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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel (fēˈlĭp ĕmäˈnōĕl bäkh) [key], 1714–88, German composer; second son of J. S. Bach, his only teacher. While harpsichordist at the court of Frederick the Great, where his chief duty for 28 years (1738–67) was to accompany the monarch's performances on the flute, he wrote an important work on technique, Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (1753, tr. 1949). After this artistically unsatisfying service with Frederick, Bach succeeded his godfather, Georg Philipp Telemann, as musical director at Hamburg. His 2 volumes of sonatas (1742–43) and his 20 symphonies established the typical classical forms of such works and powerfully influenced both Haydn and Beethoven. He also composed other keyboard music and sacred choral music. His craftsmanship was outstanding in the period between the baroque and classical periods.

See biography by E. Eugene Helm (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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