Founded in 1972 as a chapter of the Neue Bachgesellschaft, the American Bach Society supports the study, performance, and appreciation of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in the United States and Canada.

The ABS produces Bach Notes and Bach Perspectives, sponsors a biennial meeting and conference, and offers grants and prizes for research on Bach.

Information on membership is available here, along with a short history of the Society and information on its administration.

On this site you can also find links to other Bach organizations and to Bach festivals, as well as a small selection of interesting Bach illustrations.

Call for Papers
Biennial Meeting of the American Bach Society
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
April 7–10, 2016

The American Bach Society invites paper proposals for its upcoming meeting, to be held at the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN), April 7–10, 2016. The meeting’s theme will be “J. S. Bach and the Confessional Landscape of His Time.”

During his lifetime, Johann Sebastian Bach came into contact with most of the religious currents in Germany. His time in Mühlhausen was overshadowed by tensions between Lutheran Orthodoxy and Pietism, in Köthen he served at a Calvinist court, and in Leipzig he was subject to a Catholic ruler. The program will explore the music of Bach and his contemporaries in relation to various religious and denominational currents in the early 18th century.

Paper proposals focusing on the conference topic will be given preference, but submissions on any aspect of musical culture in Bach’s time will be considered.

Proposals (250 words) should be sent as an e-mail attachment by October 1, 2015, to the chair of the program committee: Markus Rathey (markus.rathey@yale.edu). The committee’s decisions will be announced by the middle of November 2015.

Bach Perspectives 11

The American Bach Society invites submissions for consideration for Bach Perspectives 11, an essay collection whose topic will be “Johann Sebastian Bach and His Sons.” Essays on all aspects of the subject are welcome, and will be selected after peer review for publication in fall 2017. Papers should be approximately 6000 words and be sent in electronic form to Mary Oleskiewicz by 1 September 2014 at the e-mail address mary (dot) oleskiewicz (at) gmail (dot) com. Information on past volumes in the series is available here.

William H. Scheide's 100th Birthday

We have dedicated a special page on this website in honor of William H. Scheide's 100th birthday. After a brief note by Christoph Wolff, the page lists all of his publications, and all his Bach holdings at Princeton University's Scheide Library.


  1. Oil painting of J. S. Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, 1748
  2. Engraving of St. Thomas Church, Leipzig
  3. Title page of Bach’s Calov Bible, 1681 (Concordia Seminary Library, St. Louis)
  4. First page of autograph score of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, 1721