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This Day in the Arts: March 21


March 21 is the anniversary of the birth of the brilliant Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

He was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Germany.

He was an extremely prolific composer (he wrote at least one cantata for every Sunday of the year).

The bedrock of his work was counterpoint, the ingenuous combining and reworking of separate lines of music.

His work and influence as both a sacred and secular composer truly changed the shape of Western music.

BBC Radio has a terrific website about Bach, with information about his life, insight on why he's considered so great, and samples from some of his greatest works.


American guitar manufacturer Leo Fender, founder of the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, dies. Ironically, Fender himself never learned to play the guitar.

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