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Title: Chopin : The Story of the Boy Who Made Beautiful Melodies
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 "Chopin : The Story of the Boy Who Made Beautiful Melodies" ***

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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. 4]

                           [Illustration: No. 11]

                           [Illustration: No. 2]

                           [Illustration: No. 15]

                           [Illustration: No. 16]

                           [Illustration: No. 17]

                           [Illustration: No. 18]

                           [Illustration: No. 19]

                           [Illustration: No. 1]

                           [Illustration: No. 3]

                           [Illustration: No. 10]

                           [Illustration: No. 13]

                           [Illustration: No. 14]

                           [Illustration: No. 9]

                           [Illustration: No. 12]

                           [Illustration: No. 5]

                           [Illustration: No. 6]

                           [Illustration: No. 7]

                           [Illustration: No. 8]

                        Frederic François Chopin

                        The Story of the Boy Who
                        Made Beautiful Melodies

                         This Book was made by


                          Theodore Presser Co.
                           1712 Chestnut Str.

                COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY THEODORE PRESSER CO.

           [Illustration: No. 1

           Cut the picture of Chopin from the picture sheet.
           Paste in here.
           Write full name and dates.
           For dates see pages 12 and 13.]





            The Story of the Boy who Made Beautiful Melodies

As long as we live and keep in touch with the works of the great
composers we shall love more and more the music of Frederic François

It will be pleasant to learn from time to time something about him. We
should like, for example, to know:

In what country he was born.

In what places he lived.

What kinds of music he composed.

Perhaps we may begin by learning that he was born in a little village in
Poland not far from the City of Warsaw, beside which flows the famous
river Vistula. Here is a picture of the house in which Chopin was born.

                 [Illustration 2: CHOPIN'S BIRTHPLACE]

Chopin's father, a Frenchman by birth, was a schoolmaster. (So was the
father of Franz Schubert, you remember.) The boy's mother was a native
of Poland. From the time when he was a little boy, the future great
composer loved his mother's country and the people just as much as he
loved the dear mother herself.

The father knew that his little son was musical, so he took the greatest
care to have him taught by the best teachers. He watched over him quite
as Leopold Mozart watched the progress of Wolferl; and as Mendelssohn's
mother guided Felix and Fanny in their first music lessons.

Mendelssohn and Chopin were indeed very nearly the same age. Mendelssohn
was born in February, 1809, and Chopin was born the first of March in
the same year. Let us keep their names together in our memory for the

Mendelssohn died two years before the death of Chopin. Both of these
great composers kept busily at their work until the last year of their
lives although neither of them was very strong.

                    [Illustration 3: F. MENDELSSOHN]

Here is a picture of little Chopin playing for a group of boyhood


Chopin was only nine years old when he first played in public. It is
said that he created quite a sensation. But like all those who know that
talent is something to be worked for, he did not stop studying just
because his playing was pleasing to other people. In fact, it was just
on that account that he began to work all the harder.

Then there came a great change. He left his home and went to Paris,
where he lived for the rest of his life. Even though he was but a youth
of twenty-one, he had already composed two concertos for the piano.
These he had played in public to the great delight of all who heard him,
but especially of his countrymen.

You see, Chopin's going to Paris was a strange journey. The boy was
leaving his mother's country and going to the land of his father. Like
Joseph Haydn, who went away at the age of six, Chopin never lived at
home again.

But he did not reach Paris a stranger. The world of music had heard of
him and some of its great ones welcomed his coming.

Let us always think of these men who knew each other well as a family.

                        [Illustration 5: LISZT]

                       [Illustration 6: BERLIOZ]

                      [Illustration 7: MEYERBEER]

                        [Illustration 8: HEINE]

                        [Illustration 9: CHOPIN]

Liszt was a great pianist.

Berlioz was a famous composer for the orchestra.

Meyerbeer was best known as an operatic composer.

Heine was a great poet whose verses were set to music by many song

Berlioz was the only one of the group who was born in France.

During his boyhood Chopin played much in public, journeying to some of
the great cities of Europe, among them Vienna, Berlin, and Munich.

Therefore, when he played in Paris it was as an artist. Here, as at
home, he charmed everyone by the beauty of his music and the loveliness
of his touch.

He possessed the true piano hand. It was somewhat narrow. The fingers
were long and tapering. It seemed at once strong and vigorous, yet
delicate and sensitive.

                    [Illustration 10: CHOPIN'S HAND]

Indeed, Chopin's music is of just these qualities. It is strong in its
nobility, delicate in its sentiment.

One would think that to arrive in Paris and to be welcomed by the great
ones would make everything easy.

But it was not so for Chopin. Only a few people were present at his
first concert and for quite a while he had no pupils.

Indeed, it was all so discouraging that he made up his mind to return to
his beloved Poland.

His friend, Franz Liszt, begged him not to go. Others, too, urged him to
stay in Paris. One friend, who met him in the street as he was about to
leave, advised him as did the others to stay in Paris.

But no, he was going home.

"But," said this friend, "first come with me to visit a true lover of

So Chopin went with him to the house of Baron Rothschild. Here he
played, so charming the company with his music that ever so many of them
begged him for the privilege of lessons.

And so, all in a moment, his troubles blew away, as troubles often do.
Here is a picture of Chopin playing in the home of a prince.

            [Illustration 11: CHOPIN PLAYING FOR THE PRINCE]

Do you wonder what kind of a man the little Polish boy became after he
found success in Paris?

One person said about him:

"Chopin talks little, and rarely about music. But when he does speak of
music one must listen to him."

Another said:

"He is reserved and quiet, especially among strangers, but among his
friends he is witty and full of sly humor."

