As I wrote in an earlier post, Bach was fond of the number 14. Using gematria, an ancient form of substituting numbers for letters, the letters B-A-C-H add up to 14. This number and its mirror, 41, are tucked away in the musical structure of many of Bach’s works.
Surprisingly, Bach’s personal, published copy of his Goldberg Variations was just discovered in 1974. With it, in Bach’s own hand, was found an appendix in the form of 14 canons based on the first eight bass notes from the opening aria of the Goldbergs, representing a clear reference to the number 14.
I find this fascinating stuff. Surely, Bach’s affinity for musical (and mathematical) riddles made him the life of any party!