylight ; but a few hours after an 

' See page 79. 

" It can be found in Bitter, vol. ii. p. 317, Spitta, vol. iii. p. 231, 
and elsewhere. 

St John's Cliurch, Lcipsic 


apoplectic stroke, followed by a violent fever, completely 
overcame him. The attentions of the two best doctors 
in Leipsic could not avail against the illness, and at a 
quarter past eight o'clock in the evening of July 28, 1750, 
he breathed his last. 

He was buried in St John's churchyard, and, like that 
of Mozart, his grave was forgotten and lost. The church- 
yard was altered early in the nineteenth century, to allow 
of a new road being made, and his bones with those of 
many others were removed. Some remains lately dis- 
covered on the south side of the church are supposed 
with good reason to be those of Bach; but nothing is 
known for certain. 

On his deathbed he had dictated to Altnikol the 
chorale "Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiemit." The 
Leipsic Chronicle notices his death as follows : "July 28, 
at eight in the evening the famous and learned musician 
Herr Joh. Sebastian Each, composer to His Majesty the 
King of Poland and Elector of Saxony; Capellmeister to the 
Courts of Cothen and Weissenfels, Director and Cantor 
of the school of St Thomas, died." Here follows a 
sketch of his life. " The Bach family came from Hungary, 
and all, as far as is known, have been musicians, from 
which perhaps arises the fact that even the letters b, a, c, h, 
form a melodic succession of notes." "■ 

That is all ; not one word of regret. Nor do we find 
that much notice anywhere was taken of the death of the 
great man. A meetmg of the Council took place shortly 
afterwards in which, while no expressions of sympathy 
were heard, the remark was made, "Herr Bach was a 
great musician no doubt, but we want a schoolmaster, 
' h being the Gemnan term for BJ^. 


not a capellmeister " ; and they proceeded at once to 
arrange for the instalment of Harrer. 

The sons of the first marriage took possession of all 
music that was of value, and sold the rest of the property. 
Gorner, Bach's former rival, undertook the duties of 
Ft fth g*^^""^^^" t° ^'s younger children, and seems 
jrr-j J to have fulfilled the task with propriety and 

Widow and t. l, -j if j u 

rh'Jd reverence. Bachs widow was allowed her 

husband's salary for six months, after which, 
receiving no help from her stepsons, she supported her 
younger children as well as she could, and becoming 
gradually poorer, died in an almshouse and was buried 
in a pauper's grave. The youngest daughter, Regina, lived 
till 1809, and was supported by charity in her old age. 

The family of Joh. Sebastian Bach gradually died out, 
and is now extinct, the last representative, a farmer of 
Eisenach, having died in 1846. 

Bach's music fell more and more into oblivion, and for 
a time his name seems to have been forgotten. In 1883 
a room in the Thomas-schule was used as the English 
Church, and on the first floor a smaller room was used 
as the vestry. In the latter was a cupboard in which the 
communion plate and surplices were kept. The writer 
was told that this cupboard had formerly been full of 
music MSS., and that during the years of oblivion, when- 
ever a Thomas-schule boy wanted a piece of paper to 
wrap up his " Butterbrod " he was allowed to tear out a 
sheet of paper from one of Bach's manuscripts.^ 

Thus after his death were treated the family and works 
of the man " to whom music owes as much as religion 
does to its founder." 

' This story may or may not be true — we give it for what it is worth, 

Chapter VIII 

The Cantatas and the Chorale 

The prevailing characteristics in Bach's compositions are 

intense earnestness of purpose, and, in his church music, 

a deep religious feeling, too deep for the ^, 

ordinary everyday person to appreciate ; an ... , 

absolute absence of anything extraneous, such „ ,r 

^ • J _f i. Bach's 

as concessions to smgers and performers, or to j^ . 

the fashion of the day. When Bach writes 
florid or highly ornamental passages, they are not intended 
merely to exhibit the skill of the performer — their most 
important purpose is the exact expression of the words or 
emotions in hand. In this he and Beethoven were at 
one. Their difficulties of execution arise from the ne- 
cessities of artistic expression, and such difficulties will be 
found in all the truest and best art, the art that lives 
beyond the fashion of the hour. 

Bach, like Beethoven, suffered from the influx of a 
superficial kind of music which so easily captivates an 
unthinking public. 

The proximity of the Dresden Court, with its Italian 
Opera Company and the opening of an opera-house in 
Leipsic itself, had much the same effect in attracting the 



Leipsic public away from the solidity and severity of the 
cantor (whom, all the same, they never ceased to respect) 
as the Rossini fever had in the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century at Vienna with regard to Beethoven's 
music. Bach, however, was in a worse position than 
Beethoven, for he lived and worked in a small circle of 
German towns, and only in the domain of church music. 
Teutonic to the backbone, he expressed his thoughts in 
his own way without swerving to the right or left. He 
never had occasion to try and please any but a North 
German public, and he mostly endeavoured only to 
please himself, and promote the " glory of God " in his 
own way, by adhering strictly to what his genius told 
him was right ; and posterity has endorsed his views. 

Beethoven, on the other hand, lived at a time when 
communications between countries were beginning to be 
more rapid and frequent. The French Revolution, and 
the constant wars brought about by the ambition of 
Napoleon, though temporarily hostile to the actual 
practice of art, had the effect of making whatever art 
was produced more cosmopolitan, and therefore more 
easily appreciated outside the artist's country. Thus 
Beethoven's music soon became known in England : 
and at the very time when the Rossini fever was causing 
him to be forgotten in Vienna (the town of his adop- 
tion) the English Philharmonic Society was negotiating 
with the great composer for the composition of a 
symphony, and these negotiations, as is well known, 
resulted in the production of the greatest symphony the 
world has yet seen. 

It is customary to compare the two musical giants of 
the &st half of the eighteenth century, Handel and Bach. 


Compared with Handel 

Both were born in the same year, 1685, Handel being the 
senior by one month only : both were natives of small 
German towns, within a few miles of each 77 i v 
other. Both received their earliest musical ft ^ i 

education in Germany, but with the difference 
that Bach, coming of a family of professional musicians, 
there was never any thought of bringing him up to any 
other profession, while Handel's father, a surgeon, had all 
the prejudices of his time and profession against music, 
and did his best to stifle his son's proclivities, till they 
became too strong for him to longer withstand. 

After early childhood the ways of the composers were 
widely different. While Bach was painfully acquiring 
the technique of his art, by making long journeys 
on foot to hear and get instruction from eminent 
German organists, by practising assiduously day and 
night, and by copying all the best music he could lay 
hands on, Handel was playing the violin and harp- 
sichord in the German opera conducted by Keiser at 

At the age of twenty-one Handel went to Italy and 
remained there three years studying, and successfully com- 
posing operas for the Italians, who called him " II caro 
Sassone," — "the dear Saxon." At twenty-one Bach was 
organist of a small and unimportant German town, 
still working hard to improve his technical powers in 
every direction. Everyone knows that Handel made 
his first reputation as a composer of Italian operas 
which are completely forgotten, and not till he was fifty- 
five years old did he begin that series of oratorios or 
sacred dramas by which he is immortalised. Bach, on 
the other hand, making the organ and the chorale his 



starting-point, continued all his life to compose sacred 
music — " church music " as it was called, and never wrote 
for the theatre. Handel, domiciled in England, knew his 
public and knew them so well that he wrote works which 
not only became popular at once, but have never ceased 
to be popular. Bach either did not know, or did not 
care to please his public, and wrote far above their 
heads, so that for a time after his death he was for- 
gotten entirely: only when Mozart, and afterwards 
Mendelssohn, became acquainted with the wonders of 
his genius did the public, almost against their will, begin 
to appreciate what a giant had been on the earth in 
those days.^ 

Bach's place in Lutheran Church history is very 
important. He is connected directly with the Refor- 
mation through the chorale, which Luther so much 
encouraged as a means of spreading the new views of 
religion. Bach was a strict Lutheran ; and the chorale, 
or hymn to be sung by the congregation, was perhaps the 
most important expression of Lutheran religious feeling. 
The words will explain this perhaps better than anything 
else, if we take an example at random from the Leipziger 
_. - . Gesangbuch, in literal prose translation — e.g. 
Junjeste No. 171 : "A strong castle is our God; a 
^ good defence and weapon ; he freely helps 

us in all trouble that can meet us. The ancient wicked 
enemy is in earnest ; his cruel armour is great power and 
much deceit : there is none like him on the earth. 

"We can do nothing of our own power, we are 

^ Burney devotes nearly a whole volume to Handel, and only one 
paragraph to Bach. 


A Notable Chorale 

soon lost : but there fights for us the right man, 
whom God himself has chosen. Dost thou ask 
his name? Jesus Christ is his name, the Lord of 
Sabaoth. There is no other God; he is bound to win 
the day. 

"And if the world were full of devils, who would 
devour us, we need not fear much, for we shall con- 
quer. The prince of this world, however sour he may 
appear, can do nothing against us: a word is able to 
slay him," &c. 

This is one of the chorales assigned to the Festival 
of the Reformation, and one can imagine with what force 
it would appeal to those disposed towards Luther's 
teaching. Its well-known melody was composed by 
Luther, and it was used by Bach as the foundation 
of a cantata which is considered by Zelter to have 
been composed in celebration of the 200th anniver- 
sary of the Reformation in 171 7, but the composer 
re-arranged it in 1730. The orchestra contains 
three trumpets, one flute, two oboes, one oboe di 
caccia, two violins, viola violoncello, organ and figured 

The first chorus set to the words of the first verse has 
the following vigorous opening, the orchestra playing 
an independent accompaniment. (For convenience of 
English readers we quote from Novello's octavo 

Tenor (Spe lower) ^_^ ^_^ 


strong ..-..- hold sure our God re- 




mains, A shield and hope un - fail 

Sop. A strong 






shield - 


This is worked in bold fugato (both chorus and orchestra 
taking the subject or the counter-subject), for thirty-six 
bars, which are then repeated, note for note, to the words : 
" In need His help our freedom gains, o'er all we fear pre- 

A short quotation may serve to give some idea of the 
fulness of the writing and the boldness of the counter- 
point, of which the effect, when sung with proper energy, 
is overwhelming. 

' The original tune would be, with the above words — 


-H r-i 1 '- 

J r i ° — d: 


y-g G & 

A strong - hold sure our God 


A Massive Chorus 

In need his help 



Aceompt. . 




our freedom gains 


I ! 





pi I 








!^z^= ^ 

j pr-g SJ 



> . > . &c. 


The words "our old malignant foe" follow, with the 
new fugue subject 


Orch.\ I I I I 

malig nant foe. 


w I 


occupying twenty-four bars. 




^ — | ^~F ^ 



Would fain work us woe would fain 

treated fugato for twenty bars ; and each line is worked 
in the same way. 

The whole chorus is 221 bars in length, and is a 
masterpiece of massive choral and orchestral writing, in 
keeping with the sentiment of the words. It opens with 
three trumpets, drums, violoncello, and organ manual, the 
pedal being silent for the first twenty-three bars. At the 
twenty-fourth bar (the first quoted on page 97) the pedal 
enters with the 1 6 feet Posaune, and makes a bold canon of 
eight bars, with the melody played in the highest register 
of the trumpet. The canon concludes with a drum passage 
on the dominant ; and fresh canons between trumpet and 
pedal occur at bars 49, 88, 122, 147, 178 and 200. 

These seven canons are all formed on the musical phrases 
of the tune : and one might almost look upon the chorus 
as a gigantic " choral-vorspiel " with long vocal and instru- 
mental interludes between the phrases given out by the 
trumpets and pedal. 


A Florid Duet 

The second verse is set as a duet for treble and bass, 
still in the key of D. After a ritornello, the bass enters 
with the words " all men born of God our Father, at the 
last wijl Jesus gather," set to exceedingly florid passages, 
above which floats the melody in the treble voice. 

Tnbli Solo 



Bass SoU 

Our ut - roost 










might ...... is all in 


A bass recitative, commenting on the preceding senti- 
ments follows, and then a treble aria, " Within my heart 
of hearts. Lord Jesus, make thy dwelling." In the fifth 
number the whole chorus sings the melody in unison, now 
changed to | time, and with a very florid accompaniment. 





-0-. — f,-- 

Tenor i i i "f" "f r I ^ f ' "P" ' 

^'"^ If all the world with fiends were filled. 

This is followed by a tenor recitative, "Then dose 
beside Thy Saviour's blood-besprinkled banner, my soul 
remain,'' &c., a duet for alto and tenor, "How blessed 
then are they, who still on God are calling ; " and the 
cantata concludes with the chorale simply harmonised in 
four parts, " That word shall still in strength abide," in 
the form familiar to English congregations. 

We have given a fairly full description of this fine 

cantata in order to show our readers what is meant when 

it is said that Bach based his church music essentially on 

chorale. Most of the cantatas are constructed in the 

same kind of way, i.e. a chorale is used as the chief 

„ ... , subject. But that Bach did not merely 

, J. work on a fixed model is shown by the fact 

that no two of the one hundred and nmety 

cantatas published by the Bachgesellschaft are alike. 

Nothing astonishes us more than the enormous fertility 

of invention shown in these wonderful works, the 

variety of detail, and yet the unity of purpose. The one 

idea of the composer was the religious effect to be 

obtained by the highest efforts of art devoted to the 

Choral- Vorspiele 

service of God. Except in Germany, they are rarely 
heard in their proper place as part of the church service : 
but the mere reading through of the scores produces a 
most profound eflfect, and creates a perpetual astonishment 
in the reader at the enormous resources of the composer. 

Bach is generally considered as the greatest composer 
for the organ, but his organ works, wonderful as they 
are, seem small in comparison with these marvellous 
cantatas, all difiFerent and yet all connected, as it were, 
by an underlying unity of purpose. 

Bach took the melody of " Ein feste Burg " for one of 
his finest choral-vorspiele (Peters, 245, No. 22). This 
is a particularly interesting composition, since —, ^, . 
it is the only chorale in which we obtain any . . 

clue to Bach's methods of registering. In -^ 

Walther's MS. are given a few indications " a 3 clav.'' for 
three manuals. The left hand is to begin with the fagott, 
sixteen feet, and the right hand on the choir with the 
" sesquialtera." The piece was doubtless intended for the 
organ at Muhlhausen which was renovated and enlarged 
under Bach's directions, and which had three manuals, con- 
taining on one a sixteen feet " fagott," and on another a 
combination producing a " good sesquialtera tone." It is 
one ofthe larger choral-vorspiele, containing fifty-eight bars. 

It is worth while noticing how Bach, in this, and all 
other choral-vorspiele, does not adhere literally to the notes 
of the melody, but introduces ornamental passages, or 
lengthens and shortens notes to serve his purpose, or in- 
troduces the subject in augmentation and diminution. 
This was the regular custom amongst German organists. 
The choral-vorspiel is, in its simplest form, merely in- 
tended to prepare the congregation for the melody that is 



to be sung, but instead of a mere bald playing through 
of the tune, as is usual in English churches, the organist 
was expected to use his art in elaborating it. 

Bach, in his younger days, was accused of over- elaborat- 
ing, not only the vorspiele, but the accompaniment. It 
was a fault of youth, and hardly called for the official 
censure that the- Council at Arnstadt thought fit toad- 
minister. He was practically his own teacher. If he 
had been under the guidance of an older and more ex- 
perienced organist, he would undoubtedly have curbed 
his zeal for " surprising variations." 

At that time he seems to have lost sight of the fact that he 
was expected to accompany the congregation. He forgot 
all about them, and gave free rein to his imagination so 
that the " congregation were confounded." And well they 
might be, by the following example of his accompaniment. 

"Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten." 

Ftom the Leipzigcr Gesangbuch, As sung. 





he - ben Gott 


nur den lie — - bei 

lasst wal - ten 









P S>- -e- 

und boff et auf ihn al 





Surprising Variations ' 

Bach's Method of Accompanying when at Arnstadt. 

Peters 344, Variante eu No, 52. 

Wer nur den lie - ben 



I — i-i 

Gott ISsst walten 



r T 







(cK ^ jf g :^ 





faoff - et auf ihn 

le - zeit 




tj r" crrr^ 


He was in reality not suited to be a mere accompanist — 
his genius was too great to be tied down to the formal 
notes sung by the congregation, and a far lesser man 
would have suited this kind of work better. His choral- 
vorspiele are masterpieces of organ work ; his extemporised 



or written accompaniments are artistic, but quite im- 

But when he harmonises a chorale in vocal parts for 
his choir to sing with the congregation, his genius shines 
forth in the most exquisite harmonic combinations pos- 
sible. Examples abound, and a volume might be written 
on this subject alone. We can only indicate here a few 
instances of various treatments of the chorale. 

Every one knows the opening double chorus in the 
Matthew Passion. After an instrumental introduction full 
of dignitj and solemnity, built chiefly on tonic and domi- 
nant pedals (E minor), the first chorus sings, " Come ye 
daughters, weep with me, behold the Lamb as a bride- 
groom." The second chorus exclaims, "Whom? How?" 
while the first continues its course, and a "Soprano 
ripieno "chorus enters with the chorale — 




O thou be - got - ten son of 







Who on the cross wast slain. 

The work is now performed every Good Friday in the 
Thomas Church at Leipsic. The organ gallery occupies 
the whole of the west end of the nave and two side aisles. 
On each side are placed the singers, the soprano and 
alto parts being sung by women. This chorale is sung 
by the boys of the Thomas Schule, some forty in 
number, and the effect of the contrast of tone bringing 
it in is overwhelming. Poor Bach, with his miserable 
little rabble of a choir with three voices to a part, can 


Uses of the Chorale 

hardly have realised how his music would sound many 
years after his death, when performed by a large body 
of enthusiastic and intelligent musicians. 
The next chorale in the work is 

■ T^ 



O Holy Je • su how hast thou of fend • ed| 

harmonised for four voices, and accompanied by violins, 
flutes, oboes, violas and basses, in unison with the respective 
voices and figured bass organ part. This accompaniment 
is used for all the succeeding chorales, and we may remark 
that the melody is given to the two flutes and two oboes 
as well as the first violins, that it may be made prominent. 
All the other chorales in this work, six in number, 
are thus arranged and accompanied. The well-known 
Phrygian melody 




Herz • lich - thut mir ver - Ian - > gen. 

occurs no less than five times, sometimes harmonised in 
the Ionian, sometimes in the Phrygian mode, and he has 
arranged it in the latter mode as a very beautiful vorspiel 
for the organ (Peters 244, No. 27). 

We may here remark that in playing the organ choral- 
vorspiele no notice is to be taken of the fermata, which 
are only used when the melodies are sung.^ 

Besides the choral-vorspiele, and the introduction of 

the melody in conjunction with a chorus, and the har- 

monisation in four parts, with orchestra doubling the voice 

parts, Bach makes many other uses of the chorale. In 

' See Griepenkerl's Introduction to Peters, vol. 244, 



the Christmas Oratorio, for example, he combines it with 
recitative, the melody being freely accompanied by the 
orchestra, and interspersed with recitative passages of the 
nature of interludes between the lines. Or he harmonises 
it in four parts, with free orchestral interludes. 

The above quoted melody appears in the Christmas 
Oratorio with brilliant orchestral accompaniment and in- 
terludes, three trumpets, drums and two oboes being used 
besides the strings and organ. 

Erk has collected 319 chorales in two volumes (Peters), 
extracted from the church cantatas, &c., and has given 
full particulars of the sources. Sometimes they are 
worked up as fugues. Thus, the tune composed by Kugel- 
mann about 1540, and generally known in England as the 
" Old Hundredth," appears in the cantata " Gottlob ! nun 
geht das Jahr zu Ende " in the following form, the voice 
parts being doubled by strings, cornet, two oboes, three 
trombones and organ. 

Nun lob mein Seel. 

f-f 1 

A ~ 


• . 

VU _ 

1 A 

• r p • 


Nun lob mein 



s . rj 



r m P 

1 P 

V c- 

' F r r 


1 ' 

. , 

[ — r r 1 

U 1— 

Nun lob mein Seel. 







I J I J V 




The choral-vorspiele published in the Peters' edition 
number about 143 — ^besides several sets of partitas or 
variations on chorales, and many " Varianten," or different 
workings of the same vorspiel. 

Although this eminently national German and Lutheran 
form of religious art sank deeply into Bach's soul, and 
more or less influenced and coloured all his compositions 
for the Church, he was accused at Leipsic of being too 
proud to demean himself to conducting or accompanying 
a mere chorale ! 

What he did was to allow his genius full play on a 
form which intensely interested him, and to exhibit it in 
new and original aspects. 

The orchestration of the cantatas is of great interest. 
It is generally known that Bach did not usually employ 
the orchestral instruments in the modern n t, i-r 
manner,^ but made each play an independent . 

counterpoint. Thus there were as many con- 
trapuntal parts as there were voices and instruments com- 
bined ; and a cantata was described as being, for example, 
" in nine parts, for one oboe, two violins, one viola, one 
violoncello, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices with organ 
continuo," or as a " concerto for four voices, two oboes, 
viola and continuo." Sometimes, as in " Erforsche mich 
Gott," there is a violin obbligato above the voice parts 
in the final four-part chorale. In other cantatas it is 
noted that the "cantus firmus (the chorale-melody) is 
in the soprano," or other voice. In the opening chorus 
of " Herr Gott dich loben wir," the cantus firmus 
is in the soprano, the other voices sing throughout, 
making the interludes which are usually allotted to the 



Bach was fond of dividing his violas. Thus, part of 
"Gleichwie der Reigen und Schnee" is scored for four 
voices, two flutes, two violins, four violas, fagotto, violon- 
cello and continue. 

Or parts are written for a viola and a taille (the tenor 
viol). In "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort," the scoring is 
for three oboes, two violins, viola and continuo, with a 
tromba da tirarsi (slide trumpet) in unison with the 
soprano throughout. The cantata "Ich hatte viel Be- 
kummerniss," known in England as " My spirit was in 
heaviness," was composed and performed at Weimar on 
the third Sunday after Trinity, 17 14, on his being made 
Concertmeister there. It is labelled "Per ogni tempi," 
"suitable for any season." It has one oboe and one 
fagotto, besides the usual strings. 

"Es ist nichts gesundes" is scored for three flutes, 
cornet, three trombones, two oboes, the usual strings and 
four voices. Here the cantus firmus is given out by the 
organ in the bass with figures, 

t i b*2 6 6 61,65 _| 


and there is no further reference to it until long after the 
chorus have entered, and have been singing contrapuntal 
passages, when, without any warning as it were, the three 
flutes, cornet, and three trombones, which have hitherto 
been silent, bring in the chorale in four parts, the voices 
and strings continuing their contrapuntal course. The 
effect is so peculiarly Bach-like that we cannot refrain 
from quoting a few bars. 


A Mannerism 

From the Cantata "Es ist nights Gesundes an 

Bars J4J0 17. 14 IS 

3 fiuus : 


3 Trom- 

lit Viol. 






























-•— F~ 



ist nichts Gesundes au 


Es ist nich(s Gesundes an mei - nem 










3 Flutes 

3 Tram 

1st Viol. 














-q— •— j-^— ^ 





mei - - nem I.ei - be an meinem Lei 





Lei - - - be 

^^m=i-ts ^ Sf ^ f^ 


( Voices 



StHngs). 6778 




■p n P_ 

78 6 

45 4 

23 3 


Technical Skill 

The above quotation is only a specimen of what is 
found throughout a long chorus, all the sections of the 
chorale being introduced in turn, with a never-ceasing flow 
of counterpoint in the voice parts, accompanied in the 
same way by strings. 

