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Title: Beethoven : The story of a little boy who was forced to practice
Author: Tapper, Thomas
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Beethoven : The story of a little boy who was forced to practice" ***

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                            CHILD'S OWN BOOK
                           of Great Musicians



                             THOMAS TAPPER

                          THEODORE PRESSER CO.
                          1712 CHESTNUT STREET


                         Directions for Binding

Enclosed in this envelope is the cord and the needle with which to bind
this book. Start in from the outside as shown on the diagram here. Pass
the needle and thread through the center of the book, leaving an end
extend outside, then through to the outside, about 2 inches from the
center; then from the outside to inside 2 inches from the center at the
other end of the book, bringing the thread finally again through the
center, and tie the two ends in a knot, one each side of the cord on the

                 THEO. PRESSER CO., Pub's., Phila., Pa.

                          HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

This book is one of a series known as the CHILD'S OWN BOOK OF GREAT
MUSICIANS, written by Thomas Tapper, author of "Pictures from the Lives
of the Great Composers for Children," "Music Talks with Children,"
"First Studies in Music Biography," and others.

The sheet of illustrations included herewith is to be cut apart by the
child, and each illustration is to be inserted in its proper place
throughout the book, pasted in the space containing the same number as
will be found under each picture on the sheet. It is not necessary to
cover the entire back of a picture with paste. Put it only on the
corners and place neatly within the lines you will find printed around
each space. Use photographic paste, if possible.

After this play-work is completed there will be found at the back of the
book blank pages upon which the child is to write his own story of the
great musician, based upon the facts and questions found on the previous

The book is then to be sewed by the child through the center with the
cord found in the enclosed envelope. The book thus becomes the child's
own book.

This series will be found not only to furnish a pleasing and interesting
task for the children, but will teach them the main facts with regard to
the life of each of the great musicians--an educational feature worth

                   *       *       *       *       *

This series of the Child's Own Book of Great Musicians includes at
present a book on each of the following:

    Bach                    Grieg                   Mozart
    Beethoven               Handel                  Nevin
    Brahms                  Haydn                   Schubert
    Chopin                  Liszt                   Schumann
    Dvorák                  MacDowell               Tschaikowsky
    Foster                  Mendelssohn             Verdi

                         [Illustration: No. 1]

                         [Illustration: No. 13]

                         [Illustration: No. 8]

                         [Illustration: No. 4]

                         [Illustration: No. 5]

                         [Illustration: No. 3]

                         [Illustration: No. 6]

                         [Illustration: No. 9]

                         [Illustration: No. 7]

                         [Illustration: No. 10]

                         [Illustration: No. 14]

                         [Illustration: No. 15]

                         [Illustration: No. 16]

                         [Illustration: No. 12]

                         [Illustration: No. 11]


                       The Story of a Little Boy
                       Who Was Forced to Practice

                         This Book was made by


                          Theodore Presser Co.
                           1712 Chestnut Str.

                       British Copyright Secured
                          Printed in U. S. A.






          The Story of a Little Boy who was Forced to Practice

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the lovely town of Bonn, on the River
Rhine, December 16, 1770.

The house in which he spent his boyhood is still standing. We see in the
picture what a pretty, homelike place the house and the yard must have
been. It is now the Beethoven House, or Museum, filled with mementos of
the great composer. There you may see music pages written by him,
letters, medals, instruments; even his ear trumpet is there.

                  [Illustration: THE BEETHOVEN HOUSE]

Beethoven's father was a singer at the Chapel of the Elector. He was not
a good father, for he did not care to work even enough to make his
family comfortable. But the mother loved her boy with all her heart, as
we shall see.

                          [Illustration: No. 3

                          BEETHOVEN'S FATHER]

Ludwig was only four years old when he began to study music. Like
children of to-day he shed many a tear over the first lessons. In the
beginning his father taught him piano and violin, and forced him to
practice. At school he learned, just as we do to-day, reading, writing,
arithmetic, and later on, Latin.

                          [Illustration: No. 4

                           THE FIRST LESSON]

Never again after thirteen, did Ludwig go to school for he had to work
and earn his living.

Do you wonder what kind of a boy he was?

We are told that he was shy and quiet. He talked little and took no
interest in the games that his boy and girl companions played.