But his thoughts were not for words, they did not weave the pretty
phrases of idle talk. They were busy making nocturnes, waltzes,
mazurkas, impromptus and many other kinds of music that we shall learn
to love as we hear them.

Music was Chopin's true speech. The world soon learned to love what he
said in it. And it always will love it.

See how beautifully he wrote his music.

                  [Illustration 12: CHOPIN'S AUTOGRAPH]

There was neither telephone nor telegraph in those days. Yet it did not
take long for another composer, Robert Schumann, who lived far away, in
Germany, to learn that a genius by the name of Chopin lived in Paris.

The post carried to Schumann a copy of Chopin's first printed music.
This was a theme taken from Mozart's Opera _Don Juan_, which Chopin
arranged with variations for the piano.

When Schumann played it to his friends everyone exclaimed: "How
beautiful it is!"

Then someone said:

"Chopin--I never heard the name. Who can he be?"

                     [Illustration 13: R. SCHUMANN]

So we see that his thoughts printed as music flew like winged messengers
to carry news of him to others in distant places. And people not merely
asked: "Who can he be?" but they found out who he was, and kept passing
the news on and on until finally it has reached us!

Chopin was never a robust person, though he was well and busy most of
his life. But in the last years he suffered much from illness. This led
him to travel to many places from Paris for the good of his health.

Chopin was devoted to Poland, the beloved land of his birth. Here is a
picture of the great composer who has fallen asleep at the keyboard and
is dreaming of a glorious future for Poland.

              [Illustration 14: CHOPIN DREAMING OF POLAND]

Once he went to England and to Scotland. He played in London and was
highly praised for the beautiful way he performed his own music.

While it is true that Chopin was ill in the last years of his life, we
must notice that he kept right on with his work. He played and composed
just as he always had done. Chopin died in Paris, October 17, 1849, just
two years after Mendelssohn, who died in 1847.

Many men, who would have given up everything had they not been brave,
have worked right on through illness.

Milton was blind, but he dictated _Paradise Lost_ to his daughter.

Beethoven was deaf, but he did not give up composing.

Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote the lovely _Child's Garden of Verses_,
was ill all his life, but he kept on writing. Grieg was probably never
well all his life, but he never gave up.

                       [Illustration 15: MILTON]

                      [Illustration 16: BEETHOVEN]

                      [Illustration 17: STEVENSON]

                        [Illustration 18: GRIEG]

Have you ever thought that the beautiful ideas of great men sometimes
outlive famous cities?

What a lot of cities and countries we must visit in our thoughts, to see
the great composers at their work. For example--

1. Grieg belongs to Norway.

2. Chopin to Warsaw and Paris.

3. Schubert to Vienna in Austria.

4. Bach to Thuringia in Saxony, Germany.

5. Handel to Germany and England.

6. Haydn to Hungary.

7. Beethoven to Germany and Vienna. (He was born at Bonn on the Rhine.)

8. Schumann to Germany.

9. Mendelssohn to Hamburg and Berlin, Germany.

10. Mozart to Salzburg and Vienna in Austria.

It will be a pleasant thing for us to see if we can arrange these names
in order, beginning with the oldest, Bach and Handel, and coming down to
the latest. By doing such things, time and time again, they begin to
stick in the memory.

                         SOME FACTS ABOUT CHOPIN

When you have read this page and the next make a story about Chopin's
life. Write it in your own words. When you are quite sure you cannot
improve it, copy it on pages 15 and 16.

1. Frederic François Chopin was born in Poland.

2. His birthday was March 1, 1809.

3. He spent most of his life in the two cities of Warsaw and Paris.

4. His father was French; his mother Polish.

5. At the age of nine he made his first public appearance as a pianist.

6. Many distinguished people welcomed him to Paris.

7. Among them were Liszt, Berlioz, Meyerbeer, Heine.

8. His first weeks in Paris were discouraging; his first concert poorly

9. This tempted him to return to Poland.

10. But his friends urged him to remain in Paris.

11. Finally success came.

12. Chopin was described as one who spoke little, especially among

13. Some of the music forms which he wrote are the nocturne, waltz,
mazurka, impromptu, concerto, polonaise, etude.

14. Schumann was one of the first to declare Chopin a genius.

15. Chopin worked hard all his life.

16. But in his last years he suffered from ill-health.

17. Like Milton, Beethoven, Stevenson and Grieg, he kept on with his
work, in spite of his illness.

18. Chopin once went to England and Scotland.

19. Chopin was very fond of Bach and urged his pupils to practice Bach
pieces every day for the mental drill as well as the drill for the

                      SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT CHOPIN

1. In what country was Chopin born?

2. In what two great cities did he live?

3. In what year was Chopin born?

4. What other composer was born about the same time?

5. When did Chopin first appear in public?

6. What two works had he already composed when he set out for Paris?

7. Who were some of the people who welcomed Chopin to Paris?

8. Name some of the great cities in which he played.

9. What led Chopin to want to leave Paris?

10. Why did he change his mind and remain there?

11. What great German composer discovered Chopin to be a genius?

12. Name some great writers and composers who kept at work even though
they were not in the best of health.

13. In what country was Grieg born?

14. In what city was Mozart born?

15. In what two countries did Handel live?

16. What famous river flows by the City of Warsaw?

17. Name some of the kinds of music that Chopin composed.

18. What music by Chopin have you heard?

                      THE STORY OF FREDERIC CHOPIN

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

On (date).............................

                         [Illustration: No. 19]

                           Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _underscores_.

Passages in bold are indicated by =equal signs=.

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 6, a new paragraph was begun at "Berlioz was the only".

On page 7, a quotation mark was added after "a true lover of music."

On page 12, in example seven, the period was moved within the closing

On page 14, the question mark at the end of question 17 ("Name some of
the kinds of music that Chopin composed?) was changed to a period.

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