The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Bach

J.S. Bach with top of head and wig cropped

Good weekend Widdershins (music appreciation 101)

(You will notice dear Widdershins I’m not even mentioning any of the current events because…well, I’m not.)

In keeping with my and DYB’s somewhat running theme of the Widdershins version of The Lives of the Great Composers, I thought this weekend we could look at some music by Johann Sebastian; prolific composer of many forms of music, both secular and sacred.  He also appears to have been prolific in the marital bed, fathering twenty children!  Oy!

In his instrumental works, not sure about vocal stuff, Bach wrote many pieces in a style known as contrapuntal music, defined as:

having two or more independent but harmonically related melodic parts sounding together

It has also been referred to as counterpoint, from a Latin phrase literally meaning “note against note”.

Fun fact about Bach

He once got into an argument and fight with a bassoonist saying his playing sounded like a nanny goat.


As choir director in Arnsadt, the 20-year old Bach got into fisticuffs with a student named Johann Geyersbach.

The brawl originated thusly: walking softly and carrying a big stick, Geyersbach approached Bach as he crossed the marketplace with his cousin. Geyersbach accused Bach of having insulted his bassoon skill, 18th century lexicon for “Come at Me Bro.” Bach denied having insulted him. Geyersbach retorted, “Whoever insults my bassoon, insults me.”

He then called Bach a “dirty dog” and Bach drew his sword. The two began wrestling until other students tore them apart.

The nanny goat case was taken to court. The court found Bach guilty of having called Geyersbach “Zippelfagottist,” a nanny goat bassoonist. They told him that a man must learn to accept the less talented.

So on to the music.

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And for those of us who have a long memory, a piece also known as the music for a conservative tv talk show called “Firing Line”.

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Class dismissed and take the discussion wherever you wish.  Infamous “open thread”.



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