If we examine the voice parts we shall find that they 
practically amount to a double canon, the tenor imitating 
the bass, the treble imitating the alto. But the canon is 
not carried out with an iron-bound rule which would crush 
all beauty out of the music ; on the contrary, the imita- 
tions are quite free and unconstrained. Each voice must 
have its melody, even if collisions occur now and then, 
such as between alto and tenor bar 1 5, last quaver : alto 
and bass just previously to this : the consecutive sevenths 
in the treble and alto bar 1 6, third and fourth quavers, or 
the entry of the tenor on F|j bar 17, against the F| in the 
bass. This rough and healthy vigour is thoroughly charac- 
teristic ; the parts must express themselves by their melody; 
if they happen occasionally to collide, this is of much less 
importance than that their vigorous melody should be 
sacrificed in order to sweeten the harmony. 

The string accompaniment must also take its part. 
The instruments are all treated as individuals, not merely 
as filling up harmonies. Therefore they do not reiterate 
one note in each chord, but move about. The wind in- 
struments play in four part harmony which is complete 
in itself. It might perhaps appear that this is merely a 
display of learning and contrapuntal skill, but a close 
examination of Bach's most elaborate works will reveal 
the fact that the greater the contrapuntal task he sets 
himself, the more expressive is the music. Such choruses 
exhibit the highest possible technical skill, but all this is 


as nothing compared to the wonderfully artistic effect 
that the composition as a whole produces. 

In some cases Bach writes an organ obbligato part in 
addition to the "continuo," or figured bass. Thus the 
opening symphony of " Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken 
dir," composed for the election of the Town Council at 
Leipsic in 1737, consists of the "Prelude" of the violin 
solo suite No. 6 transposed to D, 

on the obbligato organ, with accompaniments for three 
trumpets, drums, two oboes, strings and continuo (to be 
played on another organ ^). 

Bach seems to have tried every kind of experiment with 
his orchestra. For instance in "Freue dich erloste 
Schaar " an aria is accompanied by a flute, a muted violin, 
the rest of the strings pizzicato, and the organ part to be 
played staccato. One peculiarity, however, of his orches- 
tration is that the combination of instruments he chooses 
for a particular movement remains the same throughout. 
Rests occur in the parts, but there is no variety of treat- 
ment within the movement. Thus in the above-mentioned 
aria the lower strings having begun pizzicato play pizzicato 

' According to Gesner the keyboard of the Rilck-positiv (back choir) 
of the St Thomas' organ stood apart from the chief organ, and was 
used by Bach to conduct from (see the frontispiece of Walther's 
Lexicon, 1732). If there was an organ obbligato part, it would be 
played on this manual, while another person played the continuo on 
the chief organ. 



throughout, the first violins remain muted throughout, and 
the organ plays staccato throughout. Again, in the open- 
ing chorus of " Es ist nichts gesundes," referred to above, 
the wind never plays anything but the chorale in four 
parts. Of variety there is plenty, but it is not produced 
by modern methods. 

Bach was just as careful in the choice of instruments 
for his particular effects as in the choice of stops in organ 
playing. Many of the instruments he used are now 
obsolete, and their intonation must have been very faulty. 
Yet if they had the particular tone colour he considered 
fitting he would not hesitate to employ them, to the ex- 
clusion of, or together with, the more manageable instru- 
ments such as the violin, viola, oboe, &c. Amongst the 
obsolete instruments he employed to accompany the voices 
in his cantatas and Passion music were violoncello pic- 
colo,^ viola da gamba,i taille,^ viola d'amore,^ cornet,^ oboe 
d'amore,' oboe da caccia,i htuus,^ violetta,^ violino piccolo.^ 

Some of the cantatas are called solo cantatas ; they 
consist of a series of movements usually founded on a 
chorale, for one or more solo voices, and contain no 
choruses, though occasionally a chorale is to be sung by 
the congregation. 

The cantatas are often called by Bach " Concertos." 
Thus " Bereitet die Wege " for fourth Sunday in Advent 
is entitled "Concerto k g, i oboe, 2 violini, i viola, 
I violoncello, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, col basso per 
organo di J. S. Bacli " 

* See Glossary. » See p. 108. 

' A minor third below the oboe, and of more pathetic tone. 


Chapter IX 

The Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass * 

It was Luther's chief intention to make the congregation 
J,, take more part in the service of the Church 

^ ., than they had formerly done. The first thing 

o, • therefore was to diminish or abolish the use 

of Latin ; and the people were made to sing, 
what they could understand and appreciate. 

Luther translated a number of excellent old church 
hymns, and made new tunes for them, being assisted in 
this work by friends. The newly arranged hymns were to 
take the place of the Graduals, Offertories, &c. 

He also translated and reorganised the chief parts of 
the Mass ; thus the Kyrie became " Gott Vater in 
Ewigkeit," the Gloria, " AUein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr," 
the Creed, "Wir glauben all an einem Gott," and the 
Agnus Dei, " Christe du Lamm Gottes." 

The Preface, the Benedictus, and Hosanna were left in 

Besides the chorales, he instituted the motet for the 
choir; which was accompanied ordinarily by the organ, 
but on high festivals by cornets and trombones. The style 
of the motets was that of Palestrina and Orlando Lasso, 
and the texts were chosen from the Bible, especially the 
Psalms. On days of humiliation, a long Litany and several 

' A considerable portion of this chapter is from an article by A. F . 
Rochlitz in the Allg. Musik Zeitung, 1831. 


The German Mass 

Latin hymns were sung instead of the Gloria. In Holy 
Week and on Palm Sunday and Good Friday, instead of the 
Epistle, the Story of the Passion was sung antiphonally 
from one of the gospels by two priests before the altar. 

But several inconveniences gradually arose. In spite of 
Luther's urgent order, " A priest must be able to sing," there 
were, in course of time, only a few who could, and those sang 
badly — most priests could not even keep to a single note. 

Let us imagine an unbroken monotone or monotonous 
chant badly intoned, of the length of perhaps over one 
hundred verses ; and the service, being lengthened by the 
addition of hymns, &c., occupied sometimes from four to 
five hours, all in one wearisome unison, and entirely de- 
prived of the variations which gave life to the Catholic 
service. Moreover if anyone came late or left early he 
was severely reprimanded. 

Luther said, "We arrange the German Mass as well 
as we can ; our successors will improve it." But for a 
hundred years after his death men held most conscientiously 
to the letter of his sayings, and when alterations were 
made, they were done so sparingly that they were of little 
effect. The Latin songs were almost all assigned to other 
services, e.g. the "Rex Christe " was assigned to the vespers, 
the " Crux fidelis " to Thursday in Holy Week, and the 
singing of the Passion before the altar was changed to a 
mere reading from the pulpit. 

But when read, only a very small portion of the con- 
gregation either heard or understood it in a large and well- 
filled church ; and soon there arose disorders, especially 
when the old Protestant strictness of discipline began to 
decline, and the Thirty Years' War had produced much 
roughness in manners. A way out of the difficulty was 


found, which must be mentioned, though it only lasted a 
few years. It was certainly conceived in accordance with 
Luther's principles, but it was soon found to be entirely 
impracticable. The congregation were themselves to sing 
the Passion story. For this purpose a song was com- 
posed by Paul Stockmann (" Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod ") 
containing all the chief points in the story. Not only did 
the composition prove entirely unsatisfactory in itself, but 
can one imagine four and thirty strophes of eight lines 
each being sung straight away to one of the dullest and 
most monotonous melodies that was ever composed ! 

During this period, however, Figural music had, outside 
the Church, been gradually developing in a freer and more 
easily appreciated manner, and was therefore becoming 
widely cultivated. 

It found favour with the people, since there was no law 

against its use, so that it began to enter the Church, not 

, . in ordinary services, but on festivals. The re- 

, , . , suit was most favourable. We find expressly 

^. .•' stated the attention and the devout pleasure 

^/^. with which the congregation listened to the 

conjunction of song and strings. Gradually, 

therefore, this music was received into favour, first on 

festivals and afterwards on Sundays in the principal 

churches, and that without any special care that the text 

and expression had any regular connection with particular 

parts of the Liturgy, much less with the special subject of 

the sermon. The cantor and music director in fact did not 

know beforehand what the subject was to be. 

Everything else that had been used from former times 
remained, except that after Frederick Augustus, Elector of 
Saxony, entered the Roman Church in 1697, and organised 


Passion Music Origin 

such splendid services in his Court church as had never 
been before heard in North Germany, more freedom was 
allowed in the Lutheran churches. 

The celebration of the Passion remained as before, and 
we have only to add that during the Fast and Advent 
weeks all instruments, including the organ, had to be 
silent, even during the singing of the thirty-four strophes. 

At last there came to the head of spiritual affairs at 
Leipsic a man of decided character, highly esteemed as a 
learned theologian, a very impressive preacher, tu q • ■ 
and respected for his strictness of teaching , „ '"^f 
and life, Salomon Deyling, Doctor and Pro- ■' „ 
fessor of Theology, &c. (1677-1755). He '*Mudc 

could no longer endure the state of things 
in Passion Week, and, since in 1723 the great and famous 
Sebastian Bach had become cantor of the Thomas School 
and music director of the two chief churches at Leipsic, 
he associated himself with him in order to see if his ideas 
could be put in practice. The idea which he propounded 
to Bach was this : " The early arrangement of the service 
was the best, but was only suitable to its own date : we 
must try and make our arrangement on the model of the 
earliest, but in keeping with modern requirements. 

" On each Palm Sunday and Good Friday the history 
of the Passion of the Lord is made known antiphonally, 
according to one or other of the Evangelists, exactly in 
accordance with the sacred writer's words ! Who could 
improve on this ? They must be sung, how else are they 
to be understood by all? But they must be sung by 
some one who can sing ! namely by you : and so that 
everything may sound well and be impressive they must 
be musically sung, and accompanied. 



" Your best singer, who can pronounce clearly and well, 
must sing the words of the Evangelist in recitative, and, 
in order to produce more impression and life and variety, 
the other persons of the story must be represented by 
other singers, and the Jewish people by a chorus. At the 
chief points in the story there will be pauses, during which, 
by means of an aria, the congregation shall lay to heart 
what they have heard ; and that all of us shall be refreshed 
from time to time, there shall be well chosen verses from 
all the known hymns, in which the congregation can join. 
Now, your business is to carry all this out in a connected 
and artistic manner. " And th us arose Bach's Passion music, 
which completely fulfilled everything that was expected of it. 
However few there were who could understand and honour 
and enjoy them as art works, these services, and Bach's 
method of treating them, were gladly received by the con- 
gregation, and the performance of such oratorios became 
every time a truly edifying and Christian artistic feast. 

This account refers of course chiefly to Leipsic. It is 
supposed that the decay of the performance of the Passion 
was due to the pupils and sons of Bach, who tried to 
improve on his and Deyling's arrangement by the intro- 
duction of Italian and lighter methods, which, though 
pleasing, were soon found to be unsuitable to the simple 
words of the Bible and Hymn-book. 

The custom of performing the Passion in an epic and 
dramatic form during Holy Week is exceedingly ancient. 
It exists still in the Catholic Church in an ancient tradi- 
tional way, consisting of the relation of the gospel narra- 
tive by one singer, the speeches of Jesus by another, while 
a third represents the crowd called /ur&a. Music and the 
dramatic element are little represented, and the performers 


Passion Services 

only make use of accent or intonations. In the Reformed 
Church the performance of the Passion in German, and 
in artistic style, did not take place earlier „ . 

than the last half of the sixteenth century. „ • 

Wmterfeld finds the earliest Passion music „ 

arranged for chorus after the Gospel of St 
Matthew in Keuchenthal's Gesangbuch, Wittenberg, 1573. 
A short instrumental piece precedes it and another closes 
it, and for the rest, only the words of the turba are allotted 
to chorus. A similar work is the Passion according to St 
John, which is found in Selneccer's Gesangbuch, 1587, but 
here there are hymns to be sung by the congregation. 

The Passion according to St John, of Bartholomaus 
Gese, 1588, begins with a five voice chorus, followed by 
the gospel narration by a tenor in Plainsong, The words 
of Christ are usually sung by four chorus voices, the words 
of Peter and Pilate by three voices, those of the maid and 
servant of the High Priest by two voices, the turba are in 
five voices, and a five voice chorus concludes the work. 

Heinrich Schiitz, 1585 — 1672, in whose "Resurrection 
of the Lord " modern forms are found, has very sparingly 
used similar forms in his Passions according to all four 
Evangelists, but chiefly in the concluding choruses. The 
Passions in Vopelius' Gesangbuch, 1682, show that the 
early forms were still in use at that date. 

The Passion of Capellmeister Johann Sebastiani, 1672, 
at Konigsberg, shows an advance in form here and there ; 
and here also for the first time do we find the artistic use 
of hymn tunes, while in Schiitz only the final movements 
of his Passions have any connection with the chorale. The 
biblical narrative is no longer in plainsong, but recitative, 
accompanied either by two violins or two violas and bass, 



and this is the first example of instrumental accompani- 
ment in a Passion music. The turba are in four voice 
chorus, with a fifth part in high tenor for the Evangelist. 
Two violins, four violas and bass always accompany him. 
The hymns are directed only to have their melodies sung, 
the remaining parts being played by the strings. 

A remarkable appearance was that of the Passion oratorios 
at Hamburg, in which Handel, Keiser and Mattheson in- 
troduced the regular song forms, the recitative, aria, and 
the duet of the opera, and in such a method as only could 
be performed by very highly trained singers. At first the 
words of Scripture in their original formed the basis. 

In 1704, however, an entirely new departure was made 
in " The bleeding and dying Jesus " of Reinhold Keiser, 
with words by Hunold-Menantes. Here there was no 
Evangelist, nor were words of the Scripture introduced, 
but three cantatas or soliloquies, similar to dramatic 
scenes, took an important place. They were called the 
" Lamentation of Mary," the " Tears of Peter," and the 
"Lovesong of the Daughter of Zion." 

The novelty, which excited the fiercest criticism and 
raised a great contest, did not take root, although through 
its means a new way was opened up. For this attempt 
led the Hamburg Councillor Brookes to write a musical 
poem of a similar kind, in which the evangelist was 
retained in order to fill the gaps between the scenes. 

This composition, which was greatly admired, was set 
to music by Keiser, and afterwards by Handel, Mattheson 
and Telemann. The first performance of Keiser's setting 
took place in Holy week in 1712, and it is of special 
interest, since Bach took some of the words for the arias 
in his St John Passion. 


Passion Settings 

In the Matthew Passion Bach follows that of Sebastiani 
with the addition of new forms derived from the drama, 
but enriched and ennobled by the mind of the Master. 
Scripture words and hymns no longer satisfied his con- 
temporaries or himself; and as long as the kernel of the 
work was scriptural, according to use consecrated by time, 
no objection could be made to the introduction of what 
had already been accepted in other services in the Church. 
Only the soliloquies, those theatrical scenes in which 
biblical persons appear with words other than biblical, he 
would not introduce, for it was too like the stage. Thus 
in a form, which though new, was intimately connected 
with the old, did the Passions of Bach appear, and the 
congregation took part by singing the chorales. It is 
not known for certain how many Passions Bach wrote ; 
the number is said to be five. 

Regarding the author and composer of the St Luk^s 
Passion nothing is known for certain, for Bach gives 
neither in his copy. The arguments for its being his 
work are that it is in his writing, and is possibly a youthful 
composition, and that he recopied it in later years so 
that it should not be forgotten ; while the chief argument 
against its genuineness is its insignificance. The Bach- 
gesellschaft publish it with the above reservation. 

It consists mostly of chorales in four parts with short 
recitatives between them. There are few arias or choruses, 
and a sermon is to be preached in the middle.^ 

The first performance of the Matthew Passion took 

place on Good Friday, 1729. The words, where not 

scriptural, are by Picander. All the resources of art aie 

employed in this tremendous work. A double chorus, 

' See Conrad E.F. " Echt oder unecht. zur Lucas Passion.'' 



a ripieno chorus of sopranos, a double orchestra and 
double organ part ; a part for the Evangelist which calls 
forth the very highest powers of the greatest singers ; all 
the instruments known in Bach's time are at various 
points brought into requisition. We have already alluded 
(p. 104) to the effect of the opening chorus when sung 
in the Thomas Church. The never-ceasing flow of quavers 
in 1 2-8 time, the call to the contemplation of the Passion, 
the questioning second chorus which finally unites with 
the first, the solemn and dignified march of the orchestra, 
have a devotional expression which has never been sur- 
passed. Throughout the work the words of the Saviour 
are accompanied by strings alone in four parts, with the 
continuo (which was never omitted in those days). The 
chorales, which are of frequent occurrence, are to be sung 
in unison by the congregation, and harmonised by the 
choir and instruments. The words of the turba or 
Jewish people are always allotted to double choruses, which 
throw the expressions backwards and forwards at each 
other in a turbulent manner (see p. 123). 

The disciples are also represented by a double chorus, as 
are the Christian congregation; and the music of the various 
double choruses is in keeping with sentiments which might 
be supposed to actuate the singers. The arias which fill the 
" pauses " suggested by Deyling are allotted to an alto, sop- 
rano, tenor, or bass, and are accompanied, in addition to the 
organ, by two flutes, or two oboi d'amore, or oboi da caccia, 
or by a viola da gamba, or by a violin solo with string band. 

After Bach's death this magnificent work was performed 
at St Thomas Church till the end of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, when it was laid aside until revived by Mendelssohn 
in 1829, just one hundred years after its first performance. 


Matthew Passion 

Ja nicht auf das Fest auf dast nicht tin ^ufruhr werde 





Chorus * 

Ja nicht auf das Fest auf das nicht ein Aufruhr 
















fc pizdzi ^r p^y 











'/ '/ 1/ 






The gigantic B Minor Mass was gradually composed. 
At first it was to have been a " missa brevis," but the rest 
was added later. Hilgenfeldt ^ makes the following remarks 
„ j^f. on it : — " This Mass is one of the noblest 

j^ works of Art, full of inventive genius, depth of 

feeling, and astonishing artistic power : there 
is no other of the same calibre which can be compared to it. 
It was originally written for the Saxon Court, and was first 
performed at Dresden. On his other compositions of' the 
same kind Bach has expended far less energy. It is possible 
that a Protestant artist such as he was could not entirely 
enter into the religious point of view which he was obliged 
to take in composing for the Catholic Church, and several 
of his other masses are merely collected from portions of 
his cantatas." 

This is, however, also the case with the B minor Mass : 
thus the Crucifixus occurs in the cantata " Weinen Klagen," 
the Hosanna in "Preise dein Glucke," the Agnus in "Lobet 
Gott in seinen Reichen." 

The Mass is dedicated to Frederick Augustus in the 
following words : — 

"Illustrious Elector, — Gracious Master, — To 
Your Royal Highness I offer in deepest devotion this 
small fruit of the knowledge to which I have attained in 
music, with the most humble prayer that you will look 
upon it, not according to the poor composition, but with 
your world-renowned clemency, and therefore will take 
me under your powerful protection. 

I have for some years had the direction of the music in the 
two chief churches at Leipsic, but have suffered several dis- 
agreeable things, and my income has been reduced though 
' P. 115. 

B Minor Mass 

I am myself blameless ; but these troubles would be easily 
overcome if your Highness would grant me the favour of 
a decree, after conference with your Court orchestra. 

" The gracious granting of my humble prayer would bind 
me to everlastingly honour you, and I offer myself to do 
anything with obedience that Your Royal Highness may 
require of me in the way of composing church or orchestral 
music, and to give unwearied industry, and to dedicate 
my whole strength to your service. — With ever-increasing 
faithfulness, I remain, Your Royal Highness' most obedient 
Servant, — Johann Sebastian Bach." 

This letter was handed in to the Court at Dresden when 
Bach was there on a visit, July 27th, 1733. The reader 
will remember that he was at this time in conflict 
with Ernesti, and the Council ; — the title of " Hof 
compositeur," Court composer, was not however given 
him until 1736. Though Hilgenfeldt says the B minor 
Mass was first performed at Dresden, it is doubtful 
whether it was ever performed outside the two chief 
churches at Leipsic, and even there it was only done 
in parts. On a score of the "Gloria" made in 1740 
the note occurs "on the feast of the Nativity." The 
"Sanctus" also was originally intended as a Christmas 
piece. The "Kyrie" is of great length; its score occupies 
forty-six pages in the Bach Gesellschaft edition. Like the 
rest of the choral portions, it has five voices, two sopranos, 
alto, tenor and bass. The orchestra consists of two flutes, 
two oboi d'amore, two bassoons, strings and continue. 

The Gloria is scored for three trumpets, drums, two 
flutes, two oboes, two bassoons, strings and continue. It 
will be observed that for the joyful music of the Gloria 
the tone of the oboe proper was considered more suitable 


than the perhaps more plaintive tone of the oboe d'amore, 
which is used in the Kyrie. 

At the very outset the hearers are made aware that a 
work of unusual proportions is commencing. The words 
Kyrie eleison are sung in a massive five part adagio with 
independent orchestral parts, coming to a full close at the 
end of the fourth bar. Here an instrumental "largo ed 
un poco piano " commences and continues for twenty-five 
bars; it foreshadows the vocal fugue, of which the follow- 
ing is the impressive subject : 

Largo. Tenor, 

Kyrie c-le 

son Ky - ri - e 












After this fugue has been worked at considerable length 
there is an instrumental interlude, and it recommences, 
the bass leading off with the subject in the tonic. The 
Christe eleison is set as a duet for two sopranos in D major, 
and the second kyrie as a fugue, alia breve, in four parts, 
in which the instruments double the voices. It has the 
following stirring subject : 



^ P- j L>.- f |Jj'^p ^£^^ 

Ky - ri - e 



" Et incarnatus est 

The "Gloria" begins in D major, and consists of eleven 
movements, opening with a vigorous five part chorus vivace. 

Orchestra. Vivace, 
- I 

^r^jm^ M^ 

" Quoniam solus Sanctus " is a bass aria accompanied 
by Corno di caccia, two fagotti and continuo. There are 
no other instruments. 

The Creed contains seven movements. The words 
" Credo in unum deum" are a fugue on the ancient Plain- 
song, which is jn semibreves, with a perpetually moving 
bass on the organ in crotchets. The only orchestral in- 
struments are two violins, which play independent parts. 

" Et incarnatus est " for five voices is based on an 
arpeggio figure imitated in all the parts : 


Sop. It. Et in - car- Sop. 1, Et in - car- 







in - car • 


r f- I 

est in car* 






The "Crucifixus," one of the most impressive move- 
ments, is founded on a chromatic ground bass, which 
recurs thirteen times, the four part chorus singing various 
harmonies above it. This is the form of the Passacaglia, 
and the same bass was used by Bach in the opening 
chorus of the cantata, "Jesu, der du meine Seele," 
though in a very different manner. "Et resurrexit" is 
another movement conceived in Bach's happiest mood. 
It is in D major, like the Gloria, and has, if possible, 
even more energy and swing. This is the vigorous 
opening phrase : 

Sof. I. ~P'ff l| . ft . N j' V I i @ ~^"«~t 

Sop. II. ^ ^' 4 ' '-fr f- \J\\ W . \ ^JT^ 



and it is repeated for the words "Cujus regni non erit finis." 
"Et in Spiritum sanctum" forms a bass solo accom- 
panied by two oboi d'amore. 


