10 Things You Didn’t Know About Johann Sebastian Bach



J.S. Bach

  1. Belonged to an extended line of musicians named Bach, almost eighty of which are known (over half are organists).
  2. Was orphaned before his tenth birthday.
  3. Married twice (Maria Barbara—a second cousin—and Anna Magdalena)
  4. Fathered twenty children.
  5. Spent a month in prison after angering his boss, Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar.
  6. In German, the name Bach spells out four musical notes (B —B flat, A—A natural, C—C natural, H—B natural).
  7. Shared the same eye doctor as George Frideric Handel and suffered a similarly failed surgery.
  8. Owned no property.
  9. Left no will.
  10. Has no known living descendants.

Many of these facts can be found in an accessible and entertaining biography written by Davitt MoroneyBach: An Extraordinary Life.

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