Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784) was born in Weimar, where his father was employed as organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. In July 1720, when Friedemann was nine, his mother Maria Barbara Bach died suddenly and Johann Sebastian Bach remarried in December 1721. J. S. Bach supervised Friedemann’s musical education and career with great attention. The graded course of keyboard studies and composition that J. S. Bach provided is documented: Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach), with entries by both father and son. This education also included, among other things, the first volume of The Well-Tempered Clavier, and the Six Trio Sonatas for organ..
In addition to his musical training, Friedemann received formal schooling beginning in Weimar. When J.S. Bach took the post of Cantor of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig (in 1723), he enrolled Friedemann in the associated Thomasschule. On graduating in 1729, Friedemann enrolled as a law student in Leipzig University, a renowned institution at the time, but later moved on to study law and mathematics at the University of Halle. He maintained a lifelong interest in mathematics, and continued to study it privately during his first job in Dresden.
Despite his acknowledged genius as an organist, improviser and composer, he found it impossible to hold down a regular job and he died in poverty.