Bach family

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For people named Bach, see Bach (surname).

The Bach family was of importance in the history of music for nearly two hundred years, with over 50 known musicians and several notable composers, the best-known of whom was Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750).[1] A family genealogy was drawn up by Johann Sebastian Bach himself in 1735, his 50th year, and completed by his son Carl Philipp Emanuel.

The Bach family never left Thuringia until the sons of Sebastian went into a more modern world. Through all the misery of the peasantry at the period of the Thirty Years' War this clan maintained its position and produced musicians who, however local their fame, were among the greatest in Europe. So numerous and so eminent were they that in Erfurt musicians were known as "Bachs", even when there were no longer any members of the family in the town. Sebastian Bach thus inherited the artistic tradition of a united family whose circumstances had deprived them of the distractions of the century of musical fermentation which in the rest of Europe had destroyed polyphonic music.[1]

Ancestors of Johann Sebastian Bach[edit]

Family house, Wechmar

Four branches of the Bach family were known at the beginning of the 16th century, and a Hans Bach of Wechmar is documented to have been alive in 1561, a village between Gotha and Arnstadt in Thuringia, who is believed to be the father of Veit Bach.[1]

  • Veit (Vitus) Bach (c. 1550 – 1619, Wechmar) was, according to Johann Sebastian's genealogy, "a white-bread baker in Hungary" who had to flee Hungary because he was a Lutheran, settling in Wechmar. He "found the greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill".
  • His son Johannes Bach I (de) (c. 1580 – 1626) "der Spielmann" (lit. "the player"), was the first professional musician of the family. "At first took up the trade of baker, but having a particular bent for music" he became a piper.
  • His second grandson Christoph (1613–1661) was an instrumentalist.
  • His first great-grandson Johann Ambrosius was a violinist, and the father of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Others born before 1685[edit]

Johann Ambrosius' uncle, Heinrich of Arnstadt, had two sons: Johann Michael and Johann Christoph, who are among the greatest of J. S. Bach's forerunners, Johann Christoph being once supposed to be the author of the motet, Ich lasse dich nicht (I will not leave you), formerly ascribed to Sebastian Bach and now confirmed to be his (BWV 159a).[citation needed] Another descendant of Veit Bach, Johann Ludwig, was admired more than any other ancestor by Sebastian, who copied twelve of his church cantatas and sometimes added work of his own to them.[1]

Descendants of Johann Sebastian Bach[edit]

Family tree[edit]

Main branch[edit]

?
Hans
fl. 1561
Veit
ante 1578
Veit
*? †1619
Johann(es)
*1550 †1626
Philippus
*~1552 †?
Caspar
*~1570 † post 1640
Johann(es)
*1604 †1673
Christoph
*1613 †1661
Heinrich
*1615 †1692
Wendell
*~1580 †?
Lips
*~1590 †1620
Andreas
*1587 †1637
Heinrich
*? †1535
Caspar
*~1600 †?
Melchior
*1603 †1634
Johann(es)
*1612 †1632
Nicolaus
*1618 †1637
Erfurt
branch
Eisenach
branch
Arnstadt
branch
Wendel
*1629 †1682
Johann[3]
*1621 †1686
Johann Jacob
*1655 †1718
Johannes Poppo
*1659 †1738
Johann Stephan
* post 1665 †1717
Johann Ludwig[4]
*1677 †1731
Nicolaus Ephraim
*1690 †1660
Georg Michael
*1703 †1771
Samuel Anton
*1713 †1781
Gottlieb Friedrich[5]
*1714 †1785
Johann Christian
*1743 †1814
Johann Philipp[6]
*1752 †1846

Erfurt branch[edit]

Johann(es) [Hans]
*1604 †1673
Johann Christian
*1640 †1682
Johann Aegidius
*1645 †1713
Johann Nicolaus
*1653 †1682
Johann Jacob
*1668 †1692
Johann Christoph
*1673 †1727
Johann Balthasar
*1673 †1691
Johann Bernhard
*1676 †1749
Johann Christoph
*1685 †1740
Johann Nicolaus
*1682 †?
Johann Samuel
*1694 †1720
Johann Christian
*1696 †?
Johann Günther
*1703 †1756
Johann Ernst
*1722 †1777
Johann Friedrich
*1706 †1743
Johann Aegidius
*1709 †1746
Wilhelm Hieronymus
*1730 †1754
Johann Georg
*1751 †1797

