30 Johann Bachs, or searching for "unclear" composers

Bach family tree, Ohrdrufer Linie, 1773. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – PK (D-B) Mus.ms.theor. 1046

Back in March we showed you in this space how to link to RISM searches in the online catalog. In most cases, this works without a hitch - you can even use pseudonyms or other forms of the name, as long as they are entered as variants in RISM. Here's a search using "Melante" for Georg Philipp Telemann.

It is more difficult to search for composers whose name comes up more than once. Take Johann Bach (1604-1673) as an example. If you simply search for Johann Bach as the composer, you get over 9,500 results and of course most of these are for Johann Sebastian Bach or Johann Christian Bach.

Altogether, there are 30 different Johann Bachs in RISM, of which 19 are composers.

In unclear cases such as these, a trick that will help you to search for - or link to - a specific person is to use the GND number (Gemeinsame Normdatei, the Integrated Authority File), which is a unique identifier assigned by the German National Library. We use these numbers - despite us being an international project - for technical reasons, but in the future we are planning to better incorporate our authority records with VIAF, the Virtual International Authority File.

Now back to Bach. To find the Johann Bach who was born in 1604 and died in 1673, you can simply search using the GND number 123841690. GND numbers can be retrieved from the websites of either the German National Library or VIAF. To make this even easier, we hope to release a database of our personal names authority files in the near future (similar to what we did with the database of RISM library sigla.)

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me directly: alexander.marxen@rism.info

And now here are all nineteen of the Johann Bachs in RISM, linked using the GND number:

Johann Bach (1604-1673)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=123841690

Bach, Johann Andreas (1713-1779)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=139214364

Bach, Johann Bernhard (1676-1749)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=128911026

Bach, Johann Christian (1743-1814)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=118282447

Bach, Johann Christian (1735-1782)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=118505521

Bach, Johann Christoph (1671-1721)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=123526566

Bach, Johann Christoph (1642-1703)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=120327112

Bach, Johann Christoph (1782-1846)
In RISM, but not yet in GND!

Bach, Johann Christoph Friedrich (1732-1795)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=118651471

Bach, Johann Ernst (1722-1777)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=121599027

Bach, Johann Georg (1751-1797)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=1035268515
(Please note that authorship of these sources is uncertain; possibly by Johann Günther Bach)

Bach, Johann Günther (1703-1756)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=135562716

Bach, Johann Ludwig (1677-1731)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=124411568

Bach, Johann Michael (1745-1820)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=132086794

Bach, Johann Michael (1648-1694)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=104364467

Bach, Johann Nicolaus (1653-1682)
In RISM, but not yet in GND!

Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=11850553X

Bach, Johann Valentin (1669-1720)
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=130579165

Bachofen, Johann Caspar (1695-1755) - also as "Johann Caspar Bach"
https://opac.rism.info/metaopac/search?View=rism&author=119477688

Category: RISM online catalog, New at RISM



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All news entries are by the RISM Central Office staff unless otherwise noted. Reuse of RISM's own texts is permitted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License—though please note that image credits and permissions are usually separate and noted at the bottom of each post. If authorship is attributed to someone else (indicated at the start of an entry and/or by a name following the word "Contact"), please contact the individual authors.