Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I received a copy of JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACK by Rick Marschall, from Thomas Nelson. It is a biography that is part of the Christian Encounters series. I never learned much about Bach, so I was excited to enter his world. He is famous for his music, but he should also be remembered for his strong ties to Christianity.

I never knew he began his works with “Jesu, juva.” It is also how the book begins, which I feel ties the story together well. The biography is divided into eight chapters. It also includes an introduction, a part about his family, a chronology, an annotated glossary, notes, bibliography, and acknowledgements. I had never known much about his family, which made him seem like a real person. I also learned a few fun facts about him, such as that he married his cousin. That was not uncommon for the time period, but becoming famous for music was. The tales recounted in this biography gave me a new appreciation for the man I once studied in elementary school. Schools should teach the history behind the person, not just the music. It makes the notes come alive. After I read the book, I looked up some of his music and this time listening, I had a greater understanding.