Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Johann Sebastian Bach

The Baroque period was during the 1600's -1750's.  The music of this time period has counterpoint.   Counterpoint is when there are two or more melodies combined together in a harmonious (pleasing sound) way but you can still hear the individual melodies. In the pieces that my sister and I play, the two unique melodies are played by the right and left hand.  

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685 (same day as me!).  Bach is the youngest of eight children.  When Bach's parents died,  Bach became an orphan and went to live with his older brother who taught him to play the organ.   Bach married twice and all together he had 20 children but ten died as infants.
Bach spent most of his life working as an organist, teacher, and composer and composed 1,100 pieces and all of them were different. When Bach died, his works were soon forgotten.  Only a century later a composer played a piece by him and then people started getting interested in Bach's music. 

I will now play for you a piece by Bach called Badinerie.  This Bach piece is short and quick. My sister Sarah will play two pieces called Gavotte followed by English Suite I: Bourree II.

Did you hear counterpoint?

Which piece did you like best? 


  1. Dear Miriam and Sarah!
    Every time you impress me more and more I hear you girls playing. All the pieces you performed sound very good. I also like your writing about the composer. Keep up a good work!
    P.S. Translated into English last name (Bach) means stream. Great composer Ludwig van Beethoven said “Not ‘Bach’=stream, but ‘Sea’ should be his name”

  2. Dear Miriam and Sarah,

    I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Bach and hearing the two of you perform! I love the way you've positioned the room so that you get to see the grand piano opened up and you are a little turned away from the camera. Always a good idea to limit that personal information! Well done!

    When I was taking piano lessons years ago, my teacher introduced me to Bach Inventions. They were so fun to play because your fingers were moving so fast!

    I'm curious, how many years have you two been playing?

    Terrific post!

    Your proud former teacher,
    Mrs. Y♥llis

  3. Aloha Miriam and Sarah,
    I have always loved Bach and I appreciate you sharing additional information about him. It is so hard to imagine that almost one hundred years went by before someone began playing his music.

    I so enjoyed having the opportunity of watching and listenting to you play. You are very skilled pianists and it was a pleasure to be entertained by you.

    Mahalo nui loa,
    Mrs. Jacobs

  4. Dear Miriam and Sarah,

    I am very impressed with post! You taught me a lot about Bach as I didn't know anything much about him. How interesting that he had 20 children!

    Your playing is just amazing! My husband, Nate and my 3 year old nephew, Wyatt both agreed!

    I think both pieces were equally outstanding.

    You girls are very talented and one day maybe you will be famous pianists yourselves!

    Your blogging buddy,
    Mrs M☀rris

  5. Hello, Miriam and Sarah,
    I happened upon your blog through a twitter reference and what fun to learn about Bach AND hear your beautiful music!!! Thank you, what a delight to my evening!

  6. Wow you both did a great job.

  7. Dear Miriam and Sarah,
    Great post, I learned something new about Bach. You performed really well and you look great at your new grand piano. I hope you will continue to improve and some day you could teach your own kids to play and appreciate music.
    I'm very proud of you,
    Love you,
    Grandma Tanya

  8. Dear Olga

    Thank you for leaving me a comment and teaching me something new about Bach. I can't wait for you to come over and hear me play Fur Elise by Ludving Van Beethoven.

    Love you!


  9. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Thank you for leaving me a comment. I am very glad that I was your student and hope that Sarah gets you as a teacher too.

    I have been playing the piano for three years and my sister has been playing for two years.

    I listened to Bach Invention number thirteen and enjoyed it very much. Which Invention did you play?

    Your former student,

  10. Dear Miriam and Sarah,

    Wow you both played the piano with such skill and grace!
    I really enjoyed sitting here and watching your perfomance.

    What, I also loved was your history lesson on Johann Sebastian Bach. It really finished your post on a wonderful musical note.

    Well done girls!

    Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday!

    From your blogging pal,

  11. Dear Mrs. Jacobs,

    Thank you for leaving me a great comment. I agree I couldn't believe that a century went by before anyone played his music. I am glad that finally someone discovered him and now we all can enjoy it.

    What does Mahalo nui loa mean?


  12. Dear Mrs Morris,

    Thank you for leaving me complimentory comment. I also liked all the pieces. Bach is one of my favorite composers.

    Hope you stop by again.


  13. Dear Alison,

    Thank you for leaving me a comment. I am glad you found my blog and hope that you will visit again.


  14. Dear :) Miriam, Sarah :),

    I loved how you both played the piano it was amazing.

    I play the piano and I wish I could play as good as you girls can.

    I liked watching both of your perfomance.

    I loved learning about Bach.

    The lastest piece of music which I am playing is called The Rider and I am enjoying learing how to play this piece of music with my music teacher on my piano.


    From your pal,

  15. Dear Miriam and Sarah,'
    Each time I hear you play it gets better and better. It was difficult for me to pick a favorite out of the pieces you played because they were all so beautiful. You girls are very talented, and maybe one day you will try to compose your own music.

  16. Dear Miriam and Sarah,

    Thank you for that beautiful music! Bach is my favorite classical music composer, and your playing reminded me why I love his music so much. It is very gentle and melodic (not as dramatic as Beethoven and Mozart) and you both did a fantastic job showing how pretty his music is. You are both remarkably talented musicians!

    Thank you for the great information you provided about Bach and his music. I think it is amazing that people didn't really appreciate his music until 100 years after he died.

    Do you have a favorite classical music composer?

    Mr. Salsich


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