The History of the Biography About Johann Sebastian Bach



An entertaining guidepost to the perfect Bach biography for you.



This website is – like all Bach websites in our "Johann Sebastian Bach Mission" – constructed in a way to get to your destination via the navigation on your left in no time. However: On this page, on which you are reading currently, there is much more exciting stuff related to the subject. Plus, you may read how to profit most from this website related to the biographies about Johann Sebastian Bach.


To the point – and that is to say here and now – you get to a selection of biographies directly here. With just one click here.



It goes without saying that 7,000 biographies mean, that all early biographies which are released in a new edition, again and again, are included in the counting. Why shouldn't they, if after more than 200 years a biography is so exciting, that a new printing edition is successful? The littlest biography but one is what you see in the picture above. It's written by Nikolaus Forkel, one of the really great of the "Bach biographer company". However: That small is this biography existing not earlier than some 70 years ago. Yes, and there is one even smaller.



Music calendars, music calendars ... did you know "Bach 4 You" offers them in 2 Bach shops? Learn more.



7,000 Biographies in Almost 270 Years: The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach


In almost 270 years, authors have written some 7,000 biographies about Johann Sebastian Bach. This website is a small guide to the world of literature about the ingenious composer.


In addition to these 7,000 biographies, films, audio books, radio plays, short biographies, and novels have been produced, which are based on a biography but are more stories than biographies.


7,000 biographies are only a fraction of all publications about the exceptional musician because the total number of all publications about Johann Sebastian Bach or his family are 54,000 shorter, longer and incredibly detailed written works.



The necrology of 1750 is the first biography of Johann Sebastian Bach. The necrology, as it was called at that time, only became known to a wider public four years later. However, three authors wrote it shortly after the composer's death. One of them was Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, one of the master's four famous sons and five musical sons.



A Guidepost to the Biography about Johann Sebastian Bach


What is this website about? It is simply about accompanying you to an optimal biography about Johann Sebastian Bach, faster than you lose interest in the great musician. Why this Bach mission? Because we want you to have fun with Bach so that you can report about him, "transport" our personal message and thus make more people aware of this super musician. And a second reason? Because we live in a society of information overload. Just 30 years ago, it was an exciting goal to find out where there was information on a topic. Today, the challenge is to find the best and most reliable as quickly as possible information among dozens, often hundreds, of similar offerings. And this is also the case with the Bach biographies: We want to support you in finding the right one.



1802: The First "Real" Biography about Johann Sebastian Bach Comes into Being



The first "real" biography about Johann Sebastian Bach. The necrology half a century before was not a "real" biography.



Just 62 years after the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Nikolaus Forkel wrote his biography about the master. This biography is still based on information from contemporary witnesses, namely statements by the sons of Bach. Forkel corresponded with Carl Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann. Forkel himself was an organist and a music researcher. Today he is regarded as one of the first historical musicologists ever. He lived from 1749 to 1818.



1873: The Most Detailed Biography of All Time about Johann Sebastian Bach Is Published



The biography no. 2 of importance about Johann Sebastian Bach. Shown is the historical second volume, which was published seven years after the first one.



Even today you can buy this super work hot off the press. And this biography is still published in two volumes by the Verlag Breitkopf und Härtel in Leipzig. Of course, the picture shows a book that was sold a long time ago and that we bought second-hand.


Philipp Spitta published his first part of his biography about Johann Sebastian Bach in 1873. After all, it was a period of 71 years from one important work about Bach to the next, namely since his predecessor Forkel.



1905 + 1908: One of the Great German Bach Biographies Comes Into Being ... First in French


Yes, it is exactly this Albert Schweitzer that you associate with Africa. Schweitzer was not only a medical doctor in Lambarene, but also a Nobel Prize Winner and musicologist. Plus? A Bach biographer.



1928: A British Music Scientist Is Bach Expert and More than a Bach Biographer

Of course this author and scientist is not missing in the very successful Bach biographers, even if he is regarding his name for Bach enthusiasts is probably the most unknown of the best-known Bach connoisseurs: Charles Sanford Terry.



2002 - 2019: The Bach Biography Arrives" in the 21st Century



There is absolutely no question: The Harvard Professor Christoph Wolff is the most famous expert in the subject of Bach of today and in the 3rd Millennium. However, his book is really very detailed and maybe "hard to digest".


Tadaa, the First Detailed Biography for Children. Presented by the Little Cherubs Veit and Balthazar



It was not easy for the author of this biography, Peter Bach, Jr., actually to write a biography. However, it's a biography, perfect for children. That is why the whole life of Johann Sebastian Bach and his family is correctly handed down, but the exciting episodes of the Thomas Cantor and his family are highlighted.



The Johann Sebastian Bach Coloring Book and the Maybe Shortest Bach Biography in the Universe



Without letting them know too much of the musical background, this coloring book together with some music calendars for children, are a perfect approach to guide children to classical music.



33 Music Calendars, 33 Composers Calendars Plus – It Goes Without Saying – 33 Bach Calendars, Too



There is even a matching Bach calendar with watercolors from the biography about Johann Sebastian Bach for children. It's available in version 2022 + 2023. 33 Bach calendars. 3 sizes. EU + US style To the shop.




Almost the smallest Bach biography and the 2022 pipe organ calendar. Both are perfect music gifts. To the shop.




Music calendars, pipe organ calendars, Bach calendars, composers calendars ... on "Zazzle" in the US style = 50:50 style, on "Bach 4 You" in the European style learn more.





Renate Bach Publishing "Bach 4 You" – Bildstrasse 25, 74223 Flein / Germany – Phone: +49 7131 576761 – info (at) 



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