The Bach family was now entering upon the musical scene in bewildering profusion. We know of some four hundred Bachs between 1550 and 1850: all musicians, sixty of them holding important posts in the musical world of their time. They formed a kind of family guild, meeting periodically at their headquarters in Eisenach, Arnstadt or Erfurt. They constitute unquestionably the most extensive and remarkable dynasty in cultural history, impressive not merely by their number, but by devotion to their art, by a typically Germanic steadiness of purpose, and by their productivity and influence.Jackson Five, eat your hearts out! The idea of a musical dynasty seems to have disappeared almost entirely since, with the possible exception of the Romero family of guitarists, now well into their third generation. A smaller musical family existed in France at the same time as the Bachs with the Couperins of whom the most famous are Louis and François, known as "le grand". But it is hard to imagine how thoroughly Bach's family penetrated the musical life of the day. In Erfurt, even when no Bachs remained, musicians were still referred to as "bachs". When he came to look for employment, J. S. Bach had uncles and great-uncles everywhere to consult. Three of Bach's sons were leading composers in the next generation: Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Christian, and Wilhelm Friedemann, known respectively as the 'Berlin' Bach, the 'London' Bach and the 'Dresden' Bach from their places of employment. C. P. E. Bach was the most renowned as court musician to Frederick the Great of Prussia and for his treatise on keyboard playing which laid out the basic principles of fingering followed to this day. J. C. Bach was organist in Milan before settling in London where he became music master to Queen Charlotte. W. F. Bach, the eldest, was renowned for his organ improvisation--he had a difficult personality and died in poverty.
Here is the first movement of a cello concerto by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach:
And here is the first movement of a harpsichord concerto by Johann Christian Bach:
And finally a sinfonia by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach:
How about something by the father, J. S. Bach? Here is the Double Concerto in D minor for two violins: