Bach, Johann Sebastian

[ (bahkh, bahk) ]

An eighteenth-century German composer, organist, and choirmaster, commonly considered the greatest composer of the baroque era. His output was enormous and includes cantatas, concertos, oratorios, organ pieces, sonatas for solo instruments, and suites for both solo instruments and orchestra; all of it is marked by elaborate counterpoint. Some of Bach's best-known works are the six Brandenburg Concertos; the Toccata and Fugue in D-minor for organ; and an arrangement of a hymn, “Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring,” for chorus and orchestra.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.