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Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
TODAY IS
March 21
1825 - Premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in London.

1826 - Premiere of Beethoven's String Quartet in Bb, Op. 130. Schuppanzigh Quartet, in Vienna.

1839 - Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, was born.

1839 - Premiere of Franz Schubert's C major Symphony (Great),  Felix Mendelssohn conducting.

1851 - Birth of Russian violinist Adolf Brodsky, associate of Grieg, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

1875 - Birth of Italian violinist Adolfo Betti of the Flonzaley Quartet

1918 - "Sir" Charles Thompson, (Jazz/Bop) piano/violin, was born.

1921 - Arthur Grumiaux,  Belgian violinist, was born.

1936 - Death of Russian composer Alexander Glazunov in Paris.

1939 - Kate Smith recorded (VIctor) Irving Berlin's God Bless America.

1970 - Let It Be, by the Beatles, was released.

1970 - ABC, by the Jacksons, was released.

1972 - Premiere of David Amram's Bassoon Concerto. National Symphony, Antal Dorati  conducting, Kenneth Pasmanick as soloist

1998 - Galina Ulanova, leading ballerina at the Bolshoi for nearly two decades after World War II, died at age 88.
Can You Guess? A piece written by Mussorgsky, only became famous after his death, and an excellent orchestration by Ravel.  It is a depiction of an art exhibit.  Can You Guess what the piece is?
What Else
Happened
Today?
Johann Sebastian Bach
1685-1881
Bach came from a family of musicians.  He probably took his first music lessons from his father, Ambrosius.  In 1695, both his parents died, and Sebastian went to live with his elder brother Johann Christoph, organist at the Church of St. Michael in Ohrdruf.  While there, Sebastian studied at the Klosterschule, which had a very innovative curriculum.  It compressed 6 years of math into 4, and students studied music 4-5 hours per week.  Sebastian excelled here and rose to the head of his class.

In 1700, Sebastian made the 200-mile trip to Lüneburg to study at the Michaelisschule, where he sang in the church choir on Sundays and as needed for other occasions in return for tuition, room, board, and a small allowance. Unfortunately these scholarships only remained until a boy's voice changed.  After that, Sebastian played violin in the orchestra and accompanied the choir on the harpsichord before quitting his career as a student.  At Lüneburg Bach continued to develop his skills as a choral composer.
You are listening to a midi version of the Concerto For Two Violins In D Minor BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach. 

Johann Sebastian Bach (called Sebastian) was born in Eisenach, Germany on March 21, 1685. Sebastian attended Eisenach's Lateinschule, the same school where Martin Luther had studied.  The main subjects taught there were religion and grammar with secondary emphases in history and arithmetic.
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Immediately Download Sheet Music for Violin written by Bach (including the "double concerto you are listening to) from Virtual Sheet Music.  Fast, Convenient. and Reasonable!  Click HERE to See What is Available!
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Songs My Mother Taught Me - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Songs My Mother Taught Me By Antonin Dvorak. Arranged by Fritz Kreisler. Violin and piano (Violin/Piano). Published by Carl Fischer.
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Mother's Day is Not Far Off!
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Did You Guess? Pictures at an Exhibition.  See our October 19 page for a description!
In March, 1703, at age 17, Bach became court musician to Duke Johann Ernst due to his knowledge of pipe organ design and construction. As a youngster in Eisenach, Ohrdruf and Lüneburg, Bach was there when these towns reworked their church, probably working hands on with the guildsmen who did the work.
In the fall of 1705 Bach received a leave of absence to visit Lübeck, home of the brilliant organist Dietrich Buxtehude.  He was granted 4 weeks. When it came time to return to Arnstadt Bach lingered in Lübeck for 3 months without consulting his employers. He was reprimanded.

Bach's contract at Arnstadt required him to play and maintain the organ and that is all. His compositions from this period were therefore produced on his own time. Most of them are for the keyboard, including: toccatas for clavier, several reworkings of compositions by Italian composers (Legrenzi, Corelli, Albinoni), and organ works. Included among the compositions for organ is the prelude on Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, which survives today as the oldest extant manuscript in Bach's own hand.

Bach applied for the prestigious job as the music director of the Thomasschule in 1722. A year later, after two other musicians turned down the job, it was given to Bach.

Bach was in high demand as a teacher because of his knowledge and talent with the organ. He worked as court musician in various posts.  He also began publishing his own work. Bach wrote over 300 musical pieces, including many for violin, including his"Double" Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, but always enjoyed studying music and playing instruments more than writing music.

During his last year, Bach's eyesight began to fail. In 1749 he had two operations to help his vision. On July 28th, three months after his last operation, Bach died at age 65. He was buried at St. John's cemetery in Leipzig. His widow, Anna Magdalena, lived another 10 years before dying in poverty.