The Sanctus 

"Confiteor unum baptisma," a closely knit fugue on 
two subjects, is in five parts with an independent organ 
bass. After a time the tempo becomes adagio, and 
one of the most overpowering effects in the whole of 
music introduces the words "et exspecto resurrectionem 
mortuorum " ; as it were the whole of creation is called 
to witness the supreme miracle of the resurrection of the 

The Sanctus is a six part chorus ; the voices move for 
the most part in flowing triplets, the bass generally in an 
octave figure. After a time the triplets give way to the 
following powerful passage : 

Orch. ■ 

after a few bars of which the triplets are resumed. 
I 129 


"Pleni sunt cceli et terra gloria ejus," is a six part 
fugue, and "osanna" is a double chorus. The "Dona 
nobis pacem" has the same opening passage as the 
Rathswahl cantata. The work from beginning to end is 
on a gigantic scale, in which each separate movement is 
a masterpiece from every point of view. 


Chapter X 

The Wokltemferirte Clavier— ••The Art of Fugue" — " Musical Offering'" 
— Bach as a Teacher — Bach's Works in England. 

The WohUetnperirte Clavier was gradually compiled and 
formed into a complete work in two parts. The first part 
was completed at Cothen in 1722, and entitled " The 
well tempered clavier, or preludes and fugues through 
all tones and semitones, both with major and minor 
thirds. For the edification and use of young musicians 
who are eager to learn, and for the recreation of those 
who are already facile in this study. Collected and 
prepared by Johann Sebastian Bach, Grand-ducal Capell- 
meister and Director of Chamber music to the Court of 
Cothen, Anno 1722." 

The expression "well-tempered" refers to the equal 
temperament, of which Bach was so strong an ad- 
vocate, and many of the pieces would be impos- 
sible with any other system of tuning. There is suffi- 
cient internal evidence to show that these ^, w hit 
delicate and beautiful compositions were ^. . 

primarily intended for the clavichord, as . . , , s 
fi_. . 1 . . J e ■ intended for 

this mstrument had a power of expression ^, • j: ^ 

which was denied to all the other keyed 

instruments of that period. It is a mistake therefore 

to play them on the harpsichord, and Spitta is right 



in his assertion that they require for their adequate 
performance the very best pianoforte that the skill of 
modern hiakers can produce. The larger number of 
the pieces in the first collection were written at Cothen, 
and probably quickly after one another. According 
to a tradition they were written on one of his journeys, 
when he had not access to an instrument. Schumann 
considered that many of the preludes were not originally 
connected with the fugues. Bach made three copies 
which still exist. He never had any intention of pub- 
lishing a work which would scarcely meet with success 
among the general public from its difficulty. The 
second part was completed in 1740 or 1744. The 
only autograph is in the British Museum, add. MS. 
35,021, of a page of which we give a photograph. 
It is written on large paper, fourteen staves to a 

Gerber says that Bach valued the work highly for its 
educational value, and played it through no less than 
three times to him. 

It was first printed by A. F. C. Kollmanns in London in 
1 799, but this impression was never published. The three 
first editions were those of Hoffmeister and Kiihnel,^ 
Simrock in Berlin, and Nageli in Zurich, all in 1801. 
The first English edition was that of Wesley and Horn, 

That by Hoffmeister and Kiihnel was edited by Forkel, 
who, selecting from a great number of copies, published 
many of the fugues in a shortened form, believing that 
these were Bach's last arrangements of them. It is well 
known that Bach constantly polished and improved his 
^ Afterwards the firm of C. F. Peters, Leipsic, 


works; and the number of different readings of the 
Wohltemperirte Clavier would fill a large volume. 
Amongst the more noticeable varieties of reading is 
„ . that of the E minor prelude in Part I. 

,. In LitolfiPs edition (Kohler) and Novello's 

* (Best) there is a florid melody in the right 

hand, above the chords, which accompany the moving 
bass. In Chrysander's edition it is explained that Bach's 
more mature taste led him to discard the florid passages, 
and it is accordingly published from a later MS. with 
only the chords on the first and third beats of the bar, 
the melody being entirely omitted.^ 

The " Art of Fugue " is a series of workings of a single 
subject in many different ways. Like the Wohltemperirte 
Clavier it was primarily intended for educational purposes. 
Forkel gives the following account of it : 

"This excellent and unique work was not pub- 
lished till 1752, after the composer's death, but was 
for the most part engraved during his life by one of 
. , his sons. Marpurg, at that time at the 

_ •' helm of musical literature in Germany, 

^ wrote a preface to the edition, in which 

much that is good and true is said concerning the 

" But this ' Art of Fugue ' was too lofty for the great 
world ; it became only known in the very small world of 
connoisseurs. This small world was soon provided with 
copies ; the plates were useless, and were finally sold by 
Bach's heirs as old copper." . . . 

" The last fugue but one has three subjects, the third 
being the notes b, a, c, h. T^is fugue was however- in- 
' See Forkel, p. 64. 

"Musical Offering" 

terrupted by the blindness of the author, and could not 
be finished. 

"To make up for the unfinished fugue, the editors 
added at the end the four voice chorale 'Wenn wir im 
hochsten Nothen sind,' which he dictated to his son-in- 
law Altnikol on his death-bed." 

The work was brought out at the Leipsic Fair of Easter 
1752. Mattheson was loud in his praise saying it would 
astonish all French and Italian fugue-makers. But the 
work was in reality finished. The MS. was complete, 
and the engraving was being done under the author's 
direction when he died in 1750. No one could fulfil his 
intentions, and the engravers simply went on engraving 
everything that came to hand, both sketches and com- 
pleted movements, and it was full of printer's errors. 
Hauptmann clearly shows that the last (unfinished) fugue 
is certainly Bach's own work, but that it has no con- 
nection with the " Art of Fugue," which closes in reality 
with the fugue for two claviers. The series of fugues are 
all on one subject ; the unfinished work leaves the subject, 
and has nothing to do with the other fugues. We have 
therefore Bach's last work complete, and the incomplete 
portion is due to a mistake of the first publishers. 

" The Musical Offering " is a series of fugues and canons 
on a subject given to Bach at Potsdam by Frederick the 
Great. The work consists of — 

1 . Fuga (ricercata) for three voices. 

2. Fuga (ricercata) for six voices. Musical 

3. VIII. Canons. Offering 

4. Fuga canonica in epidiapente. 

5. Sonata (Trio) for flute, violin, and bass. 

6. Canon perpetuus for flute, violin, and bass. 



It is headed : 

"Regis lussu Cantio, Et Reliqua Canonica Arte 

The dedicatory letter will explain its purpose : 

"Most Gracious King, — To Your Majesty is prof- 
fered herewith in humblest obedience a musical offering, 
whose most excellent portion originates from your noble 
hand. I recall with respectful pleasure the peculiarly 
royal favour with which during . my visit to Potsdam your 
Majesty was pleased to play to me a fugue theme, and to 
require me immediately to work it out in your presence. 
Obedience to your Majesty's command was my duty. I 
however soon" remarked, that for want of proper pre- 
paration the working out was not as good as so excellent 
a theme required. I therefore resolved to work out this 
most royal theme properly and to make it known to the 
world. This project is now fulfilled to the best of my 
ability, and it has no other object than in some small way 
to do honour to the fame of a monarch, whose greatness 
and power both in the arts of peace and war, and 
especially in that of music are acknowledged and admired 
by all. I make bold to add this humble request : that 
your Majesty will accord a gracious reception to this small 
work, and by so doing still further extend your royal con- 
descension. — Your Majesty's most humble and obedient 
servant. The Author. 

" Leipsic, luly 7, 1747." 

This dedication however only referred to a portion 
of the work, which was gradually completed and en- 
graved later. The epithet ricercata perhaps refers to 
the mechanical difficulty of the pieces. 


As Teacher 

The six Great or English Suites are so called according 
to Forkel ^ because they were written for some Englishman 
of rank. The same authority says that the six little French 
suites received their name because they are in French taste. 
It does not appear that the composer gave either of these 
names. Both sets seem to have been written at Cothen. 

All accounts agree as to Bach's wonderful capacity for 
teaching, and we have a description of his 
methods from one of his pupils, H. N. Bach as 
Gerber,^ which we make no apology for a teacher 
quoting in full: 

"He went to Leipsic to study partly law and partly 
music under the great Joh. Seb. Bach. ... In the first 
six months he heard much excellent church music and 
many concerts under Bach's direction, but no opportunity 
arose which gave him courage to approach the great man, 
until at last he mentioned his wish to one of his friends 
called Wilde (afterwards organist at St Petersburg) who 
introduced him to Bach. Bach received him in the most 
friendly manner and at once called him ' Fellow-country- 
man.'* He promised to give him instruction, and asked 
whether he had practised fugues diligently. At the first 
lesson he placed the 'Inventions' before him. When 
Gerber had studied these to Bach's satisfaction, he was 
given a number of suites, and then the WohltemperirU 
Clavier. This work Bach played through three times to 
him with unapproachable art ; and my father counted 
those amongst his most enjoyable lessons when Bach, 
under the excuse that he felt indisposed to teach, would 
seat himself at one of his excellent instruments, and the 

' P. 56. ' Father of the author of Gerber's Lexicon. 

' Gerber was a Thuringian. 



hours passed like minutes. The end of a lesson was 
taken up with figured bass-playing, for which Bach would 
choose the violin solos of Albinoni ; and I must confess 
that the skill with which my father performed these basses 
in Bach's manner, and especially in the flow of the parts 
amongst each other was unsurpassable. This accompani- 
ment was so beautiful in itself that no solo part that I 
have heard could give me so much pleasure." Gerber 
was for two years under Bach. 

ForkeP tells us that the first thing he taught was 
his own peculiar touch, and for this purpose the pupil 
was kept for several months at finger exercises, in fact they 
sometimes lasted from six to twelve months ; but when the 
pupil's patience began to flag he was given little pieces 
which Bach composed specially for him, such as the six 
little preludes for beginners, and the two-part inventions. 
He wrote these during the lesson, and was thus able 
to make them suit the particular requirements of the 
pupil. Together with the finger exercises the pupil had to 
practise all manner of ornaments, and Bach demanded 
the severest possible application from all his pupils. 

As soon as possible he was made to learn whichever of 
Bach's greater works suited him. In order to lighten the 
difficulties. Bach played the piece through to the pupil, 
and said, " that is how it must sound." 

One can, says Forkel, scarcely enumerate the many 
advantages of such a method. Even if it were only that 
the pupil is roused to emulation through the pleasure of 
hearing such a performance, the advantage would be very 
great. But in addition to this he obtains at once a grip 
of the piece in its complete form, instead of having to 
• P. 38. 

Teaching Composition 

work it out bit by bit as he gradually overcomes the 
mechanical difficulties. 

The instrument on which Bach taught was the clavichord, 
on account of its expressive quality which trained the ear to 
fine shades of tone; he would have nothing to say to 
mere finger training apart from understanding the music, 
and insisted on the cultivation of both art and technique 

In teaching composition Bach did not begin with 
dry counterpoints leading to nothing, as in his time 
was done by all other teachers ; still less did he trouble 
his pupils about tone-relationships, which in m th il t 
his opinion concerned only theorists and in- t j, 
strument makers. He started at once with ^ . . 

pure four part figured bass, and insisted on the ^ 
proper leading of the parts, because this would give the 
clearest insight into the harmonic progressions. He then 
went on to the chorale, to which he at first set the basses 
and made the pupil only write the tenor and alto, after- 
wards gradually making him write the bass. He insisted 
at all times not only on the greatest possible purity in the 
harmony, but on the natural and flowing connection of all 
the single voices. The models he himself has left are 
known to every connoisseur, and his inner voices are often 
so singable that they might serve for the upper part. This 
style had to be striven for by the pupil, and until he had 
reached a high degree of proficiency Bach did not consider 
it wise to allow him to try inventing on his own account. 
He took for granted that all his composition pupils had 
the faculty of thinking in music. If any had not this 
faculty he was advised not to attempt composition. 

As soon as the above-mentioned preparations in 



harmony were finished, he began with two voice fugue, 
and in this, and all composition practice, the pupil was 
strictly forbidden to use the clavier. Those who were 
obliged to do so he called " Knights of the keyboard." 

In fugue he was especially careful about the part 
writing — no voice must merely fill in the harmony, or 
break off before it had finished what it had to say. He 
looked upon his voices as persons, who conversed together 
as in private society, in which it would be unseemly 
for anyone to disturb the conversation either by un- 
interesting remarks, or by not finishing his sentences. 
On the other hand, he allowed his pupils as much 
freedom as possible with regard to intervals. They 
might try any experiments they liked as long as no 
damage was done to the purity of the harmony, or the 
inward meaning of the movement. He tried all possible 
experiments himself, and was glad to see his pupils do so. 
The whole of his system is to be found in Kirnberger's 
" Kunst des reinen Satzes " (Art of pure writing). ^ 

Among his pupils were his sons, of whom an account 
has already been given. The others were the following : 
— Johann Caspar Vogler, who began studying under 
him at Arnstadt and Weimar, and, according to Bach's 
own showing, was a very fine organist. He became 
organist and Burgomaster at Weimar. 

Gottfried August Homilius, subsequently music director 
_ .. of the three chief churches at Dresden, and 

^^ cantor of the Kreuzschule. He was also of 

considerable reputation as an org-anist and church com- 
poser. Died 1785. 

Christoph Transchel, who died in 1800 at Dresden, 
1 Forkel, pp. 40, 41. 

Notable Pupils 

was an esteemed teacher and clavier player. He was 
the owner of a considerable musical library. 

Johann Ludwig Krebs eventually became Court organist 
and music director at Altenburg, where he died in 1803. 
He was a very good organist and composer. Bach's 
pun, "Ich habe in meinem Bache nur einen Krebs 
gefangen," " I have only caught one Crab in my stream," 
was intended to show the esteem in which he held 

J. G. Goldberg of Konigsberg was declared by Bach 
to be one of his best pupils on the clavier and organ. 

Altnikol, his son-in-law, a fine organ player, and organ- 
ist at Naumburg. He helped his father-in-law consider- 
ably during his blindness. 

John Philipp Kirnberger, born 1721, died at Berlin in 
1783, was Court musician to Princess Amelia of Prussia, 
and celebrated as a theorist and composer. 

Johann Friedrich Agricola (1720-1774) became com- 
poser to the Prussian Court. He was more known by 
his theoretical works than his compositions. 

Johann Christian Kittel, who was organist at Erfurt 
and died in 1809, was a thorough harmonist, a clever 
and learned organist, an able composer, and a good teacher. 

Johann Schneider, Court organist and first violinist 
at Saalfeld, and afterwards organist of the Nicolai Church 
at Leipsic. He was also a pupil of Graun. 

Johann Martin Schubart (1690-1721) was Bach's first 
pupil ; he became organist at Weimar, but died early. 

A pupil named Voigt is mentioned by Emmanuel Bach 

as having come to his father after he (Emmanuel) had 

left the house. Perhaps he is the author of a "Con- 

' See page 49. 



versation between an organist and his deputy about 
music," mentioned by Walther. 

Gotthilf Ziegler, organist and music director at St 
Ulrich, Halle, was a renowned teacher, composer and 

Ernst Bach, his cousin, was Capellmeister at Eisenach, 
having first studied law, and become a barrister. He was 
also a composer and organist. 

J. H. Miithel, organist in Riga, a good performer and 
composer. Gerber gives a long account of him, and 
Burney praises his playing and compositions.^ 

We have seen that the first attempt to publish the 

Wohltemperirte Clavier was made in London. England 

was early in its recognition of the composer, cliiefly 

through the efforts of Samuel Wesley (176 6- 1837) who, 

becoming acquainted with his works, eagerly propagated 

„ ,, a knowledge of them. Wesley's edition of 

. . the Wohltemperirte Clavier was published in 

music tn ■ t- vu o -c tj • o J 

_ . , conjunction with C. F. Horn m 1810; and 

° through his influence, Forkel's "Life" of 

Bach was translated and published in 1820. He became 
famous for his performances of Bach's organ fugues, or 
as they were called in those days "pedal fugues," and 
perhaps the name of his third son, Samuel Sebastian, may 
have some connection with his admiration for Sebastian 

In 1 849 the English Bach Society was founded, having 
as its objects the collection of the compositions and the 
performance of the works of J. S. Bach. It gave the first 

1 In addition to the above-mentioned professional pupils, all 
amateurs living near obtained at least a few lessons from "so great 
and celebrated a man." — Forkel, p. 42. 


In England 

performance of the " Matthew Passion " in England at 
Hanover Square Rooms in 1854 under Sterndale Bennett. 
After a few more performances the society was dissolved 
in 1870, and its library given to the Royal Academy of 

In 1875 the "Bach Choir" was formed under the 
conductorship of Mr Otto Goldschmidt, for the per- 
formance of the B minor Mass, which was effected in 
1876 at St James's Hall, and the society was then placed 
on a permanent footing for the purpose of performing 
works of Bach and other composers. In 1885 Mr 
Otto Goldschmidt was succeeded by Professor Villiers 
Stanford, under whose baton many of Bach's important 
works have been performed. 

Bach is perhaps best known in England at present 
by his organ works, which are familiar to all competent 
organists, and his violin solos, which Herr Joachim has 
done so much to propagate. The Wohliemperirte Clavier 
is a household word to every earnest musician, and 
his Passions of St Matthew and St John, besides the 
Christmas Oratorio and a few cantatas, are frequently 
performed in London churches. 

Selections from the organ works have been published 
in England from time to time : by S. Wesley, by Coventry 
and HoUier (with the pedal part arranged by Dragonetti 
for double bass), by Best and by Novello with Best as 
editor, A complete edition Is being brought out by 
Sir F. Bridge and Mr J. Higgs. 


Chapter XI 

The Christmas Oratorio — The Magnificat — The Lost Works — 
Instrumental Works — Bach's Playing — The Manieren, or Grace 

Bach never wrote an oratorio in the sense of a sacred 

dramatic work to be performed on a stage without action. 

We have shown that the Passion settings are a portion of 

the Lutheran Lenten services; and the church cantatas 

take much the same place as the anthem in the English 

Cathedral service, with the difference of greater length, 

orchestral accompaniment, and an opportunity for the 

congregation to take part in the final chorale. 

The so-called Christmas .Oratorio, dated 1734, is nothing 

more than a series of six cantatas, to be sung during the 

service on six successive days at Christmas time. Each 

-, . , begins with a chorus which is followed by 

Christmas ° , . j v ,.• j v j 

-. . several anas and recitatives, and each ends 

with a chorale, besides which, chorales are 

also interspersed in the body of the work. The 

second cantata opens with a most exquisite symphony, 

of a pastoral nature something akin to the pastoral 

symphony in the "Messiah," but longer, and with the 

most subtle orchestral effects ; especially are the passages 

for two oboes interchanging with the strings most beautiful; 

and the chief " motive " of the symphony recurs in the 


Smaller Masses 

accompaniment of the closing chorale. The character of 
the choruses is for the most part one of triumphant 
joyfulness, and the arias have all the tender effects which 
Bach so well knew how to produce. 

The Easter Oratorio is a short cantata without a chorale. 

The motets are compositions in several movements 
for unaccompanied voices, from three to eight in number. 
The movements are interspersed with chorales ^ 

harmonised in four parts. The seventh motet, ^ . 
" Ich lasse dich nicht," though as fine as any, 
is considered to be almost certainly not by Bach, and is 
therefore only given as an appendix in vol. 39 of the 
Bach Gesellschaft edition. The appendix also gives a 
figured bass and instrumental accompaniment to No. 2. 
" Der Geist hift unsere Schwachheit auf." 

Motets by Bach and other composers are sung in the 
Thomas Church at Leipsic, and in the Kreuz-Church at 
Dresden at vespers on Saturday afternoons. 

Bach also wrote a few secular vocal works. Among these 
are several birthday, wedding and funeral cantatas — odes 
for important personages ; some " Dramme „ . 

per Musica," two of which, the " Choice of w k 

Hercules," and " Tonet ihr Pauken" are taken 
bodily from the Christmas Oratorio, other words being 
adapted to the music ; a cantata for the dedication of a 
new organ at Stormthal, a comic cantata in praise of 
coffee. Some of the secular cantatas were composed for 
the Concert Society which met once a week about 1736 
in a coffee-house in the Katharinen-strasse at Leipsic, and 
of which Bach was the director. Among these was " The 
strife between Phoebus and Pan." 

Besides the B minor Mass Bach wrote four " short " 

K 145 


masses of much smaller calibre, four "Sanctus," and 
a "Magnificat" in D major of great power and beauty. 
„ .. This work appears in two forms, of which 

• - , one is much finer than the other, and is there- 

„ ., fore considered to be the latest. It was the 

* •' custom to intersperse the singing of the Latin 

Magnificat with four chorales, but this custom not coincid- 
ing with Bach's sense of the fitness of things, he added 
the chorales as an appendix to his score. 

The work is for a five part choir, with arias, a duet, 
and a trio. The trio is a remarkable canon, or rather 
piece of canonic imitation in the voice parts, to the words 
" suscepit Israel puerum suum," to which the strings play 
an accompaniment, while the oboes play in their highest 
register the chorale "meine Seel' erhebt den Herren" 
(" my soul doth magnify the Lord "). And, as showing 
Bach's sense of form, the whole work is welded together 
by a fresh working of the material of the opening chorus, 
at the words "sicut erat in principio et nunc. . . . Amen." 
We have remarked on this kind of construction in the 
second cantata of the Christmas Oratorio,^ and it is not 
at all infrequent with Bach. 

Except opera and oratorio Bach wrote every kind of 
work that was known in his day. The Bach Gesellschaft 
completed the publication of his works in full score in 
1898 in some sixty large quarto volumes. Complete 
editions of the vocal works in pianoforte score and the 
instrumental in full score have been published by Peters, 
and by Breitkopf and Hartel of Leipsic, while the editions 
of selected portions published from time to time since 
the beginning of the nineteenth century are innumerable. 
' P. 144. 

MSS. of Works 

But when we say "complete edition" it must be 
understood as referring only to the works that have 
been preserved, for a large number seem to have been 
lost when the great man died : before his property was 
valued for probate there was an unseemly scramble for 
his manuscripts among his elder sons. 

Mizler, in his " Necrology," tells us the bare fact that 

there were five " year courses " of cantatas, i.e. sets of 

cantatas for each Sunday and holy day „, „ 

throughout the year. The Lutheran ecclesi- ^ „ 

.. , 1 ■ cc< ■ u J / ■ courses 

astical year contams fifty-nme such days (six 

Sundays in Lent and three in Advent are excluded). The 

five courses would therefore require no less than 295 

cantatas. Of these W. Friedemann took three " year 

courses,'' since he could use them in his post of organist 

at Halle, but his wretched circumstances forced him 

afterwards to part with them one by one. 

Forkel only knew of " eight to ten motets for double 
chorus," and twenty-one church cantatas, two five-voice 
masses, a mass for two choirs, of which the first choir is 
accompanied by strings, the second by wind, a double- 
chorus Passion with text by Picander (this must be the 
" Matthew Passion " ), a Sanctus, some motets, a single 
fugue for four voices, and a comic cantata. 

The other two "year courses," which included about 
ninety cantatas, and the two known Passions, went to C. P. 
Emmanuel Bach. 

The MSS. of the larger number of the existing works of 
Bach are in the Royal library and in that of the Joachims- 
thal at Berlin. Many of these are in autograph. The parts are 
of more value than the scores, since they are not only more 
carefully copied, but contain the corrections for performance. 



Bach used to wrap up his scores and parts in covers 
on which the name of the work and title of the com- 
poser were fully given, while on the MSS. themselves 
nothing was given. If the cover were lost, therefore, 
the composer's name was lost. Many works by other 
composers are found in Bach's handwriting, both score 
and parts. 

The Bach Gesellschaft has been at immense pains to 
search for all that exists of Bach's compositions. In 
ry-ffj jf vol. vi. they give a long account of the diffi- 

. J , , culties they had to contend with in publishing 

tn the zvay of ^, „ ■ -kit ii_ r ..i. -. 

