Even after he joined the Leipzig Thomaskantorat in April 1723, Johann Sebastian Bach remained closely connected to his former employer, Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen (1694-1728). As a Princely Cöthenian Kapellmeister "von Haus aus" he had to provide the court of Köthen with music on special occasions. In view of the extensive production of cantatas during his first years in Leipzig, it was an obvious choice for Bach to reuse newly composed works for such guest performances. In the case of the Glückwunschkantate "Steigt freudig in die Luft" for the birthday of Leopold's second wife, Charlotte Friederike Amalie von Nassau-Siegen, Bach used the birthday cantata "Schwingt freudig euch empor" (BWV 36c), written in the same year for an unknown teacher. The cantata was probably composed on the occasion of the 23rd birthday of the Princess on 30 November 1725.