Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach is considered by many people to have been the greatest composer in the history of Western music. Bach's main achievement lies in his synthesis and advanced development of the primary contrapuntal idiom of the late Baroque, and in the basic tunefulness of his thematic material. He was able to successfully integrate and expand upon the harmonic and formal frameworks of the national schools of the time: German, French, Italian, and English, while retaining a personal identity and spirit in his large output. Bach is also known for the numerical symbolism and mathematical exactitude which many people have found in his music -- for this, he is often regarded as one of the pinnacle geniuses of Western civilization, even by those who are not normally involved with music.

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