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Sydney Menees

Macho Bach

April 13, 2008 at 12:58 AM

I was playing unaccompanied Bach too delicately for my teacher's taste. Then we had the following discussion:

"How many children did Bach have?"
"I don't know."
"Twenty one! He was all man!!"

My Bach is so much better now.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 1:24 AM
Macho? Not only did he have 57 kids, but if he doesn't like your performance he's liable to kill you, as we read below.
From Sydney Menees
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 1:43 AM
Ach so!
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 2:03 AM
YA! Als unsgenabe wit wollen schuss horen sie geigen speilen. Der grossen schlappen.
From Benjamin K
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 5:33 AM
The guys who posted this (rhetoric) question seem to be 100% clueless about the time in which Bach lived.

First, IIRC only 7 of Bach's children survived childhood, infant/child mortality in those days was extremely high. Second, having a handful of adult children was the only available insurance for being looked after at old age in those days, unless you were wealthy.

If you compare Bach with his contemporaries he wasn't any more testosterone driven than any other family man of his day.

From Megan Chapelas
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 8:12 AM
Jim,

Wie bitte??

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM
I don't believe that the number of kids fathered by any man or that man's testosterone level has anything to do with his music or how it should be played. Chopin got tuberculosis as a young man, and his health, particularly his pulmonary health, was very fragile until his death at age 39. Nevertheless, he wrote plenty of robust knockout pieces.
From Bart Meijer
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 6:21 PM
Bach's wife (wives, rather) must have loved him very much.
From Bart Meijer
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 6:22 PM
Great that your Bach playing has improved!
From Tom Holzman
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 8:32 PM
Bach had two wives and 20 kids. I think he had seven with one wife and 13 with the other.
From Neil Cameron
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 8:53 PM
Some of you are entirely too precious. I'd suggest comprehension lessons.

It's clear that the point was made rheotorically by Sydnee's teacher and that it benefitted her Bach interpretation. To carry on about the the accuracy of Bach's testosterone is shooting a very large arrow in entirely the opposite direction of the target.

Now on the other hand, Jim's reading of the post is, ummm, ahhh, in character. :)

Neil

From Laurie Niles
Posted on April 13, 2008 at 10:40 PM
I thought it was 22 kids actually. At any rate, he was, without a doubt...prolific.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 14, 2008 at 4:06 AM
This could be a trivia contest. I just looked up the facts about JS Bach on Wikipedia. Bach had two wives, who bore a total of 20 children. Only 10 of the children survived to adulthood. Laurie is right: Bach was very prolific.
From Christopher Ciampoli
Posted on April 14, 2008 at 5:59 PM
Last semester someone wrote on one of my jury sheets:

"Play your Bach with a fuller sound...after all he had twenty kids so he had to be romantic."

From Tom Holzman
Posted on April 14, 2008 at 8:16 PM
Christopher - do not let the A-415 crowd know the identity of the jury member. His/her days are clearly numbered.
From Ray Randall
Posted on April 15, 2008 at 3:48 AM
A little known fact; Bach was the discoverer of the chemical formula for viagra. After his death the formula became lost. It was found hidden in some organ pipes written on parchment in little squiggles that someone interpreted as music and copied it down and published it as the Chaccone. It wasn't until a few years ago that a Pfizer Chemist, an amateur violinist, while trying to play the Chaccone discovered that the notes, when read backwards and upside down, were a chemical formula. He went to his laboratory, followed the formula directions and the rest is history.

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