My 2015 New Year’s Resolution is to more fully understand the music and the musician, Johann Sebastian Bach.
I’ve been a musician for a long time and his name creeps up everywhere. Other musicians and historians are always saying things like, “Obviously Bach is the greatest composer ever,” “Bach is my hero,” “Bach was the true genius of improvisation,” and “there is no more beautiful piece of music than [insert piece composed by Bach here].”
I hear people say things like that and I just kind of nod my head. I understand the words that they are saying, I just don’t know why, and for that reason I can’t simply agree. I do know that I enjoy his music, but the statements that folks make are so grandiose, as compared to any other composers musicians, people seem to think that Bach was the best.
My goal for 2015 is to know why. I’ve never studied his compositions. I’ve rarely listened to his music (at least as compared to artists). I don’t know anything about his biography. I couldn’t compare his music to that of his contemporaries and I couldn’t compare his music to more modern composers. By the end of 2015 I want to have changed that.
This photo depicts some of the tools, recordings and books I will be using to start my journey of discovery.
- Thelonious Monk – Genius of Modern Music
- Suzuki Violin Piano Accompaniment
- Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course (as I am an adult beginner pianist)
- What to Listen for in Music – Aaron Copland
- J.S. Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier – performed by Bernard Roberts
- Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven by John Eliot Gardiner
- Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter
- My 10 Year Anniversary Metronome from the Old Town School of Folk Music
- My Casio keyboard