» 7 7- J- the B minor Mass: the owner of the auto- 
pubhcation , , ■ j-i^^ i.. • ..i_ • 

■^ graph score, placing every difficulty in their 

way, would neither sell it nor lend it to them, and 
finally tried to dispose of it secretly to some unknown 
person. They were obliged, therefore, to publish it from 
such copies as they could collect; but almost immedi- 
ately after they had done so they obtained access to the 
precious MS. and were able to publish an appendix, 
giving whatever variations from their own edition were 
found there. 

Of Bach's instrumental compositions the most im- 
portant are, as we have indicated, those for the organ 
and other keyed instruments. He has left many orchestral 
works, but these have not the significance of his organ 
and clavier music, for the symphony, in the modern sense, 
was not yet developed. 

His playing is thus described by the poet Schubart : — 

„ ,, "J. S. Bach was a genius of the highest 

. . order, his soul is so peculiar, so gigantic, 

P y S that centuries will have to pass before he 

is reached by anyone. He played the clavier, the 


His Playing 

fliigel, the cymbal with equal creative power, and the 
organ — who is like him ? who will ever equal him ? His 
fist was gigantic; he could, for example, stretch a 12th 
with the left hand, and perform running passages between 
with the three inner fingers j he made pedal runs with the 
greatest possible exactness, he drew the stops so silently 
that the hearer almost sank under the magic effect ; his 
hand was never weary, and lasted out through a whole 
day's organ playing. 

" The comic style was just as familiar to him as the 
earnest ; he was equally a virtuoso and composer. What 
Newton was as a philosopher Bach was as a musician. 
He had such a wealth of ideas, that no one except his 
own great son can come near him; and with all this he 
combined also the rarest talent for teaching." 

With respect to the Manieren or grace-notes attacked 
in the " Kritische Musikus " by Scheibe, a friend of 
Bach's answered the attack by saying that ™ „ 
by means of these signs no performer would 
now be able to destroy the effect of a piece 
by applying his own method ; those who went wrong 
would be put in the right way, and the honour of the 
master would be retained. 

The four chief ornaments are — 

Written Played 

The Vorschlag (appoggiatura) 


It appears more in the parts than in the scores, and seems 
to have been mostly added after they were written out. 
When Bach required it to be played slowly he wrote out 
its exact value in full-sized notes. 



The Trill {tr.) seems to have been put down rather 
recklessly, perhaps on account of fashion. Thus, the 
oboe sometimes has trills given it which are quite im- 
possible to perform. 

Each composer had his own method of writing the 
various signs and there was of course hopeless con- 
fusion. There is no doubt that the trill was used to 
mean three different things, at the choice of the per- 
former : namely, the vibrato of the violin and tremulant 
of the organ, or a real trill, or simply a tenuto. The sign 

J 1— T ^^ 

— appears to be equivalent 




to tenuto, thus ~^ % ^~^^^^^f* 


Notes which are neither detached (gestossen) nor slurred, 
nor held out, must be sustained for half their value, but 
if the word ten. appears above them they must be given 
their full value. These notes are generally quavers and 
crotchets in moderate and slow tempo, and they must 
not be played weakly, but with a refined and quite gentle 
touch. Some of the signs can be interpreted by the fact 
that they are written out in full in the parts. In this way 

Reitz has shown the Schleifer (GUde) —n — to mean 

^ rz It was called in French Cow/^, sometimes written 

Manieren or Grace Notes 


The Pralltriller or half trill 


is lengthened when over long notes. It means no precise 
number of notes. This is J. S. Bach's own explanation, 

J^'W (\\V 


It will be seen that all four signs mean the same thing, 
and no turn is to be played as in the shake. According 
to C. P. Emmanuel Bach it must be so rapid that one 
does not perceive any loss of time from the principal 

The Mordent 

is to be played 



lower note being either a semitone, as above, or a tone, as 
in the little E minor fugue (Peters, 242). 

' This description of the Manieren is extracted from the Introduction 
to vol. vii. of the Bach GeseUschaft Edition. 


Chapter XII 

Innovations in the Fingering and Use of Keyed and 
Stringed Instruments. 

At Weimar Bach had devoted a considerable part of 
his energies to the clavier, as his official duties demanded. 
The harpsichord, being deficient in expression and in 
duration of sound, required rapidity of movement and 
polyphonic writing to produce its due effects. Bach did 
what was possible, however, to use the legato style on it, 
and on the other hand introduced on the organ, as far 
as it would bear it, the rapid execution peculiar to the 

Before his period the fingering of keyed instruments 
„, J. . had not been reduced to any systematic 
f h rf niethod. Michael Praetorius in his Syntagma 

■ . . Musicum thinks the matter of no import- 

ance, and that if a note was produced clearly 
and distinctly it was a matter of indifference how it was 

' In " The Compleat Tutor for the Harpsichord or Spinnet, wherein 
is shown the Italian manner of Fingering, &c. " by S. and S. Thompson, 
the date of which is later than 1 742, since it contains the minuet in 
Samson, the little finger is never used in a scale, and fingers are made 
to go under one another, in the way the thumb is used nowadays. 
The English numbering is used ; and the example of an ascending 
and descending scale on p. 153 shows the chaotic condition of things. 




I + 3 2 1 + 2 1 + 1 

^B ^^p j 

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the necessity 
of some method seems to have dawned on musicians ; up 
to that time the thumb and little finger had hardly been 
used, owing to their shortness. In order to play legato 
on the organ, the middle fingers were made to go under 
and over each other. Daniel Speer, in 1697, gives the 
following fingering for the scale of C (for convenience we 
alter it to English numbering) : — 

Right Handi 32323232323^3^ 


Left Hand 121212121212121 
Right Hand i 2 I 






Left Handi 3232323 2T^, Lj T 

Mattheson taught — 

Right Hand 2 32323232323*24^ 


Left Hand 2l + i + i + i + i + l^l + 
RightHandA^Z2 ,2,2,2,212,2 

Hand 121212121 TT*~ vJ I 


Left Hand 



J. F. B. C. Majer, a Swabian organist about the same 
time, taught — 

Right Handi 32323232323^ 3 ^ 

i z^^BS^ 

Left Hand l + l + i + l + l + l + l + l 

There is no advance in these fingerings on the book 
by Ammerbach, published in 1571. 

The right thumb it will be seen was unused, and hung 
helpless — the fingers being stretched out flat to reach the 

In order to bring the thumb into use, Bach caused the 
fingers to be curved and to remain over their respective 
keys, so as to be able to strike them accurately and 
rapidly. The thumbs had to pass under the fingers, and 
to take an equal part with them in the playing. 

The new kind of fingering was made the more necessary 

by the use of all the keys equally ; for hitherto only a few 

„ ,, keys had been used. The hand and arm were 

., , , to be held horizontally, the wrist straight : 
method of ^, ^ ^^ .. ■ ^v. .. 1 v 

J. . ■' the fingers bent m the natural position as- 

^ ° * sumed by the hand when about to grasp 

any object. Each finger had to fall without disturbing the 

others ; and Bach devoted an immense amount of labour 

to make his fingers independent and equal in strength. 

He could perform trills with all fingers equally well, and 

could play melodies at the same time with the other 

fingers. After a finger had held down a note as long 

as was necessary it was drawn towards the inner part of 

the hand on leaving the key. The wrist and elbows were 

kept perfectly quiet. The method was the same for both 


Other Fingering Methods 

organ and harpsichord. The keys were not struck but 
pressed down. Bach raised his fingers so little that their 
movement was hardly noticeable. They were, however, 
still passed over one another, as well as the thumb, and 
in order not to break the legato effect, the finger passed 
over was drawn back before leaving the key. This method 
was particularly applicable to the clavichord, one of Bach's 
favourite instruments. 

He liked the upper row of keys to be shallower than 
the lower, so that he could slip down from one to the other 
without change of finger. 

But others were at work on the same ground. Couperin, 
organist of St Gervais at Paris, published in 1717 his 
" L'art de toucher le clavecin." J. G. Walther used the 
thumb, and has left some organ chorales with this in- 

Heinichen and Handel also used the thumbs, and bent 
their fingers over the notes, so that they struck the right 
ones unconsciously. 

Two short pieces with Bach's fingering in his own 
hand have come down to us — the rules laid down by 
his son C. P. Emanuel differ from them considerably • 
thus Emanuel limits the crossing to the thumb ; Sebastian , 
prescribes crossing of fingers as well. 

Sebastian, in fact, retained all that was advantageous 
in the old system and engrafted on it the use of the 
thumb, etc. His son, who was the forerunner of modern 
piano-playing, simplifies his father's rules. His composi- 
tions were of a far less complicated nature than those of 
his father, and he therefore was able to use simpler 

The hammer-like stroke required for the modern piano 


effectually banished the crossing of fingers over one 
another, by which pressure only, not a blow, could be 
obtained. The loss of Bach's complete method of finger- 
ing (which is not adapted for the piano) causes his com- 
positions to be more difficult to the modern player than 
they were to him, but this does not hold good of the 
organ, the nature of which remains the same as in his 

He played equally in all keys, and for this purpose had 
his instruments tuned in equal temperament, as is uni- 
versally the case at present. Experiments had been made 
in this method of tuning by Werkmeister, who died in 
1706, and, later, by J. G. Neidhardt. 

The early experiments in tempering must have led to 
curious results— thus the major-thirds were flattened ; and 
yet only when three major-thirds are sharpened (CE, E 

Eouai ^#' ^ (^'') ^) ^° ^^^y '^^^'^^ ^ p^'^^y 

.^ ^ . tuned octave. Bach mastered the problem 

temperament j. , • ir tt ^ j u- u • u j 

^ for himself. He tuned his own harpsichord 

and clavichord, making the major-thirds rather sharp; 
and he must have flattened the fifths as we do. His 
son Emanuel speaks of his testing the fifths by tuning 
their octave below, and making this a fourth below 
the starting point. What he did was the result of 
practical experiment, for he would have nothing to do 
with mathematical theory. He always quilled his harpsi- 
chord himself; and he made a point of practising the 
clavichord, since the expression possible on this instru- 
ment made the ear keener and more sensitive to the 
possibility of effect on the more inexpressive harpsichord. 
Spitta considers that Bach's genius in a way foresaw 
the advent of a more perfect instrument than either the 


An Inventor 

clavichord or harpsichord — an instrument which should 
combine the expression of the first with the power of the 
latter, and at the same time approach the organ in possi- 
bilities of legato and sustained sounds. Such an instru- 
ment is the modern pianoforte. 

In 1740 Bach planned a lute-harpsichord, and got 
Zacharias Hildebrand, an organ-builder, to make it under 
his direction. It had gut strings, two to Th T f 
each key, and a set of octave metal strings. , j, ■ j, /} 
It had also cloth dampers, which made ^ 
the instrument sound something like a real lute ; and 
when these were raised, it sounded like a theorbo — 
it was in size shorter than an ordinary harpsichord 
(Adlung Mus. Mech. II., p. 139). 

Although Bach was concertmeister, or leader of the 
orchestra at Cothen, it is not to be supposed that he 
had any extraordinary facility on the violin. Quantz, in 
"Versuch einer Anweisung, etc.,'' rightly considers that 
for such a post, at any rate in those days, it was more 
necessary that the holder should be a good all-round 
musician with sufiScient facility to execute the ordinary 
orchestral music, than that he should be a "virtuoso" 
— ^and not every virtuoso makes a good leader. 

His knowledge of the construction of stringed instru- 
ments was sufficient for him to invent a new one while he 

was at Cothen, in order to meet the demands „ , , 

J iu f u I.- • Knowledge 

made on the performer by his own music. f f • \j 

This instrument, which he called the viola . ^ ^ ^ 
^, . , ^ ^, . , instruments 

pomposa, was something between the viola 

and violoncello. It was played Uke a violin, and had five 

strings tuned to the four strings of the violoncello, with 

the addition of E above the first string. This additional 



string makes the performance of his sonatas for violoncello 
comparatively easy. Thus in the sixth violoncello sonata, 
which is expressly written for five strings, in the third bar of 

the saraband the chords 

d V 


are comparatively easy with the additional string; and 

in the gavotte 



the first chord would 



be played with two open strings, which is impossible 
with a four-stringed instrument. He also altered the 
tuning of his violoncello, as in the fifth sonata, where he 
lowers the first string to G^ and obtains the chords 


s ^m^ 

It seems impossible that he could have himself per- 
formed his violin and violoncello sonatas; they tax the 
highest efforts of the best performers of the present day ; 
but his knowledge of stringed instruments and their 
possibilities is shown by these compositions to have been 
as profound as his knowledge of the organ. No mere 
theoretical knowledge could have sufficed to enable him 

' Our readers will remem^)e^ the familiar case in Schumann's piano- 
forte quartet, where he lowers the C string to B|j for a particular effect. 
De Beriot raises his fourth (violin) string to A for certain passages. 


Practical Knowledge 

to write these things j he must have had a wider practical 
knowledge than any but the best virtuosi, and to this he 
united his enormous genius for composition. 

It appears natural that the German violinists, with their 
feeling for full harmony, should have cultivated the art of 
double-stopping on stringed instruments, rather than that 
of pure melody and tone. It is said that Bruhns the 
organist, Buxtehude's pupil, while playing in three and 
four parts on his violin, would sometimes sit before an 
organ, and add a bass on the pedals.^ 

' M. Vivien, a pupil of Leonard, and one of the first violins in the 
orchestra at Brussels about 1876, had a violin of which the bridge was 
cut nearly flat at the top. This enabled him to play on three and 
(with a little extra pressure of the bow) four strings at once, by which 
he produced very full effects. 


Chapter XIII 

The Organs in Leipsic Churches — Bach's Method of Accompanying — 
The Pitch of Organs. 

There were two organs in the Thomas Church, the larger 
of which dated from 1525. Ini72iit was enlarged by 
Scheibe, a builder of whom Bach had a very good opinion. 
In 1730 it was again improved, by giving the choir organ 
a keyboard of its own, instead of its being acted on by 
the great key-board as was formerly the case. 
The organ contained : — 


I. Principal (open diapason), . 

16 ft. 

2. Principal (open diapason), . 


3. Quintadena, 

16 „ 

4. Octave (our principal), 


5. Quinta, .... 

3 .. 

6. Superoctava (our fifteenth), 

2 ,, 

7. Spiel-Pfeiffe, . 


8. Sesquialtera gedoppelt, 

9. Mixture, 

6, 8 and 10 ranks. 

Brustwerk ^ 

I. Grobgedackt, . 

8 ft. 

2. Principal (open diapason), . 


■ The portion in front of the main organ : 


md therefore behind the 


Thomas Church Organ 

3. Nachthorn, 

4. Nasal, 

5. Gemshorn, 

6. Cymbal, . 

7. Sesquialtera, 

8. Regal, 

9. Geigenregal, 


1. Principal, 

2. Quintadena 

3. Lieblich Gedacktes, 

4. Klein Gedacktes, 

5. Traversa, 

6. Violino, , 

7. Raschquint gedoppelt, 

8. Mixtur, . 

9. Sesquialtera, 

10. Spitzflot, . 

11. Schallflot, 

12. Krumbhorn, 

13. Trommet, 

4 ft 
3 •> 
2 » 
2 ranks. 

8 ft. 

4 » 
4 >i 
2 •> 

4 ranks. 

4 ft. 

I » 
16 „ 



1. Sub-bass von Metall, 

2. Posaune Bass, . 

3. Trommeten Bass, 

4. Schalmeyen Bass, 

5. Cornet, . 

' See Glossary. 

:. 161 

16 ft. 
16 „ 

4 ,, 
3 » 


There were also Tremulant, Vogelgesang, Zimbelstern- 
Ventils and ten bellows. The organ loft has been twice 
enlarged, first in 1802, and afterwards in 1823. It 
now accommodates the whole of the large double chorus 
and double orchestra employed in performance of the 
Passion music on Good Friday. 

The smaller organ was built in 1489. In Bach's time 
it stood in a gallery opposite the large organ. It was of 
very little use, and in 1740 was sold to St John's 
Hospital. It had three manuals, pedal, and twenty-one 
stops, and was only employed on high festivals. As it 
was at a considerable distance from the other organ, 
difficulty was felt in keeping the two choirs together. 
This gallery remained, and was used for musical purposes, 
till 1886. 

The organ of the Nicolai Church was built in 1598, 
repaired in 1692, and in 1725 was thoroughly renewed 
by Scheibe at a cost of 600 thalers. 

The organ at the University Church was the best in 
Leipsic at that time. It consisted of : — 


I. Principal (open diapason). 



2. Quintaton, 



3. Principal (open 



4. Schalmei, . 


5. German Flute, 


6. Gemshorn, 


7. Octave, 


8. Quinte, 


9. Quintnasat, 


10. Octavina, . 


. 2 

Leipsic University Organ 

II. Waldflote, . 




12. Mixture 


ind 6 ranks 

13. Cornet, .... 



14. Zink, .... 




I. Principal, 



2. Gamba, .... 



3. Grobgedackt, 



4. Octave, 



5. Rohrflote, 



6. Octave (fifteenth), 



7. Nasat, 



8. Sedesima, . 



9. Schweizer Pfeife, 



10. Largo (No. of feet not stated). 

II. Mixture, .... 



12. Clear Cymbal, . 



Third Manual 

I. Lieblich Gedackt, 



2. Quintaton, 



3. Flftte douce. 



4. Quinta Decima, 



5. Decima Nona, 



6. Hohlflote, . 



7. Viola, 



8. Vigesima Nona, 


■ » 

9. Weitpfeife, 



10. Mixtur, 



II. Helle Cymbal, 



1 2. Sertin (perhaps serpent). 






I. Principal, . 

. 16 ft. 

2. Quintaton, ' 

16 „ 

3. Octave, 

8 „ 

4. Octave, 

4 ,, 

5. Quinte, 

3 » 

6. Mixtur, 

5 and 6 ranks 

7. Quinten-bass, 

6 ft. 

8. Jubal, 

8 „ 

9. Nachthorn, 

4 » 

10. Octave, 

2 » 

11. 2nd Principal, 

. 16 „ 

12. Sub-bass, . 

16 „ 

13. Posaune, . 

. 16 „ 

14. Trompete, . 

. 8 „ 

15. Hohlflote, . 

I )• 

16. Mixtur, 

4 ranks. 

The organ had been tried by Bach on its completion 
in 1 7 16, who wrote a very elaborate report.^ It may be 
of interest to quote some of Bach's remarks, i. He says 
that the space occupied is too confined to admit of easy 
access to some of the parts, in case of repairs being 
required. This was, however, not the fault of the builder 
Scheibe, as he was not allowed the space he asked for. 

2. The wind must be made to come more equally, so 
as to avoid heavy rushes of wind. 

3. The parts quite fulfil the description in all respects ; 
and the contract, with the exception of the Schallmey and 
Cornet, which were changed by order of the college for a 
2 ft. Octave (isth) and 2 ft. Hohlflote, is completed. 

' Given by Spitta, vol, ii. p. 289. 

Playing Figured Bass 

4. The defects of intonation must be done away with ; 
and the lowest pipes of the Posaune and Bass Trumpet 
made to speak less roughly and harshly. The instrument 
to be frequently and thoroughly tuned in good weather. 

5. The keys have too great a fall, but this cannot be 
helped, owing to the narrowness of the structure. 

6. Finally, the window behind the organ should be 
built up as far as the top of the organ, or covered with 
an iron plate, to prevent damage by weather. 

The above list of 54 stops is given by Spitta, who 
quotes from the " Acta " of the university ; but a MS. 
chronicle of Leipsic, discovered after 1880, of which 
the references to musical matters are quoted in the 
" Musikalisches Centralblatt " for 1884, has the follow- 
ing entry: — "171 6, June. This summer the beautiful 
Pauliner organ, which consists of 67 stops, was finished.'' 
A complete list of the stops follows, but is not given in 
the " Musikalisches Centralblatt." 

During the concerted music, the organist had to accom- 
pany from figured bass, and the voice part was rarely 
given him, as the cantor would not trouble to write it 
out, though Bach, with his characteristic thoroughness 
did so in many cases. 

There exists a specimen of Bach's method „ ,, 

of playing from figured bass in a MS. accom- fj, /f f 

to a violin sonata of Albinoni, by . . , 
H. N. Gerber, a pupil of Bach.^ It contains ^ j. ^/T 

pamment i 

few autograph corrections by Bach himself, ■'^ 

^ It is given by Spitta as a supplement to vol. iii. It is worth 
noticing that the right hand plays the three upper notes in each chord, 
the left only playing the bass ; and this is how harmony exercises are 
still written in Germany. 



and it may be taken, therefore, as an example of the 
manner which Bach approved of. It is described by 
Spitta as of no melodic character, as being in four parts 
throughout, and as not adhering strictly to the harmonies 
given by Albinoni where an improvement was possible. 
The adornment of a figured bass accompaniment by a 
melody in the right hand was only possible to the greatest 
artists, such as Bach himself; and it soon went out of 

During the seventeenth century it was the custom for 
performers to elaborate the melody written by a composer, 
and naturally Bach's were treated in this way. , But it 
was complained that he left little for the performer to 
add, for he " indicated all the manieren, the small 
ornaments, and everything else that is understood by 
'Method' in playing, by actual notes," and the per- 
former could therefore not impress his own individu- 
ality on the piece. ^ Bach was particular to show exactly 
what he required ; and it is evident that there was at this 
time a school of musicians rising, who objected to super- 
fluous ornaments on the part of the performer. J. S. 
Petri objects to extemporised shakes and right hand 
melodies. Scheibe objects to contrapuntal accompani- 
ment. Kirnberger says that the accompanist should aim 
at simplicity, and only add such ornaments as were ab- 
solutely necessary. 

If the pedal was employed, the left hand helped with 
the harmonies. But if the bass moved rapidly the pedals 
only played short notes to mark the essential harmonic 
progressions ; or the bass was even omitted, as the other 

' There are organists still living who have not forsaken the ancient 
custom of adding small ornaments to the written notes. 



instruments played it. For accompanying the solo voices 
in arias and recitatives the Gedact 8 feet was usually used 
alone, and was sometimes therefore called the "Musik 
gedact " : it is the same as the English stopped diapason. 
The chords in a recitative were not held long, even if the 
bass notes were. They were played arpeggio, as on a 
harpsichord. But Petri considers that if there is a very 
soft stopped flute, the chords may be held in the tenor 
register and the changes of harmony indicated by a short 
pedal note. 

Staccato playing was universal on the organ, but Bach 
and his pupils insisted on a legato style, and gradually 
eliminated the staccato, though in accompanying they 
still kept to it. The tradition of Bach's style of accom- 
paniment was carried on by Kittel a pupil of Bach, 
who spread the knowledge of it through Thuringia, 
and one of Kittel's pupils, M. G. Fischer of Erfurt, con- 
tinued it. He died in 1829, and was heard by Grell of 
Berlin (b. i8oo, d. 1886), who described the performance 
to Spitta. He played the bass with considerable power, 
and accompanied it by short chords in the right hand on 
another manual, thus agreeing with Petri's direction 
that the organist is to accompany in as short a style as 
possible, and to withdraw the fingers after striking the 

But this was by no means Bach's only method of ac- 
companying, for he demands in the majority of cases 
a legato accompaniment, and sometimes a " melodic " 
manner. In his Matthew Passion and some of his cantatas 
the organist is to play short chords in recitativo secco. 

