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An exclusive newsflash,
from classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH

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Exclusive to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The musical world has recently been greatly diverted by the efforts of various people — who, one and all, undoubtedly believe that Mrs Shakespeare wrote Hamlet — to convince sane musicians that Anna Magdalena Bach — a very tolerable singer, by all accounts — composed J S Bach's sensationally mature and unmatchable cello suites.

This is clearly rubbish. However, here at, we can exclusively reveal (drumroll, editor, please) that new evidence suggests that Bach's much-loved gerbil (Franz Eduard Bach) composed the B Minor Mass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the only known representation of the gerbil in question:

The Bach family, Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena, with (under the table), Franz Eduard, their talented musical gerbil
The Bach family, Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena, with
(under the table), Franz Eduard, their talented musical gerbil

Not only has eminent handwriting analyst I M Nuttie certified that there are gerbil markings on pages 2, 6, 19 and 48 of the manuscript in question, but the well-known musicologist Høpe Tobé Famoüse has long disputed whether someone like Bach could possibly have found the time to write all those works while hoofing around fathering twenty-one children (at least three of whom turned out to be accomplished composers in their turn).

Recent research has finally authenticated the truth: that, while his sons were busy messing about playing wii sport (and J S Bach himself tolerably busy with his organ-playing duties) his talented wife and gerbil were busy composing in his stead (well hey, someone had to pay the rent!!!!!)

Still more intriguingly, the gerbil in question, Franz Eduard, it turns out, was almost certainly female (this has been proven by DNA analysis of the antique gerbil dropping on page 51 of the B Minor Mass manuscript). Which proves that all this is true because — and this really is true, by the bye, not that it excuses all this tosh — female composers didn't used to have a prayer of being taken seriously, compared to the all-conquering males.

Antique gerbil droppings on page 51 of the B Minor Mass manuscript
Antique gerbil droppings on page 51 of the B Minor Mass manuscript

So it's absolutely clear that J S Bach — after holding down an important court position or two, nine to five, was clearly putting his feet up in his local while watching the footie, while his devoted — hey, nobody disputes that — wife Anna Magdalena was copying out his chamber works.

But, we can now exclusively reveal (thanks to in-depth research) that Anna Magdalena herself was only copying down the notes given her in rough shape from the hugely gifted Franz Eduard Bach (though we really ought to make that Frances Edwina in light of current research), the gifted family gerbil.

It is fascinating to note that Franz/Francine almost certainly contributed the vast majority of the B Minor Mass, although J S Bach himself, reeling home sourly after Bayern Munich crashed down 1-3 to Man United on aggregate, himself probably polished off the finale, as Franz was already an hour late to do laps on his wheel with his personal trainer.

It is truly an honour to break this great news, which I ardently hope will prevent gerbils from being so appallingly under-represented and underrated as composers in the future.


Copyright © 27 March 2015 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

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