Bach, Johann Sebastian
1685-1750

I believe that any critique of the statement "Bach is the greatest composer of all time," is truly ignorant. Music has always been, and music will always be . . . but Bach made music art.

Before Bach, there were other composers, but they all followed the rules. Music then was simply putting notes into a pattern. To knock on my own profession, it was a lot like programming. Sure, there was variation and some pieces were better than others, but they were all part of the same whole that was Pre-Baroque music. Then came Bach.

While Johann Sebastian Bach is not my favorite composer (actually, he wouldn't rank anywhere near the top of the list), that might have been different if he wrote in another time, when he would have been able to communicate his musical thoughts without opposition. However, his contributions to the world of music are unparalleled by anyone. For that, I tip my hat.


Beethoven, Ludvig Van
1770-1827

Considered by many (including myself) to be the greatest symphonic composer ever, Beethoven wrote music with an unrivaled passion.

I'll listen to the famed Symphony #5 and wonder how something so majestic and so powerful can be written by a mortal man. But, more impressive than writing the (debatable) single greatest musical work, is how he managed to write an entire symphony (Symphony #9) without the aid of hearing. It just proves how music ran through him.


Chopin, Fryderyk
1810-1849

The hero of Poland, Chopin's legacy will always live on.

With mastery of the piano and hands nearly one and a half times the size of mine (and mine are pretty big. I know this comparison by visiting the Chopin museum in Warsaw, Poland where they have several plaster casts of his hands), Chopin was able to play many things with one hand that "laymen" can barely do with two. Using this great gift, Chopin was able to write some of the most beautiful, lyrical pieces for the piano-forte.


Lennon, John
1940-1980
&
McCartney, Paul
1942-

What, you thought this would all be classical? The team of Lennon & McCartney have a shared talent that is unmatched by modern songwriters.

Helping to define several generations and becoming a major influence on countless future generations of music, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr (better known as the Beatles) have laid down a modern legacy that is just as strong as any of the "dead German guys."

With McCartney writing mature songs and Lennon writing drug induced numbers, their music speaks of their changing times. Listening to the Beatles' music over time, you see how times changed, and how the Beatles changed with them (although, in hindsight, it is possible to say that the times changed with the Beatles).


Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus
1756-1791

A child prodigy, Mozart had a head start on most of the other composers.

Because of the way Mozart lived, people mistakingly think that Mozart lived as a poor man, only to have his music truly be appreciated after his death. This is simply not true. Mozart was never a poor man - and his music was appreciated during his life. He was just not the most frugal composer of them all, having apartments all over the city of Vienna & never living a life of a pauper. When he was short on money, he would simply write more songs, get more money, and keep his lifestyle unchanged. While he was buried in a mass grave, it was common procedure for that time in history.


Smokey Robinson

The obvious choice for most influential artist in modern music is, easily, the Beatles. Heck, their songs are still played & covered today. But, Motown music is generally ignored when thinking about modern influences, and, well, I think Motown had a much bigger impact on the world of music than did the Beatles. I think the most prolific songwriter (not artist) to come out of the Motown era was the one and only Smokey Robinson. If it weren't for Mr. Robinson, I don't think the world of music would be nearly as good as it is now.


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