instance, in Erfurt the town musicians were known as 'the Bachs,' even though there had ceased to be any Bach among them. Another proof of the strong family feeling (and a valuable source of information) is the genealogy of the Bach family, begun by the great Sebastian himself, but chiefly composed by his son Carl Philip Emanuel [App. p.526 "The genealogy was not written, but added to, by Emanuel Bach"]. It contains fifty-three male members of the family, and gives the origin and dates of birth and death of each, and the most important events in their lives. This genealogical table soon became circulated amongst the family, and a copy of it in Emanuel's handwriting is to be found in the Royal Library at Berlin. For an account of the Bach-literature see the article on Johann Sebastian.
The following table exhibits the chief members of this remarkable family, and contains all those whose lives are touched on below. The same numeral is affixed to each in both genealogy and biography.
|1. Hans Bach, at Wechmar about 1561.|
|2. Veit Bach, † 1619.|
|3. Hans B. 'd. Spielmann,' † 1626.|
|4. Johannes, Erfurt, 1601-73.||6. Joh. Christoph; Erfurt and Arnstadt, 1613–1661.||5. Heinrich, Arnstadt, 1615–1692.|
|13. Joh. Christian, Eisenach 1640–1732.||12. Joh. Aegidius Erfurt, 1645–1717.||7. Georg Christoph, Schweinfurt, 1642–1697.||8. Joh. Christoph.||9. Joh. Ambrosius, Eisenach, 1645–95.||19. Joh. Michael, Erfurt, 1648–94.||16. Joh. Christoph, Eisenach, 1643–1703.|
|15. Joh. Bernhard, Eisenach, 1676–1749.||14. Joh. Christoph, Erfurt, 1685–1717.||10. Joh. Christoph, Ohrdruff, 1671–1721.||11. Joh. Sebastian, 1685–1750.||20. Maria Barbara. 1684–1720.||17. Joh. Nicolaus, Jena, 1669–1733.|
|18. Joh. Ernst, Eisenach, 1722–1777.||23. Wilh. Friedemann, 1710–84.||25. C. Phil. Emanuel, 1714–88.||22. Joh. Christoph Friedrich, 1732–1785.||21. Joh. Christian, 1735–82.|
|24. Wilhelm, Berlin, 1756–1846.|
[App. p.526 "In the genealogical table several errors occur. No. 13 died in 1682, not 1732; No. 16 was born 1642, not 1643. The date of death of No. 14 is doubtful. No. 24 lived from 1759 to 1845. To No. 8 add dates 1645–1693. No. 6 was not named Johann, but only Christoph."]
The earliest notices go back to the beginning of the 16th century, and mention four distinct branches, of which the last only is of general interest, because it is that from which Johann Sebastian is descended. This, the actual musical branch, lived in Wechmar, a small place near Gotha. Hans Bach , the eldest of the Bachs, is mentioned as a Gemeinde-Vormundschaftaglied there in 1561. Then comes Veit , possibly the son of the former, born between 1550 and 60, and generally considered the progenitor of the race. He is said to have been a baker, and to have moved into Hungary with many other Evangelicals for protection from persecution. But under the Emperor Rudolf II the Catholic reaction gave the Jesuits the upper hand, and this caused Veit to return home and settle at Wechmar as a baker and miller. The genealogy states that he loved and practised music; his chief delight was in a 'Cythringen' (probably a zither), upon which he used to play while his mill was at work. He died in 1619. But the real musical ancestor of the family was Hans , the son of Veit, born somewhere about 1580, and mentioned as 'the player'–that is to say, a professional musician. He was also a carpet-weaver, and is said to have been of a cheerful temperament, full of wit and fun. These characteristics are alluded to in a portrait formerly in the possession of Emanuel, in which he was represented as playing the violin with a bell on his shoulder, while below is a shield with a fool's cap. His profession took him all over the Thüringen, and he was well known and beloved everywhere. He died 1626. in the year of the first great plague. Of Hans's many children three sons deserve mention:—
Johannes Bach , born 1604, apprenticed at Suhl to the 'Stadt-pfeifer,' became organist at Schweinfurt, and perhaps also temporarily at Suhl. After an unsettled life amidst the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War, he settled at Erfurt in 1635 as director of the 'Raths-Musikanten,' and in 1647 became organist in the church there, thus representing both sacred and secular music. He was the forefather of the Bachs of Erfurt, and died there in 1673. His sons were Johann Christian and Johann Ægidius. (See below, Nos. 12 and 13.)
Heinrich , born 1615. As a boy showed a remarkable taste for organ-playing; to satisfy which he would go off on Sundays to some neighbouring town to hear the organ, there being none at Wechmar. He received his musical education from his father and his elder brother Johann, probably during his residence at Schweinfurt and Suhl, and followed his father to Erfurt. In 1641 he became organist at Arnstadt, where he died in 1692, having filled his post for more than half a century. With him begins the line of Arnstadt Bachs. Besides his father's great musical gifts he inherited his cheerful disposition,