He considered the Gedact peculiarly adapted for 
purposes of accompaniment ; and in many passages he 



dispensed with part or the whole of the bass instru- 

In order not to drown the voices, or make the organ 
too prominent, no reeds or mixtures were allowed to be 
used in accompanying. They were reserved for solo 
organ work, in which Bach made use of astonishing com- 
binations of stops. Orchestral effects were produced by 
the contrasts of tone-colour in the different groups of 
instruments, string, brass, reeds and flutes. To these 
the organ, making use of diapason work only, formed a 
background, and it was not allowed to predominate over 

Bach, in 1730, fixed the number of voices requisite 

for the performance of a cantata at twelve, and of in- 

_,, , strumentalists, excluding the organist, at 

, ^ , eishteen. His sympathies were so much 

•1 ^ ■' , J more with mstrumental than vocal music, 
tn a cantata ., . , . ^ j ^, . , • 

that he treated the voice merely as an m- 

strument capable of expressing words. The influence of 
Handel's works, in which the voice parts were of more 
importance than those of the instruments, brought about 
the change of arrangements by which the singers out- 
numbered the instrumentalists. 

Students and admirers of Bach's music have often 
wondered how he could have got boys to overcome the 
immense difiSculties of its execution. They certainly com- 
plained of the difficulties, but execution was at that 
time, owing to the Italian influence, more studied than 
now. Boys were made to practise shakes diligently every 
day. They were not expected to enter very much into 
the spirit of the music ; it sufficed if they sang the 
notes correctly. Moreover there were plenty of falsetto 


Organ Pitch 

sopranos and altos, and these could, of course, take the 
upper parts. The tenor voice became a soprano, the 
bass an alto. A falsetto soprano could sing up to E 
and F above the treble stave. 

The pitch question at Leipsic must have caused con- 
siderable difBculty. The organ at St Thomas' Church 
was a tone higher than that of St Nicholas,^ „, . . , 
and many of the cantatas have the organ , ^ 

(continuo) parts in two keys, for the two •' ° 
oi^ans. There must have been a separate set of string 
and wind instruments for each church ; for the frequent 
alterations of strings by so great an interval as a tone 
would hardly conduce to good intonation. 

There were in fact two recognised pitches in use, 
called chorus pitch and chamber pitch. Of these the 
chamber pitch was used for ordinary orchestral per- 
formances, and was a tone lower than the chorus pitch, 
to which the organ was usually tuned. This would 
cause no inconvenience if the orchestras were not used 
in the churches ; but it is very strange that such a 
troublesome arrangement should have been allowed to 
continue after it had become the custom to employ the 
orchestra every Sunday. 

^ This is referred to by Berlioz in his " Instrumentation." Organ 
builders would frequently use the higher pitch to save the expense 
of the largest pipes, unless carefully watched. 


Chapter XIV 

Bach as " Familien-Vater " — As a choirmaster — His eagerness to learn all 
that was new and of value in music — He finds time to conduct public 
concerts — His self-criticism — Bach was never a poor man — His re- 
putation was gained by his playing rather than compositions- 
Portraits — Public monuments. 

One often hears in Germany the expressions " Familien- 
Vater," " Haus-Vater," applied as terms of special com- 
mendation to public men, in the sense that their private 
life is of estimable character, that they do their duty well 
by their families instead of spending their whole energy 
in accumulating money or fame. To no artist could 
these terms be more fittingly applied than to the subject 
of this memoir. We have seen that he was unremitting 
, in his efforts to give his sons and pupils the 

^' .^? best possible education, and helped them 
am ten- fQi-^yard in every way he could when they 
^ *'' entered their professions, and how he 

secretly obtained a post for his son-in-law, Johann Chris- 
toph Altnikol, as a kind of wedding-present. Forkel 
says he was a "vorzilglich guter (particularly excellent) 
Uaus- Vater, Freund (Friend) und Staatsburger (Citizen). 
His company was pleasant to everyone, whether a 
stranger or an intimate, and anyone visiting him was 
sure of a courteous reception, so that his house was 
seldom without guests." 


Bach as Choirmaster 

An interesting feature in his private life is his choice 
of persons to act as god-parents to his children. They 
were seldom his own relations, but persons „, . / 
of distinction, who might be able to help „ -^ 
the children on in their subsequent career. ^ 
Among them were Bach's great friend, Prince Leopold 
of Cothen, his brother Prince August Ludwig, his sister 
Princess Elenore, Privy Councillor Von Zanthier, Dr 
Gilmar, one of the chief men in the church at Miihl- 
hausen ; Gesner, rector of the Thomas School. Though 
far from seeking wealth, Bach was sufficiently a man of 
the world to see the value of ensuring a respectable 
position both for himself and his sons by any legitimate 
means in his power. 

As a choirmaster Bach seems to have been a failure. 

He was far too irritable to be able to control boys, 

and the task was evidently extremely dis- „ , 

^.riiu- rt^-i. I. I. Bach as 

tasteful to him. Though he was sym- , . 

pathetic in the extreme with those who 

were in earnest in matters of art, it is very clear 

that he had not the tact and patience required for 

elementary teaching. One can well imagine how the 

stupidity and incompetence of many of the boys who 

came under him must have galled his ardent nature; 

and he was quite unfit to be a schoolmaster. Yet it is 

evident that he gained the confidence of some boys from 

the fact of his having trained them to assist him in the 


Of his own boyhood at Liineberg a remarkable story is 

told to the effect that when his voice broke he for some 

days spoke and sang in octaves. It is of course quite 

conceivable on acoustical grounds that the first harmonic 



may have been prominent enough to be heard with 
the fundamental note ; and that he, being a musician, 
observed a phenomenon which would escape an ordinary 

Throughout his life he was ever eager to become 
acquainted with everything new that was of any value. 
New organs, new compositions, newly-invented instru- 
ments, were all a source of interest to him. Thus, 
Bach's directly Silbermann of Freiburg had made a 

eagerness to ^^^ °^ ^'^ " fo^tepianos " in imitation of the 
,* ,, new invention of Cristofori, Bach was eager 


th tw *° ''■^ them. But the hammerlike blow 

required was quite foreign to Bach's method 
of playing, in which the fingers were always 
kept as close as possible to the keys ; and though he 
praised the tone, he rather freely condemned the touch. 
Silbermann was exceedingly angry and would not have 
anything to do with Bach for a long time ; but he, never- 
theless, set to work to improve the touch, and after some 
fifteen years of patient labour succeeded in producing the 
satisfactory instruments which Bach played on at Potsdam 
shortly before his death. Hilgenfeldt considers that the 
general use of the pianoforte took its origin from these 
perfected instruments. 

In the midst of all his occupations Bach found time to 
conduct pubUc concerts, of which Hilgenfeldt quotes the 
following advertisement : 

"Notice of the Musical Concerts at Leipsic." 

" The two public musical concerts or assemblies, 
which are held here every week, are still flourishing. 



One is directed by Herr John Sebastian Bach, Capell- 
meister to the Grand-duke of Weissenfels, „ ... 

Music director of the Churches of St Thomas 
and St Nicholas; and it takes place in the 
Coffee-house of Zimmermann, in Catherine Street, every 
Friday evening from 8 to i o o'clock ; but during the 
Fair twice a week, namely, Tuesdays and Fridays. The 
members of these musical concerts consist for the most 
part of students, and there are always good musicians 
among them, so that often, as is known, some of them 
become in time celebrated performers. Every musician 
is allowed to perform publicly in these musical concerts, 
and there are usually some among the audience who are 
able to judge the value of a competent musician." 

Bach was a severe critic of his own works. Hilgenfeldt 
tells us that many of those which did not come up to his 
ideal of what they should be were cast aside „ ., 

by him, and that such of his youthful works as .^. .•'' 

he considered worth keepmg were constantly 
improved by him and brought to a higher standard. 
Thus, the first movement of the third organ sonata, 
which originally belonged to the Wohltemperirte Clavier, 
was altered to the extent of having large portions cut out, 
and others essentially changed and improved, so that 
phrases of small significance obtained an importance of 
which no signs appeared in the earlier composition. 

He reserved his teaching for those who could really 
profit by it, and if he found that a pupil had not sufficient 
talent, he would, with every kindly courtesy, recommend 
him not to seek his living by music. The „ ,. 
result was that a strong feeling for the dignity °'^ "^^ 

and value of art was spread by his pupils, who for the 



most part attained to important positions in their pro- 
fession. One of his pupils, Doles, whose name had a 
place of honour in the old Gewandhaus at Leipsic, was 
Cantor of St Thomas for thirty-four years (after the death 
of Harrer), and was held in great esteem as a teacher and 

Though at no time rich, Bach was never a poor man. 
A sood '^^^ various payments in kind, such as rent- 

standins ^"^^^ dweUing, garden produce, etc., were al- 
alwavs "'°^'' ^"^'^'^^^"'^ *° support him, and to make 

maintained ^"^ '^^^"^ ""^ff^^l ^^T ^elf-improvement, for 
journeys, and for the education of his children. 
And that he was able to collect more than eighty theo- 
logical works, at a time when books were an expensive 
luxury, and that he could give no less than three clavi- 
chords with pedals at once to his son, Joh. Christian, 
shows that his position was one of comfort. 

Though the Council and the Leipsic Chronicle took 
little notice of his death, it appears that the Society 
n . . founded by Mizler caused a funeral ode by 

I- J jz. the then rector, Dr Ventzky, to be set to 
on hts death . , r j j . ■. i_ 

music and performed ; and he seems to have 

been much mourned outside Leipsic, as the chief support 
of serious German music. 

Not as a composer, but as a performer, however, was he 
mourned. It was reserved for later generations to fully 
appreciate what Hilgenfeldt describes as the " spiritual and 
everlasting " side of his genius. In those days the com- 
poser and performer were one and the same person. No 
one was considered an artist who could only perform, how- 
ever well, if he could not also compose ; and, especially 
on the organ, good improvisation was considered the chief 


Portraits and Statues 

qualification of a musician. He was expected to be in a 
position to extemporise at any time and under any con- 
ditions a fugue, or a set of variations on any theme given 
to him ; and his ability in this respect was the criterion 
by which he was judged. It was natural, therefore, that 
Bach's fame during his lifetime should rest more on his 
extempore performances than on his written compositions, 
which, remaining in manuscript, would probably serve 
chiefly as models for his pupils to work from. 

Four portraits of Bach are known to "have been painted. 
One, which seems to have been the first, is a half length 
picture showing him in a dress coat of the „ . ., 

fifth decade of the eighteenth century. It j c . ^ 
u 1 J . Tr-^ 1 J 1 i u u- ««» Statues 

belonged to Kittel, and was kept by him as 

a kind of sacred possession, only to be shown on special 

occasions, or as a reward to a diligent pupil. It was in 

a massive gold frame, and hung behind a curtain over 

the harpsichord in Kittel's study. On his death it came 

into the possession of the church of which he was 


The second was also a half-length, and belonged to 
his son Carl Philip Emanuel. It was painted by Haus- 

The third, also by Hausmann, is shown in our frontis- 
piece. It is preserved in the Thomas School, and, 
according to Becker, was painted on his becoming a 
member of the Leipsic Musical Society. A fourth, 
preserved in the Joachimsthal Gymnasium at Berlin, was 
formerly in the possession of Princess Amalie of Prussia, 
and seems to have been painted by Geber. 

A few good copper engravings were made from the 
various portraits, and a number of bad lithographs from 



the engravings. Some successful plaster busts have also 
been made from the pictures. 

Germany is much given to honouring those of her sons 
who have distinguished themselves in art by erecting 
memorials to them in public places : but not till nearly 
one hundred years after his death was such a monument 
thought of for Bach. In 1840, Mendelssohn gave an 
organ recital in the Thomas Church, with the object of 
opening a fund for this purpose with the proceeds, and 
on April 23, 1843, a medallion by Knauer was solemnly 
unveiled on the walls of the Thomas Church. The 
opportunity was taken of performing many of Bach's 
compositions ; and amongst those present was the last 
descendant of the great man, with his wife and two 
daughters. This was William Bach, then 81 years of 
age, a son of the Biickeburger Bach. 

In 1864 a large new organ was erected in the New 
Church at Arnstadt " in honour of Johnn Sebastian Bach," 
containing his portrait over the keyboards: and in 1884 
a Bach festival was held at Eisenach on the occasion of 
the unveiling of a fine bronze statue of the composer in 
the Market-place. 


Catalogue of Bach's Vocal Works 

Matthew Passiotk First performed, 1729. English edition, 

St John Passion. Probably written at Cothen, and much 

altered before it received its present form. English 

edition, published by Novello. 
St Luke Passion. Of doubtful authenticity. English edition, 

Mass in B minor. 

» F- 

„ A. Wntten m 1737. Partly borrowed from other 

Mass in G minor. \ a j,„t^j f,„„ »»»„., 

„ G major.) ^^^^^^^^^°^''^^^^^^^- 
These four " Missas breves " contain the Kyrie and Gloria, the 

only part of the Mass retained in the Lutheran Service in 

Magnificat in D. Written for the Christmas Festival at St 

Thomas' Church, and sung at vespers after the sermon. 

Edition with English words, Novello. It is for five voices, 

three trumpets, two flutes, two oboes, strings and organ. 

Sanctus in C. \ c /v .^t. 

Tp / Sung after the mornmg sermon, as an 

" n'^.^o^ r introduction to the Communion Ser- 

,, u minor, i 

;; G. ) ^"=«- 


The numiers refer to the Bachgesellschaft Edition. 

2 Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein. Second Sunday 
after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 

M 177 


3 Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid. Second Sunday after 

Epiphany. Chorale Cantata. 
58 Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid. Second Sunday after 

Christmas. Solo Cantata for soprano and bass. 
135 Ach Herr, mich armen SUnder. Third Sunday after 

Trinity. Chorale Cantata, Leipsic. 
162 Ach, ich sehe, itzt, da ich. Twentieth Sunday after 

114 Ach, Ueben Christen, seid getrost. Seventeenth Sunday 

after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
26 Ach wie fliichtig, ach wie nichtig! Twenty-fourth 

Sunday after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
33 Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ. Thirteenth Sunday 

after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
72 Alles nur nach Gottes Willen. Third Sunday after 

68 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt. Tuesday in Whitsun- 
week. English edition, " God so loved the World," Novello. 
42 Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbaths. First Sunday 

after Easter (Quasimodogeniti). 
186 Arg're dich,o Seelenicht. Seventh Sunday after Trinity. 
128 Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein. Ascension Day. 
131 Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir. Composed for Dr. 
G. C. Gilmar, Pastor of Miihlhausen. 

38 Aus iiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir. Twenty-first Sunday 
after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 

131 Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir. Composed at Miihl- 
hausen about 1707. 

185 Barmherziges Herze, der. Fourth Sunday after Trinity, 

132 Bereitet die Wege, bereitet. For no special season. 
Weimar, 1715. Words by Salomo Franck. 

87 Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen. Fifth 

Sunday after Easter. 
6 BleiV bei uns, denn es will Abend. Tuesday in Easter 
Week. English edition, "Bide with us," Novello. 

39 Erich dem Hungrigen dein Brot ! First Sunday after 

148 Bringet dem Herm Ehre. Seventeenth Sunday after 



63 Christen, ateet diesen Tag. Christmas. 
4 Christ lag in Todesbanden. Easter Day. 

121 Christum wir sollen loben schon. Christmas. Chorale 

7 Christ unser Herr gum Jordan kam. St John's Day. 
Chorale Cantata. 
95 Christus, der ist mein Leben. Sixteenth Sunday after 

141 Das ist je gewisslich wahr. Third Sunday in Advent. 

122 Das neu gebor'fte Kindelein. First Sunday after Christ- 
mas. Chorale Cantata. 

40 Dazu ist erscheinen der Sohn. Christmas. 

195 Dem Gerechten muss das Licht. Wedding Cantata. 

1 5 Denti du wirst meine Seele nicht in HMe lassen. Mon- 
day in Easter Week. Composed at Amstadt, probably in 
1704. See p. 27. 
157 Der Friede sei mit dir. Purification ; also for Easter. 

196 Der Herr denket an uns. Wedding Cantata. 

112 Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt. Second Sunday after 

Easter (Misericordias). 
31 Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubiliret. Monday in 
Easter Week. One of the few cantatas containing a 
chorus for five voices. The instrumental introduction 
is called "Sonata." 

75 Die Elenden sollen essen. First Sunday after Trinity. 

76 Die Himmel erzahlen die Ehre. Second Sunday after 

1 16 Du PriedensfHrst, Herrjesu Christ. Twenty-fifth Sun- 
day after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 

104 Du Hirte Israel, hore. Second Sunday after Easter 
(Misericordias). English edition, " Thou Guide of Israel," 

77 Du sollst Gott, deinen Herren, lieben. Thirteenth Sunday 
after Trinity. 

23 Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn. Quinquagesima 

Ehre sei dir Gott gesungen. Part V. of Christmas 
oratorio. English edition, Novello. 

Ehre sei Gott in der H'ohe. Christmas. Incomplete. 



80 Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott. Reformation Festival, 
English edition, "A Stronghold Sure," Novello. Com- 
posed 1717, when Bach went to Cothen. This was the 
first cantata published in the nineteenth century. It 
was also arranged to Latin words, beginning, " Gaudete, 
omnes populi." 
134 Ein Herz, das Seinen. Wednesday in Easter Week. 
Cothen, between 1717 and 1723. 

24 Ein ungefdrbt Gemiithe, Fourth Sunday after Trinity. 
136 Erforsche tnich Gott, und erfahre. Eighth Sunday after 

Trinity. Leipsic, 1737 or 1738. 
66 Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen ! Tuesday in Easter Week. 
83 Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde. Purification. 
126 Erhalt' uns, //err, bet deinem Wort. Sexagesima. 

Chorale Cantata. 
173 Erhbhtes Fleisch und Blut. Tuesday in Whitsun- week. 
The music was originally written for a Serenade for the 
birthday of Prince Leopold of Cothen. The MS- 
Serenade is in the Royal Library at Berlin. 

175 Er rufet seinen Schafen mit. Wednesday in Whitsun- 
week. Solo Cantata for tenor and bass. 

T73 ErschcUlet, ihr Lieder. Whitsunday. 
184 Erwiinschtes Freudenlicht. Wednesday in Whitsun- week. 
19 Es erbub sick ein Streit. Michaelmas Day. 
9 Es ist das Heil uns kommen her. Sixth Sunday after 
45 Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist. Eighth Sunday 
after Trinity. 

176 Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding. Trinity Sunday. 
108 Es ist euch gut, doss ich hingehe. Fourth Sunday after 

Easter (Cantata). 

25 Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe. Fourteenth 
Sunday after Trinity. Edition with English words, " Lo, 
there is no soundness within my body." Rieter-Bieder- 

90 Es reifet euch ein schrecklich. Twenty-fifth Sunday 

after Trinity. 
187 Es wartet Alles auf dich. Seventh Sunday after 
Trinity, 1737. Music is used for Mass in G minor. 



Fallt mit Danken. Part IV. of Christmas oratorio. 
English edition, Novello. 

52 Falscke Welt, dir trau. Twenty-third Sunday after 
Trinity. Solo Cantata for soprano. 

30 Freue dtcA, erloste Schaar. St John's Day, originally a 
"Dramma per Musica" in honour of the Saxon Minister, 
Von Hennicke. Composed in 1737, and arranged as a 
church cantata, 1738, after Bach had received the title of 
Court Composer. It is in the " Lombardic " style intro- 
duced by Vivaldi, consisting of frequent syncopation. 

35 Geist und Seele wird. Twelfth Sunday after Trinity. 

129 Gelobet set der Herr, mein Goit. Trinity Sunday. 

91 Gelobet seist du, Jesus Christ. Christmas. Chorale 
Cantata. Words by Martin Luther. 

18 Gleich wie der Regen und. Sexagesima. The orches- 
tration is unusual, consisting of four violas, fagotto, 
violoncello and organ. 

191 Gloria in excelsis Deo. Christmas. Rearranged from 
the B minor Mass. 

79 Gott der Herr, ist Sonri undSchild. Reformation Festival . 

106 Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit. For no special season. 
English edition, "God's time is the best," Novello. 
Called "Actus tragicus," probably a funeral cantata. 
Mtihlhausen about 1708. 

43 Gottfdhret aufmit Jauchzen. Ascension Day. English 
version, " God goeth up with shouting," Novello. 

71 Gott ist mein Konig. Election of Town Council at 

Miihlhausen, 1708. See p. 36. 
191 Gott ist un^re Zuversicht. Wedding Cantata. 

28 Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr. First Sunday after 

120 Gott, man lobet dich in det Stille. Election of Town 
Council at Leipsic. In the score the letters J.J. (Jesu 
juva) frequently occur. 
169 Gott soil allein mein Herze. Eighteenth Sunday after 

Trinity. For alto solo. 
171 Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm. Circum- 
cision. The first chorus occurs with modifications as 
part of the "Credo" of the B minor Mass. 



67 Half im Geddchtnis Jesum Christ. First Sunday after 
Easter (Quasimodogeniti). Edition with English words, 
"Hold in remembrance Jesus Christ," Rieter-Bieder- 
96 Herr Christ, der ein'ge Gottes Sohn. Eighteenth Sunday 
after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. Words by Elizabeth 
103 HeTT, deine Augen sehen nach dent. Tenth Sunday after 

105 Herr, gehe nicht iris Gericht. Ninth Sunday after 
Herr Gott, Beherrscher alter Dinge. Wedding Cantata. 
130 Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir. Michaelmas Day. 
16 Herr Gott, dich loben wir. Circumcision. ' Chorale 

113 Herr J esu Christ, du hochstes Gut. Eleventh Sunday 

after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
127 Herr Jesu Christ, wahr'r Mensch und Gott. Quinqua- 
gesima (Estomihi). Chorale Cantata. 
Herrscher des Himmels. Part 1 1 1, of Christmas oratorio. 
English edition, Novello. 

Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben. Part VI. of 
Christmas oratorio. English edition, Novello. 
73 Herr, wie du willt, so schicfis mit mir ! Third Sunday 

after Epiphany. 
147 Herz und Mund und That iind Leben. The return of 

Mary from Egypt. 
182 Himmelskbnig,seiwillkominen. Annunciation. Origin- 
ally composed for Palm Sunday. 
194 Hochst erwiinschtes Freudenfest. Dedication of the 

organ at Stormthal. 
55 Ich armer Mensch, ich Siindenknecht. Twenty-second 

Sunday after Trinity. For tenor solo. 
85 Ich bin ein guter Hirt. Second Sunday after Easter 

84 Ich bin vergniigt mit meinem Gliicke. Septuagesima. 
48 Ich elender Mensch wer wird mich. Nineteenth Sunday 
after Trinity. 



133 Ich freue mich in dir. Christmas. Chorale Cantata. 

Leipsic, 1737. 
49 Ich geK und suche mit. Twentieth Sunday after Trinity. 
109 Ich glaube liebet Herr, hilf meinem. Twenty-first 

Sunday after Trinity. 
82 Ich habe genug. Purification. 
188 Ich habe meine Zuversicht. Twenty-first Sunday after 

Trinity. The copyist directs that the "organ concerto" 

of " Wir mussen durch viel Trubsal " in D minor (arranged 

from the Clavecin Concerto in that key) is to be used as 

an " introduction." Words by Picander. 
92 Ich haV in Gottes Herz und Sinn. Septuagesima. 