While Ludwig was in school he played at a concert for the first time. He
was then eight years old. Two years later he had composed quite a number
of pieces. One of these was printed. It was called _Variations on
Dressler's March_. On the title page of this piece it said:--

                   * VARIATIONS ON DRESSLER'S MARCH *
                   *  Composed by a Young Amateur   *
                   *      LOUIS VAN BEETHOVEN       *
                   *      Aged ten years. 1780      *

Then the little boy studied with a teacher named Christian Gottlob
Neefe, who took real interest in him. Neefe did not, as was said of
Beethoven's father, punish the little boy severely to keep him at his
practice, hour after hour.

Often when Neefe had to travel Ludwig took his teacher's place as
organist at the Court. Then with the organ lessons there were other
lessons in Harmony. So rapidly did the boy improve that his teacher said
one day:

"If he goes on as he has begun, he will some day be a second Mozart."

Our young hero of thirteen was surely busy every hour of the day. He
played in an orchestra, as accompanist. He gave lessons, played the
organ in church, studied the violin, and kept up his work in
composition. He always kept a note-book for musical ideas.

Most every child in these days has more and better opportunities than
had the great Beethoven when he was a child. Here is a picture of the
funny old organ in the Minorite Church of Bonn upon which Beethoven
played when he was a little boy.

                          [Illustration: No. 5

                           BEETHOVEN'S ORGAN]

Look at the funny stops at the top and compare it with the best organ in
your own town. This is little better than a toy beside our fine organs
of to-day,--yet it was the best that Beethoven had to practice upon.

When Neefe said that he would probably be a second Mozart the words
filled Ludwig with a great desire. On his sixteenth birthday what do you
think happened? Why, he set out from Bonn to Vienna, where Mozart lived.

But scarcely had he begun to feel at home in Vienna when news came to
him that his mother was ill. She had always been a good mother, kind of
heart, great of hope for her little boy, and probably she sympathized
with the hard lot that made him have to work so early in life. When he
learned of her sickness he hastened to Bonn.

Who was happier, he said to one of his friends, than I, so long as I was
able to speak the sweet name of Mother and know that she heard me?

                          [Illustration: No. 6

                           BEETHOVEN'S MOTHER]

Vienna had given him a wonderful happiness. He met Mozart and had some
lessons from him in composition. When he played for the great master,
Mozart tip-toed from the room and said softly to those present:

"Pay heed to this boy. He will surely make a noise in the world some

                          [Illustration: No. 7

                          BEETHOVEN AND MOZART]

After his Mother's death he determined that he would remain there. And
it was not until he talked with Joseph Haydn, who stopped at Bonn on his
way to London, that he decided once more to journey to Vienna. Beethoven
was twenty-two years old at the time he met Papa Haydn. Beethoven showed
the master some of his compositions. Haydn urged him to go at once to
Vienna, promising to give him lessons in composition on his return from

                          [Illustration: No. 8

                             JOSEPH HAYDN]

Everywhere in Vienna Beethoven was a welcome guest. He was proud (but in
the right way), very honest, always straightforward and independent.
But, like his mother, he was warm-hearted and as true as could be. There
was nothing in his nature that was mean, or cruel, or wrong in any way.
He took pride in his talent and worked hard to perfect himself in it.

Here is what Beethoven's handwriting looked like.

                          [Illustration: No. 9

                        BEETHOVEN'S HANDWRITING]

Bit by bit, the great power of Beethoven as a pianist became known. He
played much among his friends, but he did not like to perform in public.

A story is told that once he was to play his C major Concerto at a
concert. When he arrived at the hall he found the piano was tuned so low
that he had to play the Concerto in C# major.

You know how hard it is to transpose a simple piece, but think of
transposing a Concerto and playing it with orchestra without time for

Do you sometimes wonder what the great composer looked like? Beethoven
lived outside of Vienna and often took long walks in the country. Once a
little boy ten years of age was taken by his father to visit Beethoven.
The boy must have been a very observant boy for he wrote out a
description of how Beethoven looked. This is the little boy's picture as
a man:

                             [Illustration: No. 10

                                  CARL CZERNY]

And this is the description he gave of Beethoven.

"Beethoven was dressed in a dark gray jacket and trousers of some
long-haired material, which reminded me of the description of Robinson
Crusoe I had just been reading. The jet-black hair stood upright on his
head. A beard, unshaven for several days, made still darker his
naturally swarthy face. I noticed also, with a child's quick perception,
that he had cotton wool which seemed to have been dipped in some yellow
fluid in both ears. His hands were covered with hair, and the fingers
were very broad, especially at the tips."

