Empfindsamkeit: Bach's Life And Music

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Empfindsamkeit originated in north Germany during the mid-18th century. It translates to sensibility or sentimental. Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach, also known as C.P.E. Bach, was one of the composers who was able to capture empfindsamkeit in his music. C.P.E. Bach believed that music should touch the heart of player and audience and move one’s emotions, specifically in his work Versuch uber die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen. He mandated that music must be played from the soul. C.P.E. Bach warned about using too many ornaments as well. His music was described by Marburg as being able to precisely touch someone’s heart. Empfindsamkeit put a lot of weight on expression through music. Musicians were encouraged to express deep felt emotions…show more content…
Bach was the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach. C.P.E. Bach kept his father’s legacy alive and had a successful music career following his main teacher’s footsteps, his father. He played harpsichord for Frederick the Great, a flute player, for about 30 years. Much like his father’s job at Leipzig, C.P.E. became a Kantor in Hamburg at five churches and a Latin school. During his time at Hamburg, he composed a vast amount of music varying from symphonies, to chamber music, to harpsichord concertos. He wrote Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments which teaches on keyboard style of the 18th century is still used…show more content…
However the prior baroque period, emphasized complexity and severity. This was a major contrast between the two. C.P.E. Bach was the most well-known composer associated with empfindsamkeit. C.P.E. Bach originally started studying law at Leipzig University. He then moved to study at Frankfurt an der Oder in 1734. He continued his music playing throughout his college career. C.P.E. graduated in 1738. Not long after, he received an unexpected letter from the prince of Prussia. He became the prince’s harpsichordist for the next thirty years. C.P.E. Bach later died on December 14, 1788. His legacy lived on through his work, Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments. In conclusion, C.P.E. Bach had a major impact on empfindsamkeit. Empfindsamkeit translates to the “sensitive style”. Empfindsamkeit allows for more self-expression than in the baroque period. C.P.E. decreed that music should be played from the soul and should touch the heart. Out of the Bach sons, C.P.E. is the most associated with empfindsamkeit. C.P.E. Bach said “A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved. He must of necessity feel all of the affects that he hopes to arouse in his audience, for the revealing of his own humour will stimulate a like humour in the
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