Eisenach branch[edit]


Christoph
*1613 †1661
Georg Christoph
*1642 †1697
Johann Ambrosius
*1645 †1695
Johann Christoph
*1645 †1693
Johann Valentin
*1669 †1720
Johann Christoph
*1671 †1721
Johann Balthasar
*1673 †1691
Johann Jonas
*1675 †1685
Johann Jacob
*1682 †1722
Johann Nikolaus
*1683 †?
Johann Sebastian[7]
*1685 †1750
Johann Ernst
*1683 †1739
Johann Christoph
*1689 †1740
Johann Lorenz
*1695 †1773
Johann Elias
*1705 †1755
Tobias Friedrich
*1695 †1758
Johann Bernhard
*1700 †1743
Johann Christoph
*1702 †1756
Johann Heinrich
*1707 †1783
Johann Andreas
*1713 †1779
Wilhelm Friedemann[8]
*1710 †1784
Carl Philipp Emanuel[9]
*1714 †1788
Johann Gottfried Bernhard
*1715 †1739
Gottfried Heinrich
*1724 †1763
Johann Christoph Friedrich[10]
*1732 †1795
Johann Christian[11]
*1735 †1782
Johann Michael[12]
*1745 †1820
Philipp Christiann Georg
*1734 †1809
Ernst Carl Gottfried
*1738 †1801
Ernst Christian
*1747 †1822
Johann Christoph Georg
*1747 †1814
Johann Sebastian
*1748 †1778
Wilhelm Ernst
von Colson

*? †?
Anna Philippiana Friederica
*1755 †1804
Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst
*1759 †1845
Christina Luise
*? †1852
descendants
Johann Georg
*1786 †1874
Georg Friedrich
*1792 †1860
Ludwig Albrecht Hermann Ritter
*? †?
Carolina Augusta Wilhelmine
*1800 †1871
Juliane Friederica
*1800 †?
descendants

Arnstadt branch[edit]

Heinrich
*1615 †1692
Johann Christoph
*1642 †1703
Johann Michael[13]
*1648 †1694
Johann Günther
*1653 †1683
Johann Nicolaus
*1669 †1753
Johann Christoph
*1676 †?
Johann Friedrich
*~1682 †1730
Johann Michael
*1685 †?
Johann Christoph
*1705 †1799
Johann Christian
*1717 †1738
Johann Heinrich
*1709 †?

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bach, Johann Sebastian". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 124–130. 
  2. ^ New Grove Bach Family, p. 98, p. 111
  3. ^ Nephew of Lips Bach.
  4. ^ The so-called "Meininger Bach", composer.
  5. ^ Court organist, court painter Meinigen.
  6. ^ Musician, painter.
  7. ^ Wed in his first marriage to second cousin Maria Barbara (1684–1720); in second marriage, 1721, to Anna Magdalena Wilcke (1701–1760). J. S. Bach have had 20 children in total. Here below the complete list:
    • First marriage
    Catherine Dorothea (*1708 †1774)
    Wilhelm Friedemann (*1710 †1784)
    Johann Christoph (*†1713)
    Maria Sophia (*†1713)
    Carl Philipp Emanuel (*1714 †1788)
    Johann Gottfried Bernhard (*1715 †1739)
    Leopold Augustus (*1718 †1719)
    • Second marriage
    Christiana Sophia Henrietta (*1723 †1726)
    Gottfried Heinrich (*1724 †1763)
    Christian Gottlieb (*1725 †1728)
    Elisabeth Juliana Friederica (*1726 †1781)
    Ernestus Andreas (†1727)
    Regina Johanna (*1728 †1733)
    Christiana Benedicta (*1729 †1730)
    Christiana Dorothea (*1731 †1732)
    Johann Christoph Friedrich (*1732 †1795)
    Johann August Abraham (†1733)
    Johann Christian (*1735 †1782)
    Johanna Carolina (*1737 †1781)
    Regina Susanna (*1742 †1809)
  8. ^ The so-called "Dresden Bach" or "Halle Bach".
  9. ^ The so-called "Hamburg Bach" or "Berlin Bach".
  10. ^ The so-called "Bückeburg Bach".
  11. ^ The so-called "Milan Bach" or "London Bach".
  12. ^ The music theorist.
  13. ^ Johann Michael had a daughter, Maria Barbara, who was Johann Sebastian Bach's first wife.

External links[edit]