Happy Birthday, Johann

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The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. ~ Johann Sebastian Bach

I began playing string bass in 9th grade and continued as a music major in college.  It was during those eight years that I fell in love with classical music, but in particular music of the Baroque period.  Baroque music is perfect for string ensembles, and I loved being the keeper of the continuous bass line under several independent and overlapping melodies and countermelodies. Besides playing string bass, I spent countless hours in the practice rooms working on my Bach Two Part Inventions for piano.  I felt so satisfied when I “mastered” one.

The word baroque comes from the Portuguese word barroco which means oddly shaped pearl.  I guess the period is aptly named since it was so much more ornate than the simplicity of the Renaissance period.  There is something soothing about the binary form of Baroque music; you know what to expect; it is reassuring.

Happy listening!

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 1st movement

 

7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Johann

  1. Lovely tribute to J.S. Bach. As a pianist, I remember all the hours practicing his “Inventions”, never really feeling like I mastered them. But they were such fun, and your post brought back those fond memories. Thanks!

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  2. Wow! This resonates with me. Your examination of the word baroque is similar to my own. In English, it sometimes has the connotation of grotesque or exaggerated. The art, the architecture, and the music of the era were so ornate and embellished as to strain sensibilities and tolerances of the times.

    My classroom background soundtrack was always baroque instrumental music because it maintains a relatively steady volume. It also gave me an opportunity to introduce students to Bach, as well as Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Scarlatti. I was not a music teacher; I taught English, but I enjoyed drawing in other concepts as well.

    This post made my day. And I mean that.

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    1. Thanks. I almost always have music playing in the background of my ELA class when students are working independently. I vary the genres, but yesterday I had a boy ask me if I could play that “jazz stuff” (smooth jazz as opposed to the standards) because it made him feel happy. He had no idea how happy he made me!

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