Bachhaus Eisenach

Museum der Neuen Bachgesellschaft e.V.

Special exhibition 2014

“B+A+C+H = 14” –
Bach’s Numerological Mysteries

14 is the “Bach number”:  According to the natural number alphabet A = 1, B = 2, and so on. B+A+C+H thus gives us 2+1+3+8, which equals: fourteen. The number can be found in compositions, like the 14 Canons BWV 1087, or the 14 Contrapuncti of Bach’s “Art of Fugue”. It is the number of buttons on the famous Bach portrait by E.G. Haussmann, and of the dotted ends of the letters composing Bach’s monogram on the Bach Goblet. Bach left a few number puzzles behind in his works – some people even talk about a “number mysticism”. The special 2014 exhibition that starts on Bach’s 329th  birthday looks at these questions in an entertaining way.

Bachhaus Eisenach, Frauenplan 21, 99817 Eisenach, Germany
Duration: 21.03. - 28.02.2015 (extended)
Opening: Friday, 21 March 2014, 12:30 a.m.
Opening hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Press photos

The natural number alphabet. Michael Stifel: Ein Rechen Büchlin Vom End Christ. Apocalypsis in Apocalypsim. Wittenberg, 1532.

Bach Goblet. Saxony, ca. 1735. Front. Photo: Constantin Beyer

Bach Goblet. Saxony, ca. 1735. Back. Photo: Constantin Beyer

Bach Goblet, engraved musical poem. Photo:

Press releases

„Canons to touch“: Who wants to grasp how Bach’s fourteen riddle canons BWV 1087 must be solved, how music must be turned, flipped, mirrored, how whole pages need to be turned upside down, can now literally do so in the Bachhaus special exhibition. The music is printed on acrylic glass. Once the notes are positioned correctly and thus a canon voice is solved, the music will sound. 

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