Chorale Cantata. Words by Paul Gerhardt. 
2 1 Ich hatte viel Bekiimmemis. " Per ogni tempi," " For all 

times." English edition, "My spirit was in heaviness," 

Novello. Composed on his being made concert-meister 

at Weimar, and performed there on the third Sunday 

after Trinity, 17 14. 
162 Ich, ich sehe,jetzt da ich zur Hochseitgehe. Solo Cantata 

for soprano, alto, tenor, bass. ' 
158 Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest. Purification. Solo 

Cantata for tenor and bass. The violetta occurs in the 

174 Ich Hebe den HSchsten von ganzem. Whitsunday. Solo 

Cantata for alto, tenor, bass. 
177 Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ. Fourth Sunday after 

Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
1 56 Ich steK mit einem Fuss im Grabe. Third Sunday after 

160 Ich Weiss, dass mein Erloser. Monday in Easter Week. 
56 Ich will den Kreuzstab geme tragen. Nineteenth Sun- 
day after Trinity. For bass solo. 
164 Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo. Thirteenth Sunday after 

Trinity. Solo Cantata for soprano, alto, tenor, bass. 
167 Ihr Menschen, riihtnet Gottes. St John's Day. Solo 

Cantata for soprano, alto, tenor and bass. 
193 Ihr Pforten zu Zion. Election of Town Council. 
103 Ihr werdet weinen und heulen. Third Sunday after 

Easter (Jubilate). 



97 In alien meinem Thaten. For no special season. Words 

by Dr Paul Flemming. 

Jauchzet, frohlocket. Christmas oratorio. Part I., 

English version, Novello. 
51 Jauchzet Gott in alien Landen. Fifteenth Sunday after 

Trinity. Solo Cantata for soprano. 
78 Jesu, der du meine Seele. Fourteenth Sunday after 

Trinity. In this cantata the ground bass of the "Cruci- 

fixus " of the B minor Mass is used. Edition with English 

words, "Jesu, Saviour, who by dying," Rieter-Bieder- 

41 Jesu, nun set gepreiset. Circumcision. Chorale Cantata. 

English edition, "Jesus, now will we praise Thee," 

22 Jesus nahm zu sick die Zwolfe. Quinquagesima (Esto- 

mihi). Bach's test piece for the Leipsic post after the 

death of Kuhnau. Performed there, February 7th, 1723. 
81 Jesus schldft, was soil ich hoffenf Fourth Sunday after 

161 Komm du siisse Todesstunde ! Purification ; also for the 

Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity. 
Kommt, eilet, lauft. Easter oratorio. 
181 Leicht gesinnte Flattergeister. Sexagesima. 
8 Liebster Gott, wann werd? ich sterben. Sixteenth Sunday 

after Trinity. 
123 Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen. Epiphany. 

Chorale Cantata. 
32 Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen. First Sunday after 

Epiphany. Called " Dialogue." Solo Cantata for soprano 

and bass. 
137 Lobe den Herren, den Mdchtigen. Twelfth Sunday after 

Trinity. Leipsic, between 1742 and 1747. Words by 

Joachim Neander. 
69 Lobe den Herm meine Seele! Twelfth Sunday after 

143 Lobe den Herrn meine Seele. New Year's Day. 
1 1 Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen. Ascension Day. Called 

by Bach "oratorium festo ascensionis Christi." Part of 

this cantata is used in the B minor Mass. 



115 Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit. Twenty-second Sunday 

after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
149 Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg. Michaelmas Day. 

124 Meinen Jesum lasi ich nicht. First Sunday after Epi- 
phany. Chorale Cantata. 

10 Meine SeeP erhtbt den Herren. Return of Mary from 

E^pt. Chorale Cantata. 
189 Meine Seele rUhmt undpreist. For no special season. 
13 Meine Seu/zer meine Thrdnen. Second Sunday after 

Epiphany. Solo Cantata for soprano, alto, tenor and 

bass voices, accompanied by wind instruments and organ, 

no strings being used. 
155 Mein Gott, ivie lang". Second Sunday after Epiphany. 
154 Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren. First Sunday after 


125 Mit Fried' und Freud' ich faht' dahin. Purification. 
Chorale Cantata. 

I JO Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. For no special season. 
loi Nimni von uns Herr, du treuer Gott. Tenth Sunday 

after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
144 Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin / Septuagesima. 
192 Nun danket alle Gott. For no special season. 
50 Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft. For no special season. 

61 Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland. First Sunday in 
Advent. First composition in A minor. Inside the 
cover of this cantata Bach has written the order of the 
service for the morning of Advent Sunday, 1714, at 
Leipsic. See p. 44. 

62 Nun kotnm, der Heiden Heiland. First Sunday in 
Advent. Chorale Cantata. Second composition in B 

163 Nur Jedem das Seine! Twnenty- third Sunday after 
Trinity. Solo Cantata for soprano, alto, tenor and bass. 

34 O ewiges Feuer, o ursprung der Liebe. Whitsunday. 
English edition, "O Light Everlasting," Novello. 
O ewiges Feuer. Wedding Cantata. Incomplete. 

20 O Ewigkeit du Donnerwort. First Sunday after Trinity. 

60 O Ewigkeit du Donnerwort. Twenty-fourth Sunday after 
Trinity. Solo Cantata for alto, tenor and bass. 



165 O heiVges Geist und Wasserbad. Trinity Sunday. Solo 
Cantata for soprano, alto, tenor, bass. 

118 O Jesu Christ mein's Lebenslicht. The accompaniment 
is for two litui, cornet and three trombones ; no strings 
or organ. It was probably intended for the open air 
(perhaps for a funeral) as it is the only cantata with no 
continuo part. 

119 Preise Jerusalem den Herm. Performed in the Nicolai 
Church on August 30, 1723, at the election of Town 
Council. It was also performed by Mendelssohn on the 
unveiling of the Bach Memorial at Leipsic, April 23, 1843. 

46 Schauet dock und sehet. Tenth Sunday after Trinity. 
153 Schau' Hebe Gott luie tneine Feinde. Second Sunday 
after Christmas. 
53 Schlage dock ! gewiinschste Stunde. Funeral Cantata 

for alto solo. 
180 Schmiicke dick Hebe Seele. Twentieth Sunday after 

Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
36 Schwingtfreudig euch empor. First Sunday in Advent. 

64 Sehet welcK eine Liebe. Christmas. 

159 Sehet, wir geKnhinauf. Quinquagesima (Estomihi). 
117 Sei Lob undEht' dem hochsten Gut. For no special season. 
57 Selig tst der Mann. Christmas. Solo Cantata for 

soprano and bass. 
88 Siehe ich will viel Fischer. Fifth Sunday after Trinity. 
179 Siehe zu dass deine Gottesfurcht nicht. Eleventh Sun- 
day after Trinity. 

65 Sie warden aus Saba alle kommen. Epiphany. Edition 
with English words, "They all shall come from Saba," 

44 Sie werden Euch in den Bann thun. Sunday after 
Ascension Day (Exaudi). 

183 Sie werden Euch in den Bann thun. Sunday after 
Ascension Day (Exaudi). 

190 Singet dent Herrn ein neues Lied. Circumcision. In- 
complete. Performed 25th of June 1730, at the second 
Jubilee celebration of the Augsburg Confession. 

145 So du mit deinem Munde bekennest. Easter Day, and 
Wednesday in Easter Week. 



151 Siisse Trost, mein Jesu kommt. Christmas. 

168 Thue Rechnung Donnerwort. Ninth Sunday after 
Trinity. Solo Cantata for soprano, aho, tenor, bass. 

1 52 Tritt auf die Glaubetis Bahn. First Sunday after Christ- 

Und es waren Hirten auf dem Felde. Part II. Christmas 
oratorio. English edition, Novello. 
no Unser Mund sei voll Lachens. Christmas. 
142 Ujts ist ein Kind geboren. Christmas. 
170 VergnUgte RuK beliebte. Sixth Sunday after Trinity. 

For alto solo. 
140 Wachet auf, ruft tins die Stimme. Twenty-seventh 
Sunday after Trinity. Leipsic, 1742. Words by P. 
70 Wachet, betet, seid bereit allezeit. Twentieth Sunday 

after Trinity. 
86 Warlich ich sage euck. Rogation Sunday. 
1 4 War' Goti nicht mit uns diese Zeit. Fourth Sunday after 
138 Warum betriibst du dick mein Herz. Fifteenth Sunday 

after Trinity. Leipsic, 1737. Words by Hans Sachs. 
94 Was frag' ich nach der Welt ! Ninth Sunday after 
Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 

98 Was Gott thut das ist -wohlgethan. Twenty-first Sun- 
day after Trinity. 

99 Was Gott thut, das ist wohlgethan. Fifteenth Sunday 
after Trinity. 

100 Was Gott thut, das ist wohlgethan. For no special 

season. Words by S. Rudigast. 
Ill Was mein Gott will das £sche alV zeit. Third Sunday 

after Epiphany. Chorale Cantata. 
89 Was soil ich aus dir machen. Twenty-second Sunday 

after Trinity. 
107 Was willst du dich betruben. Seventh Sunday after 
12 Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen. Third Sunday after 
Easter (Jubilate). The opening chorus is on the same 
ground bass as the " Crucifixus" of the B minor Mass. 
37 Wer da glaubet und getauft wird. Ascension Day. 



17 Wer Dank opfert der preiset mich. Fourteenth Sunday 

after Trinity. Edition with English words, "Whoso 

offereth praise," Reiter-Biedermann. 
59 Wer mich liebet der wird mein. Whitsunday. 
74 Wer mich liebet der wird mein. Whitsunday. Solo 

Cantata for soprano and bass. 
93 Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten. Fifth Sunday 

after Trinity. 
47 Wer sick selbst erJtiibt der soil. Seventeenth Sunday 

after Trinity. 
27 Wer Weiss wie nahe mir mein Ende. Sixteenth Sunday 

after Trinity. English edition, "When will God recall 

my spirit, Novello. 
54 Widerstehe dock der SUnde. For no special season. 

Alto solo. 
I Wie ScMn leuchtei der Morgenstern. Annunciation. 

Chorale Cantata. 
29 Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir. Election of Town 

Council at Leipsic, 1737. 
146 Wir mUssen durch viel TrUbsal. Third Sunday after 

Easter (Jubilate). 
166 Wo gehest du kin? Fourth Sunday after Easter (Can- 

tate). Solo Cantata for alto, tenor, bass. 
178 Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns halt. Eighth Sunday 

after Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 
139 Wohl dem der sick auf seinem Gott. Twenty-third 

Sunday after Trinity. Chorale Cantata, Leipsic, between 

1737 and 1 744. 
5 Wo soil ich fliehen hin. Nineteenth Sunday after 

Trinity. Chorale Cantata. 


Lass, Fiirstin, lass noch einen Strahl. Called "Weeping 
Leipsic." Written for the death of Princess Christiane 
Eberhardine, wife of Augustus the Strong. 

Jesu meine Freude. Five voices. English edition, "Jesu, 
priceless treasure," Novello. A hymn by Franck in six 


Secular Cantatas 

Der Geist hilft unsrer Schivachheit auf. Eight voices. Written 
for the funeral of the Rector Heinrich Emesti, 1729. 
The composer added a figured bass for the organ. Eng- 
lish edition, "The Spirit also helpeth us," Novello. 

Furchte dich nicht. Eight voices. English edition, " Be not 
afraid," Novello. 

Komm /esu, komm. Eight voices. 

Lob und Ehre und Weisheit und Dank. Eight voices. Eng- 
lish edition, " Blessing, Glory and Wisdom," Novello. 

Singet dem fferm ein neues Lied. Psalm 149, eight voices. 
English edition, •' Sing ye to the Lord," Novello. 

Ich lasse dich nicht. Eight voices. This motet is by some 
attributed to Joh. Christoph Bach. English edition, " I 
wrestle and pray," Novello. 

A Latin motet for two choruses heard by J. L. Gerber at 
Christmas, 1 767, is lost. 

I^bet den Herm, alle Heiden. Psalm 1 17. Four voices. 


Drama: Geschwinde, ihr nvirbelnden Winde. The contest 

between Phosbus and Pan. 
Weichet nur, betriibte Schatten. For soprano voice. 
Amore traditore. For bass voice, accompanied by cembalo 

Drama : Zerreisset, zerspringet, ZertrUmmert die Gruft. For 

the name-day of Dr A. F. MuUer. Leipsic, Aug. 3, 1725. 
Drama : Schleichi, spielende Wellen. For the birthday of 

Augfustus III. 
Drama : Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten. For 

a University celebration, Leipsic, 1726. 
Was mir behagi, ist nur die muntre Jagd. 
Non scu:he sia dolore. For soprano solo. 
O holder Tag, erwUnschte Zeit. Wedding Cantata for soprano 

Schweigt stille, plandert nicht. In praise of coffee. 
Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet. Complimentary Cantata to Carl 

Heinrich von Dieskan. 
Mil Gnaden bekrone der Himmel die Zeiten. 



O angenekme Melodei. Soprano solo. 

Durchlauchster Leopold. Serenade for two solo voices and 

Schwingt freudig euch empor. For the birthday of a teacher. 

Die Freude reget sick. For the birthday of Professor Rivinus. 

Drama : Lasst tens sorgen, lasst tens ivachen. Complimentary 
Cantata to a Saxon Princess. The opening chorus from 
Christmas oratorio. 

Tonetihr Pauken! ersckallet Trompeten ! For the birthday 
of the Queen of Saxony, December 1733. See p. 145. 

Drama : Preise dein GlUcke. For the anniversary of the elec- 
tion of Augustus 111. as King of Poland, 1734. 

Drama : Angenehthes wiederan. Persons represented — Fate, 
Happiness, Time, and the river Elster. The opening 
chorus from the cantata " Freue dich erioste Schaar." 

Drama : Auf schmettemde Tone der muntem Trompeten. For 
the name-day of King Augustus III. 


Three Passions. It is known that Bach wrote five Passions, 
from information given by his son C. P. Emanuel, and his 
pupil Agricola in Miller's Necrology. 

A great funeral ode on the death of Prince Leopold of 

Several Cantatas. 


Catalogue of Instrumental Works 


The numbers refer to the volumes in Peters' edition in which 
each work will be found. 

Six sonatas for two manuals and pedal (240). These sonatas 
and the passacaglia were written for his young son, W. 
Friedemann, to practise on the pedal clavichord. Many 
of the trills, which are necessary on this instrument, are 
intended to be omitted when the pieces are played on the 
organ. According to tradition the date is 1723. The 
first movement of the sonata in D minor appears in 1722, 
as the prelude in that key in Part I. of the Forty-eight. 

Passacaglia in C minor (240). 

Trio for two manuals (243) and pedal in D minor. This trio 
is overladen with grace notes in the fashion of the day. 
The performer is recommended by Griepenkerl to exer- 
cise his taste as to which he retains or omits. 

Pastorale in F (240). In four movements. Mostly copied 
singly. Forkel possessed a copy in which all four move- 
ments were combined in a whole. 

Preludes and Fugues (241). 


In G. The subject of the fugue Is the same as that of the 
opening chorus in the cantata, "Ich hatte viel Bekiim- 

In A. 

Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (241). Composed at Cothen, 
probably as an act of hotnage to Reinken. In one copy 
' the fantasia is called " prelude." In another copy the 
fugue is in F minor with a remark, " The very best pedal- 
piece by Herr Joh. Seb. Bach." 



Prelude and Fugue in C (241). 

A minor. 

E minor. 

B minor. The Peters' edition is from the original MS. in the 
possession of Sir Herbert Oakeley. 

Prelude and Fu^e (242) E flat. From the " Clavierilbung." 
The fugue, hke those of Buxtehude, is in three movements. 

Toccata and Fugue (242) in F. The compass of the pedals in 
this toccata shows that it must have been written for the 
organ in the Lutheran Church at Cothen. (See Glossary 
" Orgelbuchlein.") In the Bachgesellschaft edition the 
toccata is called fantasia. 

In D minor. Called Dorian from the flat being omitted from 
the signature. The toccata is called "prelude" in some 

Preludes and Fugue (242) in D minor. The prelude has no 
pedal part. The fugue is arranged from the earlier viohn 
solo fugue in G minor (228). 

In G minor. 

Fantasia and Fugue (242) in C minor. 

Prelude and Fugue in C (242). This was originally in E major. 
The fugue is in two portions, divided by nine bars of 
florid passages. It was transposed to C for some of the 
old organs which had only two octaves of pedals. In 
Kirnberger's MS. it is called "Preludio con Fantasia con 

Toccata and Fugue in C (242). The toccata is separated firom 
the fugue by a very beautiful aria, in which a melody is 
accompanied by chords and staccato bass, the only 
instance of the kind in Bach's organ works. In one 
MS. the toccata is called "Preludium." 

Prelude and double Fugue (242) in A minor. 

Preltede atid Fugue (iiifl) in E minor. 

Prelude and Fugue (243) in C major. 


In D. The prelude is in two movements. The work, which 
is very brilliant, is inscribed "Concertata" as if intended 
more for concert than church use. In one copy the work 
is called simply " Pifece d'orgue, von Joh. Seb. Bach." 


Organ Compositions 

Toccata and Fugue in D minor (243). 

Prelude and Fugue in C minor (243). In some MSS. this is 
■ in D minor. 

Fugues (243) in C minor. On a theme by Legrenzi. A 
second subject appears in the course of the fugue, which 
after being worked independently is finally united to the 
first in a double fugue. 

In G minor. 

In B minor. The subject is by Corelli. 

In C minor. Probably written for pedal clavichord. Com- 
posed at Amstadt. 

Canzona in D m.inor (243). In two movements. It was 
popular, and many copies appear to have existed. 

Fantasias (243) in G. In three movements of which the tempi 
are indicated by Bach. "Tr&s Vitement," "Grave," 
" Lentement." From the number of copies which exist 
this fantasia, also called " Pifece d'orgue," appears to have 
been very popular. 

In C minor. In five voices. In some MSS. called "Prelude."' 

Prelude in A minor (343). 

Fifty -six short Chorale-preludes (244). 

Three sets of Chorale Variations called " Partite " (244). 

Some Canonic Variations on the Christmas hymn " Vom 
Himmel hoch da komm ich her" (244). 

Seven Chorale-preludes (244). 

Sixty-three ^^ Larger and more artistic Chorale-preludes" (245 
and 246). 

Four Concertos for two manuals and pedal (247). Arranged 
from the Violin Concertos of Vivaldi. The originals were, 
like Handel's "Concerti grossi," for four violins, one or 
two violas, violoncello, bass and continuo. 

Eight small Preludes and Fugues (247). For the instruction 
of his son Friedemann. 

Allabreve pro organo pleno (247). Organo pleno means a 
complete organ, as opposed to a positiv, or one manual 
instrument. It has the same kind of sense as our ex- 
pression "Full orchestra," and does not mean that the 
full force is to be employed the whole time. 

Prelude in C (247). Without pedal. 

N 193 


In G '''•pro organo plena" (247). 

Fantasia in C (247). Without pedal. 

Fugue in C (247). The pedal only enters in the last five bars, 
and is used in Buxtehude's manner, merely to complete 
the harmony. ; 

Prelude in G (247). Composed at Weimar. 

Fugue in G minor (247). 

Fantasia and Fugue in A minor (2067). An early work, in 
some MS. called " Preludio e Fuga per il cembalo," so 
that it was probably intended for the pedal clavichord. 

Fiigue in G (2067). 

Little Harmonic Labyrinth (2067). Consisting of three move- 
ments called " Introitus," " Centrum," " Exitus." Starting 
in the key of C, it perpetually modulates, chiefly by 
enharmonic changes, and finishes by a return to C. 

Fugue in G (2067). 

Fugue in D (2067). 

Concerto in G (2067). Called also " Fantasia." 

Trio for two manuals and pedal in C minor (2067). 

Aria in Ffor two manuals and pedal (2067). 

Eleven Chorale-preludes (2067). 


Concerto in F (261). For violins, piccolo, three oboes, and two 
corni di caccia, with accompaniment for two violins, viola, 
violoncello and bass. 

Concerto in F (262). For violin, flute, oboe, and trumpet 
concertante, with accompaniment for two violins, viola, 
violoncello and bass. 

Concerto in G (263). For three violins, three violas, three 
violoncellos and one bass. Rearranged as the intro- 
ductory "symphony" to the cantata "Ich liebe den 

Concerto in G (264). For violin and two flutes concertante, 
with accompaniment for two violins, violaj violoncello 
and bass. 

Concerto in D (265). For clavecin, flute and violin concertante, 
with accompaniment for one violin, viola, violoncello and 


Orchestral Works 

Concerto in BJlat (266). For two violas, two violas da gamba, 

with accompaniment for violoncello and bass. 
Overture or Suite in C major (267). For two violins, viola, 

two oboes, bassoon, violoncello and bass. 
Overture or Suite in B minor (268). For two violins, viola, 

violoncello, flute and bass. 
Overture or Suite in D major (269). For two violins, viola, 

bass kettle-drums, two oboes, and three trumpets. 


Works for Cembalo, Clavichord, 
Spinet, ^c. 

The Forty -eight Preludes and Fu^es. Part I. (i and la). 

Part II. (2 and lb). For clavichord. See p. 131. 
Sonatas (213) in A minor. From a sonata for two violins, 

viola da gamba and bass in Reinken's " Hortus Musicus." 
In C major. Arranged from Reinken's " Hortus Musicus.' 
In D minor. Arranged from the sonata in A minor for violin 

alone (228). 
Prelude and Fugue in E flat (214). 
Fugue in B minor (214). 
Suites in A minor (214). 
In Eflat. 

Preludio con Fughetta in F (214). 
In G. 

Prelude in G (214). 

The adagio of violin solo sonata in C arranged for clavier {21/^. 
ChromcUic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor (207). 
Prelude and Fugue in A minor (207). Composed at Cothen. 
Toccata and Fugue in E minor (210). The toccata is in three 

Toccata and Fugue in F sharp minor (210). Allegro moder- 
ate, lento, fugue (for three voices) allegro moderate 

fugue (for four voices). 
Toccata and Fugue in C minor (210). The toccata is in two 

movements — allegro moderate and adagio. 
Fantasia and Fugue in A minor (208) 


Cembalo, Clavichord, Spinet, ^c. 

Fantasia and Fughetta in B flat (212). These are written on 
one stave, with figures for the harmony. 


Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fraiello dilettissimo 
(208). See p. 28. 

Toccata and Fugue in D minor (210). The toccata contains 
three movements — allegro moderate, allegro, adagio. 

Four Duets (208). For right and left hand. 

A Prelude with Fugue on the notes B, A, C, H {212). Apo- 

Six Partitas in B flat, C minor, A minor, D, G, E minor 
(205). From the Clavieriibung, Part I. 

Concerto " in the Italian style" (207). From the Clavieriibung, 
Part II. 

Suite in B minor (208) or Partita. From the Clavieriibung, 
Part II. The work is entitled "an overture after French 
taste, for a davicymbal with two manuals." 

Air with thirty variations for harpsichord with two manuals 
(209). From the Clavieriibung. The theme is in the 
bass. The work was composed for his clever pupil, J. T. 
Goldberg, at the request of Baron Kayserling, who pre- 
sented Bach with a snufiPbox containing one hundred 
louis d'or in return for it. 

Six little Preludes (200). 

Utile two-part Fugue in C minor (200). 

Fifteen two-part Inventions (201). 

Fifteen three-part Inventions; also called Symphonies (202). 

Six little Suites called the French Suites (202). From Anna 
Magdalena's first book. 

Six large Suites called the English Suites (203). 

Toccata and Fugue in G minor (21 1). The toccata is in three 

Prelude and Fugue in A minor (211). 

Fantasia and Fugue in D (211). The fantasia is in five 

Prelude and Fughetta in D minor (200). 
„ „ E minor (200). 

Prelude and Fugue in A minor (200). 

Two Fantasias in C minor {2<yj, 212). 



Tiuo Fugues in C (200). 

Two Fugues in D minor (212). 

Fugues in A major (212). 

„ E minor. 