You know, of course, that when we think of music we think of _hearing_
it. We think how it _sounds_ to us. A lover of music loves to hear its
_tones_ and to feel its _rhythm_.

Like every other human being, Beethoven loved music in just this way. He
loved its sounds as they fell on the ear. As colors delight our eyes, so
tones fell with delight upon the ears of this man.

Beethoven was once invited to play at the home of a nobleman, but upon
being informed that he would be expected to go as a menial, he
indignantly rejected the proposal.

                         [Illustration: No. 11

                          THE ANGRY BEETHOVEN]

Beethoven had many friends and was fond of them. They knew that he was a
genius and were glad to forget some of the very strange things that he
did when he got angry. Here is a picture of the great master seated
among a group of his friends. Although Beethoven was odd, his friends
loved him.

                         [Illustration: No. 12


But a strange Fate touched him and took away his sense of hearing. From
the time he was about thirty years old his hearing grew gradually worse.
Indeed it was necessary for him to have a piano especially constructed
with additional wires so that he could hear.

                         [Illustration: No. 13

                           BEETHOVEN'S PIANO]

Can you think of anything more cruel, more terrible, more depressing,
more awful?

                         [Illustration: No. 14

                       BEETHOVEN IN THE COUNTRY]

And yet he went on day, after day, composing beautiful music as he
walked the fields, or as he sat at his table. For we must remember that
he could hear his own music in his thoughts. That is, the mind that made
the music could hear it, though the ear itself was forever closed to the
sound of it.

Year after year he continued to write symphonies and concertos, sonatas,
songs, choral and chamber music.

And year after year the poor ears closed a little more and still a
little more, until finally not even the loudest noises could penetrate

And yet he worked bravely; writing every beautiful music thought that
came to him, so that the world, and that means you and all of us, might
have them. When Beethoven was dying in 1827, Schubert called upon him
and remained with him for some time.

                         [Illustration: No. 15

                        BEETHOVEN AND SCHUBERT]

                       SOME FACTS ABOUT BEETHOVEN

Read these facts about Ludwig van Beethoven and try to write his story
out of them, using your own words.

When your story is finished ask your mother or your teacher to read it.
When you have made it as perfect as you can, copy it on pages 15 and 16.

1. The composer's full name was Ludwig van Beethoven.

2. He was born at Bonn on the River Rhine. (Look for Bonn on the map.)

3. His birthday is December 16, and his birth year was 1770.

4. The Beethoven House is now a Museum.

5. Beethoven's father was a singer.

6. Ludwig began to study music at the age of four.

7. He was shy and quiet in school, always thinking even then of music.

8. Even as a little boy he composed music.

9. When he was ten years old his first published composition appeared.

10. A teacher who helped him very much was Christian Gottlob Neefe.

11. Beethoven learned to play several instruments.

12. He went to Vienna when he was sixteen, met Mozart and had lessons
from him.

13. Later, Beethoven met Haydn at Bonn.

14. On Haydn's advice he returned to Vienna, making it his home for the
rest of his life.

15. Carl Czerny once called on Beethoven and wrote a fine description of

16. At about thirty Beethoven became deaf.

17. Most of the great symphonies were composed after he lost his

18. Beethoven died March 26, 1827, at the age of 57.

                             SOME QUESTIONS

1. When and where was Beethoven born?

2. Who was his first teacher?

3. What did his father do?

4. How long did little Ludwig go to school?

5. What description of him as a boy in school has been given?

6. How old was he when he first played in public?

7. What composition of his was first to be published?

8. Which of his teachers took great interest in him?

9. What did he say about the little boy's future?

10. Where did Beethoven go when he was sixteen years old?

11. With what two great masters did he study?

12. What composer, as a little boy, went to see Beethoven?

13. How did he describe him?

14. Name some of the forms of music which Beethoven composed.

15. Write a list of music by Beethoven that you have heard.

16. What is a concerto? a sonata?

17. How old was Beethoven when he died?


Written by.......................................

On date..........................................

                         [Illustration: No. 16]

                           Transcriber Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _underscores_.

Passages in small caps were replaced with ALL CAPS.

In the list of composers in the instructions on how to use the book, the
"r with a caron" in the name Dvorák was replaced with a regular "r".

On page 13, "ten year old" was replaced with "ten years old".

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