Jul 20, 2012

Failed First - Bach

I put this video on so if you feel so inclined to see if you know the music I'm talking about you can listen. You don't have to watch, unless you like to see the deep knee bends of the 1st violinist :)


From the time that we are little kids, music appreciation classes are full of the three B's - Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.  In fact, even if you have never listened to a piece of classical music, you probably still have some awareness as to who Bach is. 

But Bach didn't just wake up one morning and walk down the stairs a brilliant composer.  He started out helping with the organs in churches, many of which were powered by young boys behind the instrument, jumping up and down on the air bags to keep the sound generating through the instrument. 

He progressed, as did his composing career.  It is believed somewhere around 1705, when Bach would have been about 18 years old, he wrote his famous Toccata and Fugue.  (Again, video link to jog the memory - I know you've heard this one).

I know what you are thinking, at 18 Bach wrote this and had it made. 

Nope.  He really wanted to move up, to become a musician for a court and so, in about 1717, he created his form of a musical resume - the Brandenburg Concertos.  This is a work of six different concertos, each with three movements, that he utilized to show off his composition skills and his ability to incorporate multiple instruments.

Bach didn't get the job. In fact, during Bach's career, he had a falling out with an employer and got jailed for a month because the head honcho was annoyed.  No one even knew the Brandenburg concertos existed until after he died.  It was a dream job, or so he thought at the time.

In spite of these set backs, Bach went on to compose pieces for 30 years. 30 years? In the 1700's!?!  The longevity of his career, the fact that everyone, musical or not, over the last 300 years has known his name is because Bach knew what he wanted.  He did not give up and he found his success.

If Bach could make it, why can't you?

7 comments :

Elise Fallson said...

Thanks for the music and history refresher. I just spent a nice time listening to this with my kids. And what an inspiration. (:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bach probably never knew he made it. He kept trying anyway.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I guess that's supposed to make it easier going to my day job. I won't give up but I believe Bach had a wee bit more talent in his field than I do. Thanks for the boost

Peggy Eddleman said...

I love those kinds of stories-- ones that show that it just really takes a LOT of hard work to get to where you want to be. It's not just that they're born with greatness. It takes mass amounts of effort. Thanks for sharing!

Peggy Eddleman said...

(And on an unrelated side note-- you're twitter "follow me" button isn't leading to you.)

elizabeth seckman said...

Excellent. I feel smarter and encouraged at the same time!

goatman said...

We were forced to listen to Ferde Grofe (Grand Canyon Suite)!!
The three B's would have been a life savor.