Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685 in Eisenach and grew up in this city until he was 10 years old. In 1907, the new Bach Society opened the Eisenach Bach House as the first museum in the world that was devoted to the composer.
Since that time the museum has drawn thousands of tourists annually from all over the world. The visitors can experience the historic living spaces of Bach's time, an exhibition on Bach's life, and a music lecture in which original historic musical instruments from Bach's time are presented and played. The house organ, spinet, clavichord, and harpsicord are played live for each guest. That is unique in all of Germany.
In the Spring of 2007, a new museum building for visitors was opened immediately next to the Bach House, which more than doubled the exhibition space. The new building is devoted entirely to Bach's music: The visitor can track the path of a Bach autograph up to the printing of the sheet music and experience the history of the performance practice by means of different recordings. An "accessible piece of music" carries him off via a 180-degree installation in the middle of the performance of three Bach works. High ranking exhibits like the first edition of the "Art of the Fuge" dated 1751, an organ manual played by Bach dated 1702, and a one-of-a-kind collection of Bach portraits complete the exhibition.
In addition, special guided tours and German and English language topical special guided tours “Bach and Luther,” school programs, and exclusive concerts are among the bookable group offers. An in-house series of concerts completes the program.
Germany possesses musical traditions and legacies of extraordinary value: Handel, Schuetz and Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Wagner - to mention only a few names - are composers who are known and treasured throughout the world. Their work has played a significant role in shaping a unique musical landscape.
Numerous orchestras, choruses, ensembles, renowned music festivals and series, music houses with museums, public archives and libraries, but also private collections preserve their musical heritage.
It is necessary to revitalize this inestimable fund again and again and to develop it for the present. At the same time, an important role befits the houses combined in the consortium of music museums of Germany. In them we encounter the work of the musicians and composers who have extraordinarily enriched the cultural nation of Germany. However, beyond the individual portrait, beyond the procurement of individual oeuvres, the music museums also contribute overall to the maintenance of musical tradition. The present brochure underscores this aspect of the synoptic presentation and invites the reader on a journey into the musical history of Germany. I hope this tour guide will be actively used and receive a large response.Bernd Neumann, Member of the Lower House of the German Parliament
Minister of State with the Federal Chancellor
Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media
Quoted from: Foreword to the brochure "Music Museums in Germany", 2007.