As a music student, I had to study 18th-century counterpoint as a core curriculum. Simply put, the content of that class was how to write a fugue — like Bach did. For those who are not familiar with the term, a fugue is a contrapuntal composition in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts.
Bach was the master of this technique. I don’t think there is a single composer who didn’t study Bach’s music and try to emulate his ingenious techniques; Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schoenberg, Webern… the list is endless.
Some say Bach is Genesis 1:1
But Bach’s influence does not stay within the boundary of classical music. Whether we realize it or not, his music has influenced more than we think; from pop music, visual arts, literature, movies, and television. Some of the movies that have used Bach’s music include Die Hard, Fantasia, Hannibal, The Godfather, Phantom of the Opera, and Unbreakable.
The list of things Bach has influenced goes on and on.
Why is his music so popular even to those who are not professional musicians? Why has this influence moved beyond the classical music world? A German composer said, “Johann Sebastian Bach has done everything completely. He was a man through and through.”
As a musician, I have always admired his music, and it has challenged me musically and intellectually. Bach’s music is both simple and complex, sophisticated and beautifully written – a joy for new and experienced listeners. Bach’s universal and inspirational music has influenced and been part of your life as well, whether you know it or not.
Our first concerts of the season are a great opportunity to dive into Bach’s exquisite work. Purchase your tickets here!