„ A minor. 
Twelve little Preludes or exercises for beginners (200). No. 3 

is also intended for the lute. Some of these are found in 

the " Clavierbiichlein fur W. F. Bach." 
Part of a Suite in F minor (212). 
Unfinished Fugue in C minor (212). 
Sixteen Concertos arranged from the Violin Concertos of 

Vivaldi (217). 
Art of Fugue {11%). See p. 134. 
The Musical Offering {2i<)). See p. 135. 
Fantasia in A minor (215). 
Air varied in G minor (215). 
Toccata in G (215). In three movements. 
OvertureinF. Consisting of "Overture," "Entrde," "Minuet," 

" Trio," " Bourree," " Gigue," all in the same key. 
Fantasia in G tninor (215), 
Capriccio in E (215). " In honour of J. C. Bach of 

Fantasia con imitaxione in B minor (216). It is doubtful 

whether this is intended for organ or pedal harpsichord. 
Sonata in D (216). Modelled on Kuhnau. 
Two Fugues in A (216). 
Three Minuets (216). 
Minuet in G minor (19J9). 
Adagio and Presto in D minor {\<)t,<)). 
Prelude in Eflat (1959)- 

Fugue in Bflat (1959). From a fugue by J. C. Erselius. 
Sixty-nine Chorale Melodies with figured bass. Published in 


Of doubtful authenticity (19S9); 

Sarabande with 16 Partite. 
Passacaille in D minor. 
Suite in Bflat. 


Cembalo, Clavichord, Spinet, ^c. 


Courante \ in A. 

Gigue J 

Fantasia. Through all keys. Attributed to J. D. Heinichen. 

Fantasia in G minor. In five movements. 

Fantasia and Fugue in D minor. 

Fugue in G minor. 

Scherzo in D minor. 

Andante in G minor. 

Fugue in B flat. An extension of a sonata movement in 

Reinken's " Hortus Musicus." 
Fugues — 

„ E minor. 



„ (a) E minor. 

„ (6) E minor. 
Chaconnes — 
In A, 


Of works not already mentioned, the " Bachgesellschaft " 
publishes in vol. xlii., Part II., the following apparently 
authentic compositions : — 

Prelude and Fugue in A minor. 
Concerto and Fugue in C minor. 
Prelude in B minor. 

Of more doubtful authenticity ; 

Fantasia in C minor. Molto allegro. 

Toccata quasi fantasia confuga, A major. 

Partie, A major. 

Allemande in C minor. 

Gigue, F minor. 

Allemande and Courante, A major 

Allemande in A minor. 

Two Fantasias and Fughettas. 

An Unfinished Fugue in E minor. 




Concerto in ^(248). For clavecin and two flutes concertante, 

with accompaniment for two violins, viola and bass. 
Concerto in G minor (249). For clavecin, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola, violoncello and bass. 
Concerto in F minor (250). For clavecin, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola and bass. 
Concerto in D major (251). For clavecin, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola and bass. 
Concerto in A major(2i2). For clavecin, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola, violoncello and bass. 
Concerto in E major (253). For clavecin, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola and bass. 
Concerto in D minor {2$^). For clavecin, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola and bass. The first allegro is 

arranged as the introductory symphony of the Cantatii, 

" Wir miissen durch viel Triibsal." 
Concerto in A minor (255). For clavecin, flute and violin, with 

accompaniment for two violins, viola, violoncello and bass. 
Concerto in C (256). For two clavecins, with two violins, 

viola and bass. 
Concerto in C minor (257). For two clavecins, with two 

violins, viola and bass. 
Concerto in C minor (257(5). For two clavecins, with two 

violins, viola and bass. Arranged from the concerto for 

two violins. 
Concerto in D minor (258). For three clavecins, with two 

violins, viola and bass. 
Concerto in C (259). For three clavecins, with two violins, 

viola and bass. 
Concerto in A minor, after a concerto for four violins by 

Vivaldi (260). For four clavecins, with accompaniment 

for two violins, viola and bass. 

Concerto in A minor (229 '). For violin, with accompaniment 
for two violins, viola and bass. Also arranged for clavecin 
and strings in G minor. 

1 Pianoforte score. 


Cembalo, Clavichord, Spinet, S^c. 

Concerto in E (230*). For violin, with accompaniment for 
two violins, viola and bass. 

Concerto (231 ') in D minor. For two principal violins, with 
accompaniment for two violins, viola and bass. Also 
arranged for two clavecins and strings in C minor (257^). 

Three Sonatas and three Suites for violin, without accompani- 
ment (228). Composed at Cothen. The fugue of the 
sonata in G minor is also arranged for organ in D minor. 
The sonata in A minor is also arranged for clavecin alone 
in D minor (213), and the suite in E major in the same 
key for clavecin. The prelude in E forms the obbligato 
organ part of the opening chorus of the cantata "Wir 
danken dir." 

Six Sonatas for iflyi and 2^3) Violin and Figured Bass. 

Six Sonatas for Flute or Violin and Clavier (234 and 235). 

Suite in A for Violin and Clavier (236). 

Sonata in E minor for Violin and Clavier (236). 

Fugue in G minor for Violin and Clavier (236). 

Sonata in Cfor two Violins and Clavier (237). 

Sonata in Gfor Flute, Violin and Clavier (237). 

Trio for Flute, Violin and Clavier (237). From the " Musical 
Offering" ; the clavier part supplied from the figtired bass 
by Kirnberger. 

Six Sonatas or Suites for the Violoncello (238). 

Three Sonatas for the Viola da Gamba and Clavier (239). 

Clavierbuch of Anna Magdalena Bach, 1 725. Contains twenty 
easy pieces, consisting of minuets, polonaises, rondos, 
marches, and one song. 

Principles of Thorough-bass for his pupils. Dated 1738, and 
preserved by J. P. Kellner. It is divided into two parts 
for beginners and advanced pupils. The author says, 
" The ultimate end and aim of thorough-bass should only 
be the glory of God and recreation of the mind. Where 
these are not kept in view there can be no real music, 
only an infernal jingling and bellowing." The complete 
work is quoted as an appendix in Spitta, vol. iii. 

3 Pianoforte score. 



Adlung (J. A.). Musica mechanica organcedi, 1768, (notes 

Bach (J. S.). Eine Biographie, mit Portrait. Cassel, 1855. 
Bachgesellschaft. The complete works of Bach in 60 volumes, 

with important introductory notices ; published by the 

Bach Society of Leipsic. Breitkopf & Hartel, 1851 to 

Bitter (C. H.). Joh. Seb. Bach. Berlin, 1865 : 2 vols. ; and 

1880 : 4 vols. 

Die Sohne Sebastian Bachs. 1883. In Waldersee's 

Sammlung musikalische Vortrage, vol. v. 

Brockhaus. Conversationslexicon. Leipsic, 1833. 

Bruyck (C. D. van). Technische und assthetische Analysen 

des Wohlt. Clav. 1867. 
Conrad (E. F.). Echt oder unecht? Zur Lucas-Passion. 

David (E.). La vie et les oeuvres de J. S. Bach. In " Biblio- 

theque Conteraporaine." Paris, 1882. 
Ersch und Gruber. AUgemeine Encyclopaedic. Part VII. 

Leipsic, 1821. (Article by C. M. von Weber.) 
Fetis. Biographie Universelle des Musiciens. 2nd edition. 

Forkel (J. N.). t)ber Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben. Kunst 

und Kunstwerke. Leipzig, 1802. 
An English translation of the above appeared in 1820, 

and a French edition, with notes by F. Grenier, was 

published at Paris in 1876. 
Franz (R.). t)ber J. S. Bachs Magnificat. 1863. 

Ueber Bearbeitungen alterer Tonwerke, namentlich 

Bach'scher und Handel'scher Vocal-musik. 187 1. 

Fromrael (G.). Handel und Bach. 1878. 


Fuchs (H.). Le Bicentenaire de Bach. La Passion selon 

Saint Matthieu a Bdle. 1885. 
Gerber (E. L.). Lexicon der Tonkunstler. Leipsic, 1790. 

Lexicon der Tonkunstler. Leipsic, 181 2. 

Grosser (P. E.). Lebensbeschreibung. Nebst einer Samm- 

lung interessante Anekdoten. Breslau, 1834. 
Hauptmann (M.). Erlauterungen zu J. S. Bach's Kunst der 

Fuge. 1 841. 
Hilgenfeldt (C. L.). Leben Wirken und Werke. 
Hiller (J. A.). Lebensbeschreibungen beriihmter Musikgelehr- 

ten und Tonkiinstler. Part L 1784. 
Hirschung. Historisch-literarisches Handbuch beriihmter 

Personen. Vol. i. 1794. 
His (W.). Johann Seb. Bach : Forschungen iiber dessen 

Grabstatte. 1895. 
Iliffe (F.). The Forty-eight Preludes and Fugues of J. S. Bach, 

analysed 1897. 
Johnston (H. F. H.). Passion Music. 1858. 
Junghaus (W.). J. S. B. als Schuler der Partikularschule in 

Kuhnau (J. C. W.). Die blinden Tonkiinstler. 18 10. 
Ludwig (C. A). J. S. B. in seiner Bedeutung fiir Cantoren. 
Mangold (C. A.). Bach's Passion, Ein Beitrag zur Character- 

istik der Bachschen Compositionsweise. i860. 
Mendel. Musikalisches Conversations Lexicon. 2nd edition, 

1 88 1. Berlin. 
Meyer (Dr P.). Joh. Seb. Bach. Vortrag in " Oeflfentliche 

Vortrage gehalten in der Schweiz." 1871. 
Minerva. Zur Erinnerungsfeier an J. S. Bach's Todestag. 

Jena, 1850. 
Mizler (L. C). Musikalische Bibliothek, vol. iv.. Part I., pp. 

158-176. Leipsic, 1754. An article compiled by P. 

Emanuel Bach and J. F. Agricola. 
Mosewius (J. T.). J. S. B. in seinen Kirchen-Cantaten und 

Choralgesangen. 1 845. 
J. S. B.'s Matthaus-Passion Musikalisch-sesthetisch 

dargestellt. 1852. 
'Oordt (A. M. van). Een Kort Woord over Bach. 1 873. 
Polko (E.). Unsere Musikklassiker. 



Poole (R. L.). Life of Bach, in Hueffer's "The Great 

Musicians." 1881. 
Reissmann (A.). Leben Johann Sebastian Bach's. 
Riemann (H.). Analysis of J. S. Bach's Wohltemperirtes 

Clavier. 1893. 
Rochlitz (A. F.). AUg. Musik Zeitung, 1831, (article in). 
Schaeifer. J. Seb. Bach's Cantata, "Sie warden aus Saba 

alle kommen" in den Ausgaben von R. Franz und den 

leipziger Bach-Verein Kritisch beleuchtet. 1877. 
Schauer (Dr J. K.). Lebensbild. Jena, 1850. 
Schick (M.). J. S. B. Lebensbild. 

Schiffher (A.). Sebastian Bach's Nachkommenschaft. 1840. 
Schilling (Dr G.). Universallexicon der Tonkiinst. Stuttgart, 

1835. (Article by A. B. Marx.) 
Shuttleworth (Miss Kay). " Life of Bach." 
Siebigke. Museum beriihmter Tonkunstler. i8or. 
Spitta (P.). John Sebastian Bach. 2 vols. 1873-80. 

The above, translated by Clara Bell and J. A, Fuller 

Maitland. Novello, London, 1884. 2nd edition, 1899. 

Die Passions-Musiken von Seb. Bach, 1893, in" Samm- 

lung gemeinverstandlicher wissenschaftlicher Vortrage. 
Serie 8, Heft 176. 

Ueber die Beziehungen S. Bach's zu C. F. Hunold 

und Mariane von Ziegler, in Curtius E. Historische und 

Philologische Aufsatze. 1884. Berlin. 
Taylor (Sedley). The Life of J. S. B. in relation to his work 

as a Church Musician and Composer. 1897. 
Todt (B.). Vademecum durch die Bachschen Cantaten. 

Tudor (H.). Das Heroentum in der Deutschen Musik. An 

essay on the music of Bach, Beethoven and Wagner. 

1 891. 
Walther (J. G.). Musikalisches Lexicon. 1732. Contams a 

short article on J. S. Bach. 
Westphal (R.). AUgemeine Theorie der Musikalischen 

Rhythmik. Mit besonderer Beriichsichtigung von Bach's 

Fugen, &c. 1880. 
Winterfeld (C. von). Der evangelische Kirchengesang. 

Leipsic, 1847. 


The performance of a Church Cantata 

From Walther's T-exicm, Leipsic, 1732 


Ahle, Joh. Rudolph, was bom 1625, and, after holding a post 
at Erfurt, became organist and burgomaster of his native 
town Miihlhausen. His chorale tunes are still popular 
in Thuringia. On his death in 1673 he was succeeded by 
his son Joh. Georg, who was a member of the Town 
Council, and poet laureate to the Emperor Leopold I. 

Bbhm, Georg. Is described by Walther as a fine composer 
and organist of St John at Liineburg. Bach modelled 
some of his early chorale-preludes, notably " Wir glauben 
all ' an einen Gott " on Bohm's style. 

Brust-positiv. The name given to the choir manual when its 
pipes stand in front of the rest of the organ, as in many 
of the old English cathedral organs. 

Buxtehude, Dietrich, 1637-1707, organist at the Marien-Kirche 
at Lubeck. His organ fugues, toccatas, &c., are of great 
importance as having furnished Bach with his earliest 
models. The fugues are usually in three portions, as in 
Bach's great E flat fugue (Peters, 242). Many of his organ 
works have been published by Spitta. 

Caldara, Antonius. Born at Venice 1678, a pupil of Legrenzi 
and Fux, and the writer of many operas, and much church 
music. He was successively Capellmeister at St Mark's, 
the Court of Mantua, and to Charles VI. at Vienna. He 
was a clever imitator, but had little inventive genius. 
On coming to Germany, his style improved in vigour. 
Bach admired him sufficiently to copy his Magnificat 
in C. 

Cantor, Choirmaster. The office is rarely held by the organist 
as in England, since the cantor has to conduct the 
" Hauptmusik" with a baton while the organist plays. 



Cembalo, or clavicymbal, or clavessin, or clavecin, for which 
Bach wrote his clavier works, was in shape like the modern 
grand piano, but its interior construction was something 
after the model of the organ. It had, in common with 
the organ, the defect of being unable to produce piano or 
forte by the touch alone, this being done by stops. A com- 

plete cembalo had the compass of (^' to ^^ 

and two manuals. Each note had four strings producing 
4, 8, and i6 ft. tone, two being of 8 ft. The strings were 
sounded by plectra made of quill, called jacks. The 
instruments were sometimes also provided with organ 
pedals. It will be seen at once that a piece played on 
i6, 8 and 4 ft. stops would sound far fuller than when 
played on the modern piano with only unison strings. 

The cembalo was used to play the basso continuo in all 
concerted music outside the church ; and even in a con- 
certo for clavier, a second cembalo appears to have 
accompanied. The lute or regal, however, sometimes 
took its place, for convenience of porterage. 

Transposing clavicymbals, and clavicymbals with keyboards 
at both ends were in use. The tuning was very trouble- 
some, and had to be done before each performance. 
Other names were Gravecymbalum, Fliigel, Schweinskopf, 
Steertstiick. The claviorganum was a combination of 
clavicymbal and positive. 

Choral is the German name for the Plainsong of the Roman 
Church. After the Refonnation the name Choral (Eng- 
lish "Chorale ") was given to the hymns which were either 
translated from the Latin, or originally written in the 
fourteenth century by Johannes of Salzburg, Muscatbliiet, 
Hans Foltz, Michel Beheim, Johannes Gosseler, Jorg 
Breining, and Heinrich von Laufenberg, and which took 
a firm hold on the German people through the efforts of 
Martin Luther, Michael Vehe, W. Heintz, Joh. Hofmann, 



and others. The peculiar variety to be observed in the 
metrical construction of the German Chorale is directly 
traceable to the influence of the Volkslied, for Luther 
himself wrote sacred words for secular melodies. Other 
names connected with the chorale are Valentin Triller, 
Veil Heefen, Count Albrecht the younger of Brandenburg, 
Culmbach, Speratus, Spengler, Hans Sachs, Schensing, 
Decius Graumann, Joh. Walter, a friend and fellow- 
worker of Luther, L. Senfl, von Bruck and Fink. Later 
poets were Nic. Hermann, P. Nicolai, Calvisius Hassler, 
&c., H. and J. Praetorius, Neumark, Flemming, Teschner, 
Gerhard and Criiger. The music of the chorale was 
brought'to perfection by J. S. Bach. 

Chorale-Cantatas, those in which a complete hymn is carried 
out, each verse forming as a rule a separate movement, 
whether for chorus or solo voices, though occasionally a 
verse is omitted in the longer hymns. Sometimes re- 
citatives break the course of the chorale melody, or the 
melody is played by the instruments and accompanied 
by vocal recitative. The chorales chosen are always 
well-known ones, and among the finest of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. 

Church Music. The services at Leipsic were regulated by an 
act passed in 1540 by Duke Heinrich applying to all 
Saxony. A morning service called matins was celebrated 
at St Nicholas every Sunday at 5.30 a.m., in which the 
Venite, Psalms, Te Deum and Benedicamus Domino 
were sung by the choir, and directed by the St Nicholas 

Morning service took place at 7 at both St Thomas and St 
Nidiolas ; a Latin motet was sung, followed by the 
Kyrie, Gloria in excelsis, Collect in Latin, and at St 
Thomas a Litany was sung by four boys and the choir 
alternately. The Gospel and Epistle and Creed were 
intoned by the priest, and on certain days the Nicene 
Creed was sung in Latin by the choir. The " Haupt- 
musik" (the cantata) followed the intoning or singing of 
the Creed in Latin, and after it was finished the Creed 
was sung by the congregation in German. This was 



followed by a sermon of an hour's duration. The service 
concluded with the general confession, the Lord's Prayer 
and blessing. Chorales were sung by the congregation 
during the course of the service. 
At the mid-day service there were only a sermon and two 
congregational hymns without the choir. It began at a 
quarter to twelve. At vespers, the choir sang a motet, and 
the Magnificat in German, besides leading the congrega- 
tion in some hymns. At Christmas, Easter and Whitsun- 
tide, similar services were performed for three consecutive 
days, matins beginning at five instead of half-past to allow 
more time for the festival services. 

Cithara, Cither, a favourite instrument in the sixteenth century 
of the guitar family, bearing 4, S or 6, or even 12 metal 
strings. Praetorius condemns the four-stringed cithara as 
being "a vulgar instrument only used by cobblers and 
tailors." In England it was kept at barbers' shops for 
the amusement of customers waiting their turn. 

Clarino. Lichtenthal C. Dizionario della Musica, Milan, 1826, 
says "the clarino is, according to some, a species of 
small trumpet, of which the tube is narrower than that 
of the ordinary trumpet, and which gives a more acute 
sound; but Northerners hold that the word means the 
ordinary trumpet." The word frequently occurs in Bach's 

Clavichord. A key-board instrument having brass strings 
which were neither plucked with a quill as in the harpsi- 
chord, nor struck with a hammer as in the pianoforte, 
but made to sound by a brass blade called a tangent, 
which pressed against the string as long as the key was 
held down. Although its tone had little power, the effects 
of crescendo, diminuendo, and vibrato, called in Germany 
"Bebung," were entirely under the player's control, and 
on this account it was a favourite instrument with Bach. 
The clavichord was sometimes provided with pedals for 
the use of organ students. 

Clavicymbal. See Cembalo. 

Clavier, literally Keyboard. The German name for all key- 
board instruments, such as the clavichord, harpsichord, 



spinet, instrument, &c. The term is also applied to both 
the manuals and pedals of the organ. 

Clavierbiichlein, little clavier book for Bach's son W. Friede- 
mann, when nine years old, in 1720. A diagram shows the 
keys and principal ornaments, and one of the pieces is 
figured and called " Applicatio, in nomine Jesu." Some of 
the pieces are composed by the boy himself Eleven of the 
preludes of the Wohltemperirte clavier first appeared in 
this book ; some of the pieces are by other composers as 
J. C. Richter and G. H. Stolzel of Gotha, and there are 
many of Bach's own fugues. 

Clavierbiichlein, vor Anna Magdalena Bach in 1720 and 1725. 
See p. 57. 

Clavieriibung, clavier practice. A work in four parts, con- 
sisting of preludes, allemands, the Italian concerto, the 
French overture, choralvorspiele, &c., intended, as the 
name implies, for educational purposes. The work in- 
cludes the well-known prelude and fugue for organ in E 
flat, Peters 242, and the air in G with thirty variations 
written for Goldberg. 

College of Instrumental Musicians of Upper and Lower 
Saxony. The full text is given by Spitta, vol. i. p. 145, 
et seq. The statutes enacted that no member was to 
settle in any town where another member was already 
settled ; no member was to take lower fees than his 
predecessor ; no member was to boast that he played 
on a superior instrument to others ; offices were only 
to be obtained by proper examination ; no member was 
to sing immoral songs ; every member must conduct 
himself with propriety in social "attendances," and to 
see that his assistants did the same ; no member was 
to bring his art to disrepute by playing on bagpipes, 
hurdy-gurdies, triangles, &c. 

No bad language was to be allowed, and all low company to 
be avoided ; apprentices must, before binding, produce 
credentials of respectability, and must serve for five years 
with industry and constant prayer. After an apprentice 
has served his five years he is to serve another three 
as an "assistant," except when he marries his master's 

O 209 


daughter, in which case he shall only serve one yeai 
as assistant. In case of dissension arising, the matter 
must be brought before six master-musicians, who shall 
decide it. No man is to seek to oust an old master ; but 
if a man becomes too old to do his work, an assistant 
shall be appointed who shall receive half the salary. 
Every master is to see that his assistants are properly 
paid for services rendered. In order that the art of music 
may not be brought into contempt by inadequate per- 
formance, no man shall be allowed to keep more than 
three apprentices at one time (for this would compel him 
to employ properly qualified assistants to carry out 
concerted music). A master neglecting to teach his 
apprentices could be punished ; and an apprentice 
running away could never become a member of the 
college. However great the number of members, no 
man was to be refused membership who was found, after 
due trial, to be properly qualified. Questions of evil morals 
arising among members were to be decided by a board 
of elders. 

Concertmeister, the leader of an orchestra who ranks im- 
mediately after the conductor. In early times he was 
also the conductor of purely instrumental music, while 
the capellmeister conducted whenever voices were em- 
ployed. The title is also bestowed as a mark of respect 
on musicians of eminence who are not connected with an 

Concerto. A term applied to both vocal and instrumental 
concerted music. Several of Bach's Cantatas are thus 
named ; thus "Ein Herz das seinen Jesum lebend weiss" 
is entitled "Concerto k quattro voci, 2 oboi, 2 violini, 
viola e continuo di J. S. Bach." Concertos for instru- 
ments were in several movements, but usually three. 
There was sometimes a single solo instrument, but more 
frequently there were several. The fine concerto in G in 
two movements is for three violins, three violas, three 
violoncellos and bass without a solo instrument. The 
concertos of Handel and Vivaldi, &c., are orchestral com- 
positions in several movements with or without wind 



instruments. The Italian Concerto is a piece in three 
movements for clavecin without accompaniment. 

Consistory. The authorities of an important church, some- 
what analogous to the Dean and Chapter of an English 

Continue = Basso Continuo, the bass of a composition for 
voices or instruments or both. It was always the lowest 
part, and was usually provided with figures, that the ac- 
companist might be able to fill in the harmonies and 
keep the body of performers together. It was performed 
on the organ, or cembalo or regal, according to circum- 
stances. The continuo of most of Bach's cantatas was 
written out in two keys, to suit the two pitches in use, 
" Chorton " being a tone higher than " Kammerton." All 
chamber music required the accompaniment of a cembalo 
in figured bass ; and even if there were one or more 
" Cembali " obbligati a separate instrument would be 
employed for the continuo. In all Bach's church com- 
positions in which there is an organ obbligato part, there 
IS another organ part for the continuo. The conductor 
stood near the organist, as may be seen in the frontispiece 
to Walther's Lexicon. 

