Johann Sebastian Bach: 10 astonishing child prodigies playing the German composer (and 10 great facts)

Google Doodle

Google Doodle is celebrating musical prodigy Sebastian Bach’s 334th birthday by giving everyone the opportunity to create melodies in his name.

How? The latest Doodle gets you to put down a few notes. Wait a few moments for the AI technology to ‘harmonise’ those and transform it into a four-voice piece similar to Bach’s musical signature.

Born in 1685 to a family of musicians, Johann Sebastian Back become both an incredibly talented Baroque organist and one of the greatest composers of our time – and his legacy lives on.

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He started learning about music a child, so we thought we’d put together a clip of some of the most talented children playing his music – hundreds of years later. Many of these children have grown up to be great musicians. You'll see why.

Here are some interesting facts about Bach, too.

1. Anke Chen playing a Bach/Mozart combo

Bach fact one: He had 20 children: seven with his first wife and thirteen with his second, Anna Magdalena Wülcken.

2. Tommy, a nine-year-old boy, plays Bach Prelude suite 1 by cello beautifully

Bach fact two: His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach was a 7th generation musician, and carried on the tradition by teaching him how to play the violin.

3. Three-year-old Charlotte playing Allegretto on the piano

Bach fact three: He was orphaned at the age of 10 years old. While living in Ohrdruf, Germany, his older brother Johann Christoph Bach taught him the organ.

4. 11-year-old organist Daniel Colaner

Bach fact four: In 1714 the Crown Prince of Fredrick of Sweden gave him a diamond ring because he was so taken with his playing.

5. This 8- year- old violinist plays Bach Partita effortlessly

Bach fact five: The fifth and final movement of the Partita in D Minor for solo violin, “Chaconne,” was written to commemorate his wife (and cousin) Maria, who died suddenly in 1720.

6. There's this 12-year-old boy

Bach fact six: He spent a month in prison trying to quit his job. Musicians like Bach tended to employed by nobility and treated without much respect. In 1708 he began working for the Duke of Sachsen-Weimer, William Ernst as an organist and then orchestra leader.

Bach tried and failed to get a promotion, which led to his resignation and, angered, the Duke threw him in jail for a month.

7. Four-year-old violin prodigy, Nicholas playing at the Bach festival

Bach fact seven: Bach was a deeply religious man, and would put the initials ‘I.N.J’ which was an abbreviation for the Latin In Nomine Jesu (in the name of Jesus) on his manuscripts.

8. 12-year-old Sujari Britt is a musical genius

Bach fact eight: In his later years he was slowly going blind and after a failed surgery for his eyesight, he suffered a stroke and died in Leipzig on 28 July, 1970 at 65 years of age.

9. A five-year-old Stelios Kerasidis performing Bach to a crowd

Bach fact nine: The entire span of his career was spent in a small, contracted area of Germany that is smaller than most of the States in America.

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