|Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-88)|
|German composer, one of the
most influential and celebrated composers of his era.
The third son of Johann Sebastian Bach, he was born in Weimar and trained under his father. He studied philosophy and law at the universities in Leipzig and Frankfurt-an-der-Oder before deciding on a musical career. From 1740 to 1768 he was harpsichordist for Frederick II, king of Prussia, after which he became music director of the five principal churches in Hamburg. Bach was one of the chief representatives of the empfindsamer Stil (Ger., "expressive style"), which emphasized frequent contrasts in emotion and contributed many technical features to the classical style. His Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (2 vol., 1753, 1762) is important for describing how music was performed during his lifetime (the printed notes themselves do not always indicate what composers intended). Bach wrote a large number of works, including 210 harpsichord pieces, 52 concertos, oratorios, passions, and church cantatas.