Comet, Cometto, Zink, consisted of a curved wooden tube 
covered with leather and having holes for the fingers 
with a cup mouthpiece like a trumpet. Two comets 
hang on the wall near the organ in Walther's illustration. 

Drese, Johann Samuel, 1654-1 716, was organist of the Court 
at Jena, and afterwards Capellmeister at Weimar. He 
composed sonatas for the clavier, motets and operas. 

Estomihi. Quinquagesima Sunday. 

Figural Music. Florid music, or all church music that is not 
Plainsong, or its Lutheran equivalent the chorale-melody. 

Florilegium Portense, a work containing 115 "cantiones 
selectissimas " of from four to eight voices, with figured 
bass for organ. A second part contained 150 "concentus 
selectissimas " of from five to ten parts. Published 1603 
and 1 62 1 by Bodenschatz, Cantor of Schulpforta, and 
Pastor at Rehausen. A complete catalogue is given in 
Groves' Dictionary, vol. i. p. 253. 



French Overture. A form of opera overture consisting of a 
slow introduction, followed by a fugue or fugato, and 
concluding with a slow movement. This form was applied 
to the clavier by Bach in the " Overture in the French 
style" (E. P. 208) of the B minor Suite or Partita. 

Fux, J oh. Joseph, born in Styria, 1660, organist. Court com- 
poser, and Capellmeister at Vienna. A prolific composer 
of church music and opera, but he is best known by his 
theoretical works, amongst which is his Latin "Gradus 
ad Parnassum," a treatise on composition, which has 
been through many editions. 

Gorner, J. Gottlieb, was appointed organist of the Nicolai 
Church at Leipsic in 1721 and was also head of a 
"Collegium Musicum" or musical society. In 1729 he 
succeeded Grabner as organist of St Thomas. He was 
a mediocre musician, but put himself in rivalry with Bach, 
and is reported by Scheibe to have "by his rudeness 
asserted his pre-eminence among a large number of his 
equals." He gave Bach a good deal of trouble by as- 
suming the position and emoluments of director of music 
to the University ; but they appear to have worked 
amicably together afterwards, and Bach, by will, appointed 
him guardian of his children, an office which he appears 
to have satisfactorily fulfilled. 

Hammerschmidt, Andreas, born in Bohemia, 161 1, organist of 
Freiburg, afterwards at Zittau. According to Gerber, 
one of the greatest of German contrapuntists. Walther 
gives a list of his compositions, which are mostly for the 
church. His "Musical discourses on the Gospel" were 
an important step in the development of oratorio. 

Hunold, Christian Friedrich. A poet, known as Menantes, 
who wrote poems for the Hamburg Theatre 1700 to 1706 ; 
became a professor at Halle, and was much at the Cothen 
Court, where he wrote texts for Bach's cantatas. 

Instrument A name given to a keyed instrument of which 
the strings went from side to side as in the obsolete 
square pianoforte, the key-board being in the middle. 

Inventions. The fifteen Inventions and Symphonies were 
entitled by Bach "A genuine introduction whereby a 



dear method is shown to lovers of the clavier, and 
especially to those who are eager to learn, not only (i) 
of playing in two voices clearly, but also, on making 
further progress, (2) of playing three obbligato parts 
properly and well ; so that they at the same time will 
learn to make good inventions and play them themselves, 
and will also Team what is most important, the art of 
cantabile playing ; and will acquire a good taste in 
composition. Prepared by J. S. Bach, 1723." 

Keiser, Reinhard, was for forty years the celebrated composer 
and conductor of operas at Hamburg. He had as col- 
leagues Teleman and Matheson. He wrote 116 operas, 
and produced many by other composers, particularly 
Handel's Rinaldo. Born near Leipsic, 1673, died 1739. 

Kilhnau, Johann, 1667-1722, Bach's predecessor as cantor at 
the Thomas-schule, was a prolific writer on musical sub- 
jects. Amongst his compositions are six Bible sonatas, 
representing scenes from Scripture on the cembalo. He 
was the first to write chamber sonatas for the clavier 
instead of for several instruments. He was also learned 
in languages, mathematics, and law. He wrote passions, 
cantatas, &c., but his style seems to have soon become 
antiquated, and his works could not hold their own 
against the opera and the younger school. 

Lituus. The cantata No. 118, "O Jesu Christ mein's Leben's 
Licht,"is scored for two litui, comet and three trombones. 
There are no string or organ parts, and the work is 
evidently intended for the open air, perhaps for a funeral. 
There is no reason given for calling the trumpets by their 
Latin name in this instance. 

Lute. This instrument appears in the score of the St John's 
Passion. It was sometimes used instead of a clavecin 
to accompany concerted music. 

Lute-Harpsichord. A keyed instrument with gut strings made 
after Bach's design by Zacharias Hildebrand, an organ 
builder. See p. 1 57- 

Matheson, 1681-1764, wrote 89 volumes chiefly on musical 
subjects, besides being a composer. He was a classical 
scholar, a student of modem languages, law, and political 



science, a good musician, dancer, and fencer. He ap- 
peared on the Hamburg- stage as a singer, composed 
and conducted operas there, became a great friend of 
Handel, was made secretary of the English Legation, 
and cantor and canon of the Cathedral. By his writings 
he materially helped forward the development of the 
church cantata. 

Mizler, von Kolof, Doctor of Philosophy and historian, born 
17 1 1 at Wurtemberg, was a good amateur musician. In 
1731 he went to Leipsic to study divinity and afterwards 
philosophy and music. Here he founded a " Society for 
Musical Science," and became on friendly terms with 
Bach, who seems to have given him some lessons. He 
wrote various works dealing with the philosophy of 
music ; and his chief importance in connection with 
Bach was his "Necrology" in which he gives valuable 
information concerning him. The work is in several 
numbers j unfortunately that portion of it which deals 
with Bach is not in the British Museum Library. 

Motet. The character and scope of the German motet are 
thus described by Spitta, vol. i. p. 54. " It is in several 
parts ; it admits of no obbligato instruments, and its 
subjects are set to a text of the Bible, or to a verse of 
a hymn. The period of its fullest bloom was about 1600, 
when music was essentially polyphonic, vocal, and sacred." 
Under the influence of harmony it gradually changed its 
form, introducing solo voices and instruments, especially 
the organ. 

Oboe da Caccia. Hunting oboe, bent like a knee, and differ- 
ing but slightly from the modem Cor Anglais, or English 
horn. It occurs very frequently in Bach's scores. It is 
described in Grove's Dictionary as a bassoon raised a 
fourth, carrying the bass tone of the latter upwards rather 
than lowering the treble tone of the oboe a fifth. It is also 
called by Bach, Taille de basson, or tenor of the bassoon. 

Oberwerk. The Great organ. 

Oberpositiv. A choir organ of which the wmd-chest is placed 
above the others. 

Orgel-biichlein, " Little organ-book." The first collection was 



made, according to Bach himself, at Cothen between 
17 17 and 1723. The second collection, consisting of six 
chorales, was published and sold by Bach and his sons 
at Leipsic, HaJle, and Berlin. The third collection was 
continued till his death and was not published. The 
last portion was dictated during his blindness to his 
son-in-law Altnikol. The two unpublished parts were 
written on two staves only. The pedal compass in the 
chorales extends to high F and Ft These notes were 
found on the organ of the Lutheran Church at Cothen 
only. This organ is described by Hartmann in 1803 
as "an uncommonly powerful and excellent instrument." 
It had 8 stops on the pedals, 10 on the great, 10 on the 
choir. It is now reduced in size and ruined in order to 
obtain more room in the church. 

Partita. A name given to sets of variations for organ or 
cembalo, and appropriated from the town pipers. 

Pachelbel, Johann, 1653-1706, born at Niiremberg, was assist- 
ant organist at the Church of St Stephen in Vienna, 
whence he moved to Eisenach as Court organist in 1677. 
From Eisenach he went to Erfurt and to Gehren. In 
1690 he became Court organist at Stuttgart ; and after 
a stay of three years at Gotha he became organist of 
a church at Nuremberg till his death. He taught W. 
Friedemann Bach, and Bernhard, son of i£gidius. Ac- 
cording to Gerber, he improved church music, used the 
overture form on the clavier, and continued the good 
work which Froberger had begfun in respect of clavier 
composition. Bach used his chorales as models during 
the Amstadt period. 

Picander. A poet of considerable reputation in his time named 
Christian Friedrich Henrici. Bom I7ooat Stolpen. Went 
to the University at Leipsic, 1720. Became a lawyer, but 
was afterwards able to live by bis poetical compositions, 
though he obtained important posts in Leipsic. Died 
1764. He wrote the text for many of Bach's compositions. 

Positiv. The name given to that portion of an organ and its 
manual which corresponds to our choir organ. In a 
three manual organ there are usually two choir manuals. 



The swell shutters, if any, are only applied to a few stops, 
used generally on a fourth or "echo" manual. Properly 
speaking the positive, called in Italian organs, piccolo, 
had its foundation pipes pitched an octave higher than 
those of the ordinary organ. Its diapason would therefore 
be a four-feet register. 

Regal. Sometimes used to accompany secular cantatas in- 
stead of the clavecin. It was also used for choir practices. 
In 1709 KUhnau in a Memorial to the Council says, "A 
new regal is needed, the old one being constantly in 
need of repair." An inventory of the instruments at the 
Thomas-schule between 1723 and 1750 mentions, "i 
Regal, old and quite done for" ; " i ditto bought 1696." 

The regal was a small reed instrument of the harmonium 
class, but with small pipes to enhance the sound of the 
reeds. It could easily be carried about, and was placed 
on a table when played. It could be made so small as to 
take the size and shape of a large book, hence sometimes 
called Book or Bible-regal. 

Schubart, Christian F. Daniel. Bom 1739. Master of Philo- 
sophy, Theatre director, Court poet of Stuttgart, a good 
amateur musician. Was a good organist and held various 
posts. In 1777 to 1787 he was imprisoned in a castle on 
account of some views expressed in his political paper 
" Deutsche Chronik." Burney, who met him, remarks 
on his great facility as a clavier player. He published 
several compositions and works on music. 

Schiitz, Heinrich. 1585-1672. Brought opera from Italy to 
Germany and also composed Passions. He was con- 
sidered the best German composer of his century. He 
wrote music to the Passions of Matthew, Luke and John 
for the Court of Dresden, where he was Capellmeister. 
These are the greatest works of the kind next to those 
of Bach. His compositions are in the old church tones, 
but strongly influenced by the coming tonality of modem 

Solo Cantatas. Those written for one or more solo voices 
without a chorus. They sometimes conclude with the 
chorale in four parts. 



Spinet Is defined by Hipkins ("The Pianoforte," p. 121) as 
"a Jack keyboard instrument with one string to a note," 
as opposed to the cembalo, harpsichord, &c., which had 
several strings to a note. Adlung says the spinet was 
of limited compass, its lowest octave being " short " and 
it was tuned a fifth above chorus pitch. It was sometimes 
triangular in shape and could be placed on a table ; its 
strings ran from right to left of the performer, as in the 
" Instrument." 

Rttck-positiv. The name given to the choir manual when its 
pipes stand behind the rest of the organ. 

Telemann, G. Philipp. 1681-1767. A poet and musician who 
composed no less than 600 overtures, 12 complete year 
courses of cantatas, 44 passions, 32 compositions for the 
instalment of preachers, 32 so-called oratorios, 20 corona- 
tion pieces, 40 operas, and a mass of other music. Besides 
all this he is described by Walther as the "greatest Poly- 
graph that Germany can show," having written a number 
of books on music, besides a quantity of bad poetry. He 
was successively organist and director of the New Church 
at Leipsic (during which time he mastered the English 
Italian and French languages), Capellmeister in Sorau, 
Concertraeister in Eisenach, Kapellmeister at Frankfort- 
on-the-Maine, Music Director at Hamburg, where he 
formed one of the trio of musicians, Keiser and Matheson 
being the others. He was on very friendly terms with Bach 
and Handel. He was a candidate for the post of Cantor 
at St Thomas, having during his previous residence in 
Leipsic (1701-4) founded a flourishing "Collegium Musi- 
cum" among the students. He had a great reputation 
throughout Germany. Bach copied some of his music, 
and the influence of Telemann, at that time very popular, 
is seen in Bach's cantata " Herr Gott dich loben wir." 

Theorbo. A lute with an extra neck bearing the bass strings. 

Tromba da tirarsi. A slide trumpet, the soprano of the 
trombone. Often used in Bach's scores. 

Viola d'amore. A tenor viol of a siiecially agreeable and 
silvery tone (Walther). It sometimes had sympathetic 
strings, though these were not a necessary adjunct. 



Viola da gamba. Leg viol, the bass of the viol family, held 
between the knees, like the violoncello, when played. It 
had six strings, the lowest of which was the D below the 
bass stave, and its finger-board was fretted. Its tone 
(like that of all the viol class) was weak compared to the 

Viola pomposa, an instrument invented by Bach. See p. 157. 

Violetta. This instrument occurs in the cantata " Herr Gott 
dich loben wir " as an alternative of the " oboe di caccia." 
It is described by Walther as a fiddle (Geige) playing 
an inner part, constructed like a viola, or small viola 
da gamba. 

Violino piccolo. A small violin whose lowest string was a 
fourth higher than that of the violin. Its tuning was 
therefore C, G, D, A, an octave above the viola. It 
frequently occurs in Bach's scores. 

Violoncello piccolo, with five strings. . This instrument occurs 
in the score of a tenor aria in cantata No. 41, " Jesu nur 
sei gepreiset." The additional string was tuned to E, 
and enabled the performer to execute the very florid 
high passages which Bach writes. 

Ziegler, Christiane Mariane von, who wrote words for some 
of the cantatas was born in 1695 at Leipsic. Began to 
publish poems when she was fifteen. Left a widow in 
1722, she devoted herself to writing poetry and the practice 
of the keyboard instruments and lute, and flute, and was 
held in honour by the most artistic society of her time. 
Spitta gives an account of her life in Curtius' Historisches 
Aufsatze, 18S4. See p. 197. 



Abel, Chr. F., So 

„ Karl Friedrich, id. 
Accompanying, his method of, 

103, 104 
Able, Johann Georg, 33 
Altnikol, Johann C, 170 
Anhalt-Cothen, appointed capell- 

meister to Prince Leopold of, 

Arnstadt, appointed organist at, 

25; details of organ at, 26, 

27 ; troubles with Consistory 

of, 29-33 
"Art of Fugue," 134, 135 

"Bach Choir," 143 
Bach as " Familien-Vater," 170 
Bach Family, 3-18 
Bach Gesellschaft, 148 
Bach, Maria Barbara, his cousin, 
33; marries her, id. ; her death, 


Bach Society, English, 142 
Bachs of Thuringia, the, i, 2 
Bibliography, 202-204 
Birnbaum, his reply to Scheibe's 

attack on Bach, 85 
Birth, his, 2i 
Blindness, his, 88 
Bohm, becomes a pupil of, 23 
Books and instruments, his, 80, 


Borner, 25 

Burial, his place of, 89 

Buxtehude, visit to, 28 

Cantatas and the chorale, 91 
Carlsbad, visit to, 51 
Cassel, visit to, 44 
Catalogue of Instrumental Works, 

Orchestra, 194, 195 

Organ, 191-194 
Catalogue of Vocal ff'oris, 177- 

Church Cantatas, 177-188 

Funeral Ode, 188 

Lost Works, 190 

Motets, 188 

Secular Cantatas, 189 
Cembalo, Clavichord, Spinet, Sr'c., 
Works for, 196-201 

Keyed instruments with accom- 
paniment, 200 

Other instruments, 200, 201 
Children, his, 57 
Choirmaster, as, 171 
Christmas Oratorio, the, 144 
Clavichord, his favourite instru- 
ment, 78 
"Clavier, the Wohltemperirte," 


Cothen, appointed capellmeistet 
at, 48 ; leaves, 56 



Death, his, 89 ; notice of in the 

Leipsic Chronicle, id. 
Death of his Father, 21 
Death of his first wife, 51 
Dresden, competition with Mar- 

ehand at, 46, 47 ; journey to, 

46 ; plays organ at, 84 
Drese, Samuel, 48 

Early studies, 22 

Easter oratorio, 145 

Effler, Johann, 25 

Eilmar, G. C, 38 

English Bach Society, 142 

Erdmann, G., 46 

Ernesti, Johann August, 81 ; 

troubles with, 82, 83 
Eyesight, failing, 88 ; he becomes 

blind, id. 

" Familien-Vater," Bach as, 

Fasch, 65 

Father, death of his, 21 

Figured bass, his method of play- 
ing from, 165 

Final illness and death, 89 ; 
notice in the Leipsic Chronicle, 

Fingering, and use of keyed and 
stringed instruments, 152-155 

Flemming, Field Marshal von, 

Forkel, 39, 78, 1 70; anecdote of 

Bach, 41 
Frederick the Great, visit to, 86, 

Frohne, J. A., 38 
"Fugue, Art of," 134, I3S 

Gesner, 81 
Glossary, 205-218 

Corner, 78 ; throws his wig at, id, 
Grace notes (Manieren), 149-151 
Graupner, 65 

Halle, visit to, 43, 45 
Hamburg, competes for organist 

ship at, 52 ; journey to, id. 
Hamburg and Celle, visits to, 24 
Handel, his efforts to meet, 55, 

Harrer, Gottlob, 86, 90 
Hausmann, his portrait of Bach, 

Heitmann, J. Joachim, 53 
Herrings' heads, story of the, 24 
Hildebrand, Zacharias, 157 
Hilgenfeldt, 39, 172 
Home life at Leipsic, 77 
Hurlebusch, anecdote of, 79 ; 

visit from, 79, 80 

Kauffman, G. F., 65 
Kirchoff, G., 46 
Koch, Johann Sebastian, 36 
Krebs, Johann Ludwig, 49 ; 

Johann, T., id. 
Kuhnau, 44 

Lammbrhirt, Tobias, 36 

Last representative of his family, 

Leipsic, appointed Cantor of, 66; 
Cantor, duties of, 59-61 ; differ- 
ences with the Council, 70 ; St 
Thomas's School at, 59 

Leipsic church organs : — 
Thomas Church, Leipsic, l6o- 

University Church, Leipsic, 

Lost works, 147 

LUbeck, visit to, 28 



LUneburg, removes to, 22 
Lute-harpsichord planned by 
Bach, 157 

Magnificat in D, 146 
Marchand, competition wilh, 46, 

Marriage to his cousin, 33, 36 
Marriage to Anna Magdalena 

Wulken, 56 
Mass in B minor, 114 
Mattheson, 54, 55 
Mizler, 85 
Money matters, his carefulness 

in, 80, 174 
Milhlhausen, appointed organist 

of St Blasius at, 33 ; resigns 

appointment, 39 
"Musical OflFering,'' 135; dedi- 
cation to Frederick the Great, 


Ohrdrof, removes to, 21 

" Old Lutherans," the, differences 

with, 38 
Orchestration — 

Accompanying, his method, 

103, 104 

"Ein feste Burg " chorale, 94, 

96, 1 01 
"Es ist nichts gesundes" can- 
tata, 1 08-1 1 1 
" Gottlob 1 nun geht das Jahr 

zu Ende " cantata, 106 
Mass in B minor : 

(Et incamatus), 127 

(Et resurrexit), 128 

(Gloria), 127 

(Kyrie), 126 

(Sanctus), 1 23,. 1 29 
Passion Music (St Matthew), 

104, 105 

Orchestration — continiud — 

" Wir danken dir, Gott " can- 
tata, 112 
Organs — 

As an examiner of, 78 

Description of at Thomas 
Church, Leipsic, 160-162 

Description of at University 
Church, Leipsic, 162, 165 

Pitch of, 169 

Passion Music (St Matthew), 

Personal details, 77 
"Pietists" the, differences with, 

Playing, his, 148 
Portraits of Bach, Hausmann's, 

&c., 85, I7S 
Pupils, list of his, 140 

Reinkbn, 52 
Rolle, Ch. F., 45, 65 

Saxb- Weimar, appointed cham- 
ber-musician to Duke of, 39 ; 
his salary, 40 

Saxon Court, appointed composer 
to the, 84 

Scheibe, his attack on Bach, 85 ; 
Birnbaum's reply, id. 

Schneider, J., 50 

Scbott, 65 

Schubart, Johann Martin, 35, 49 

Self-Criticism, 173 

Silbermann's pianos, 87, 172 

St Blasius, MUhlhausen, appointed 
organist of, 33 ; repairs to the 
organ, 37 ; resigns the post, 39 

Statues of Bach, 176 

Stauber, Pastor, 39 

Stringed instruments, his know- 
ledge of, 157-159 



Teacher, Bach as a, 137, 14O 
Telemann, 65 

VOGLER, J. C, 49 

Walthbr, Johann Gottfried, 33, 

Weimar, appointed chamber- 
musician to Duke of, 39 ; his 
salary, 40 ; joins the Court 
orchestra at, 25 

Widow and daughter, fate of his, 

"Wohltemperirte Clavier,'' the, 

WUlken, Anna Magdalena, mar- 
ries her, 56 
Works : — 

"Art of Fugue," 134, 135 
Canon, " Von Himmel hoch, 
da komm' ich her," 85 
Cantatas — 

" Denn du wirst meine Seele 

nicht in der Holle lassen," 

27, 28 

" Erforsche mich Gott," 107 

" Es ist nichts gesundes, 

108-110, 113 
" Freuedich erloste Schaar," 

" Gleich wie der Regen und 

Schnee," 108 
"Gott ist mein Konig," 

"Gottlob ! nun geht das Jahr 

zu Ende," 106 
" Herr Gott dich loben wir," 

"Ich hatte viel Bekummer- 

niss," 108 
"Jesus nahm zu sich die 

Zwolfe," 66 

Works : Cantatas — continued— 
"Nun Komm, der Heiden 

Heiland," 44 
" O Ewigkeit, du Donner- 

wort," 108 
" The rich man died and was 

buried," 86 
"Thomana sass an noch 

betrubt," 81 
" Vor deinen Thron tret ich," 

"Wir danken dir, Gott," 

Cappricio on the departure of 

his brother, 28 
Chorales — 
"An Wasserfliissen Baby- 
lon," 24, 52 
" Christ, der du bist der helle 

Tag," 25 
"Ein feste Burg," 43, 95, 

96, loi 
" Es ist gewisslich an der 

Zeit," 24 
"OGott.du Frommer Gott," 

' ' When we are in the greatest 

need," 88 
" Wie schon leuchtet uns 

der Morgenstern," 28 
Christmas Oratorio, 106, 144 
Easter Oratorio, 14S 
Magnificat in D, 146 
Mass in B minor, 114, 123- 

" Musical Offering," 13S 
Passion Music (St Matthew), 

104, 105, 114 
Serenade, 51 
Toccata in G, 24 
Variations: "AUein Got in 

der Hoh sei Ehr," 28 



Works ; Chorales — cotUinued — 
" Wohltemperirte Clavier," 
the, 131-134 
Works far Cembalo, Clavichord, 
Spinet, &'c, catalogue of, 196- 
Works, Instrumental — 
Catalogue of, 191-19S 
Orchestra, 194, 195 

Works : Instrumental — con- 
tinued — 

Organ, 191-194 
Works, Vocal — 

Catalogue of, 177-190 

Church Cantatas, 177-188 

Funeral Ode, 18S 

Lost Works, 190 

Motets, 188 

Secular Cantatas, 189