Johann Sebastian Bach
J.S. Bach may be the most important figure in Western music, with an influence that can be felt in popular and classical music to this day. Largely unnoticed in his time, Bach was in many ways the climax of Baroque polyphonic music, tying together the major styles of his day in a uniquely personal fashion. From his chamber works to his instrumental pieces, Bach ingeniously wove together melodic, aria-based Italian music, refined French dance music, complex contrapuntal German music, and mathematical intricacies into pieces that were greater than the summation of their parts. Inside of the elaborate inter-connected voices of the Well-Tempered Clavier's Fugues and the rich polyphonic textures of the Brandenburg Concertos are proof that the reason that we hear and enjoy music the way we do is based on the sounds, theories and procedures that were solidified in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.