Music and Worship Student Presentations

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Event Date



National Conference on Undergraduate Research


Cheney, WA


Many musicians stand in awe of J. S. Bach’s ability to create a masterpiece. In fact, few question his greatness as a musician, but the source of that greatness is a different discussion altogether. Was Bach’s excellent musicianship a result of good DNA, or did other causes inspire his excellence? My paper aims to identify the external influences that shaped Bach into the musician that he was. What environmental factors influenced Bach? Did his education play a role in his composition style? How did his career positions affect his works? Did Bach unite his religious beliefs with his music?

Many biographies of Bach indicate causes for his musical excellence other than his natural abilities. I expound on these items and discuss how each factor influenced Bach’s compositions. First, I talk about Bach’s educational background and give examples of how each of his scholastic experiences introduced him to different musical skills that he would later use to compose. Next, I highlight each of his major career positions and explain how each position inspired him to write different genres. Finally, I draw attention to Bach’s religious beliefs and the influence that they had on his compositional style. These examples illustrate that Bach was a man who combined his natural musical abilities with his everyday circumstances and achieved many accomplishments as a result. From this research, I draw the conclusion that although Bach was a brilliant musician, he could not have achieved such immense success without the external factors such as his educational background, his career positions, and his religious beliefs


J. S. Bach, influence, influences, greatness, education, career, positions, beliefs, musician, music

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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