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Leadership topic - J. S. Bach

This is one of the only pieces of classical music I owned, given to me on 8 track for my 14th birthday along with the matching stereo.  The author was Walter/Wendy Carlos who as a young person showed an early interest in music, compositions, and computers.  Working at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Laboratory, this work grew out of a key partnership with Robert Moog.

The concept was simple – musical tones are at the end sine waves that can be produced with a “simple” electronic circuit – a tuned oscillator. As with any string, pair the right resistor and capacitor together and the circuit will have a “natural” frequency – vary either and you can change that.  On that basis, Moog and Carlos partnered to produce the first Synthesizer and an album that made it easy for listeners to marvel at the “new” sounds – remember again our brain loves anything new and different. These notes were “pure” and often would take hours to produce just one they would record, and then dub over others, repeat, repeat. It took long hours of work in the studio but launched an entire genre of music and much of what we hear now is “synthetic” and was one of the few Classical albums to go Gold.

Bach was not merely one of the greatest composing geniuses in history; he was also a devoted family man, and frequently wrote keyboard music as a teaching aid for his many children. The Well-Tempered Clavier is a set of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys (48 works in all). If that sounds a little dry, then just remember this is Bach we’re talking about. The 48 are just as gripping to listen to as they are to play, earning their place among the best Bach works. And, given that this music was never intended for an audience, it’s hardly surprising that there’s a sense of intimacy about even the most extended and grandiose of the pieces.  The soundtrack for our exploration of Virtue.