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Title: Franz Joseph Haydn : The Story of the Choir Boy who became a Great Composer
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 "Franz Joseph Haydn : The Story of the Choir Boy who became a Great Composer" ***

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                            CHILD'S OWN BOOK
                          _of Great Musicians_


    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

                             THOMAS TAPPER

                          THEODORE PRESSER CO.
                          1712 CHESTNUT STREET

                           Franz Joseph Haydn

                     The Story of the Choir Boy who
                        Became a Great Composer

                         This Book was made by


                          Theodore Presser Co.
                           1712 Chestnut Str.

                COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY THEODORE PRESSER CO.
                          Printed in U. S. A.






         The Story of the Choir Boy who Became a Great Composer

Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, a little Austrian village not far from

It is quite worth while for you to look for this town and for the River
Leytha in any large geography. You may not find Rohrau itself, for it is
a very small town, but you will surely find the River Leytha which flows
by it.

The parents lived in a very modest little house. The picture of this
house is worth studying, and remembering. As you see, it is of one story
with a thatched roof. The farm buildings are joined to the house itself.
The windows look inviting and pretty. They seem to tell us very plainly
that it is warm and cosy within.

                   [Illustration: HAYDN'S BIRTHPLACE]

It will be easy for you to remember the year in which Joseph Haydn was
born, because you have already learned in school that our President,
George Washington, whose picture should be inserted here, was born in
the same year--1732.

This President's birthday was in what month? What day of the month?

                       [Illustration: WASHINGTON]

Joseph Haydn was born on March 31st of the same year (he used to say
that he was born "in the night" between March 31st and April 1st).

Washington's father died in the year when he and Joseph Haydn were ten
years old. This is a picture of Washington, as a man, bidding his mother
good-bye before leaving for a war.

                [Illustration: WASHINGTON LEAVING HOME]

Little Joseph Haydn's father and mother were poor, but they loved
cleanliness and system.

They feared God, worked hard, and loved music. Joseph's father used to
sing in a clear tenor voice, accompanying himself on the harp. At home
little Joseph was called Sepperl.

When the child was old enough, he, too, began to sing. He quite
surprised everyone by his sweet voice.

In the neighboring town of Hainburg there lived a schoolmaster named
Frankh, who used to visit the Haydns and play the violin. Sepperl used
to watch him very closely, and one day he, too, began to play the violin
while his father and mother were singing. But he had no real violin, of
course, so he had to play on a make-believe one of two sticks. But he
sang in tune and kept time with his wooden bow.

             [Illustration: SEPPERL PLAYING ON TWO STICKS]

One day the schoolmaster chanced to come up the street while the little
boy was playing his make-believe music. Watching him closely, he saw
that he was really fond of music.

Then Cousin Frankh, as they called him, had a long talk with Sepperl's
father and mother. After a while it was agreed that the little boy
should go to Hainburg (the place you found on the map), and there become
a pupil of the schoolmaster.

They worked hard at the school in those days. Once, when Haydn was an
old man, he said: "I shall be grateful to that man (the schoolmaster) as
long as I live, for keeping me so hard at work. But I used to get more
floggings than food."

When he was six years old, Sepperl could "stand up like a man" and sing
masses in the church choir, besides playing a little on the piano and
the violin.

It once happened that a drummer was needed in a procession in Hainburg.
Frankh called Sepperl, and showed him how to make the stroke. But the
boy was so small that someone had to carry the drum for him, Sepperl
following up and beating it as he had been taught. Haydn was very fond
of playing the drums, and even as a boy tried to learn how to play

                     [Illustration: HAYDN DRUMMING]

But Joseph Haydn was to do other things.

One day a man from Vienna visited the pastor of the Hainburg Church. He
heard the little boy sing and liked his voice so much that he invited
him to become a chorister in the huge Church of St. Stephen. He was
eight years old when he arrived in the great city of Vienna, still a
little farther away from home than he was at Hainburg.

There was much else to do in the great church beside singing in the
choir. There were music studies, of course, in singing, violin and piano
playing. But there were also school studies to be learned every day.
These were Religion, Latin, Writing and Arithmetic.

                  [Illustration: ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH]

But one must not think that because Sepperl was a busy musician he did
not love fun like other boys of eight. One day the choristers sang at
the Royal Palace at Schoenbrunn, just outside of Vienna. The scaffolding
was still standing about the building, and Joseph climbed to the top.
The Empress Maria Theresa caught him at this mischief and gave an order
that "that blockhead should have a good spanking."

Five years after Joseph Haydn entered St. Stephen's, his brother Michael
joined the choir. It was just at that time that Joseph's voice began to
change. One day when the Empress heard him she said his voice sounded
more like a rooster's crowing than anything else. The choirmaster,
taking the hint, prepared to dismiss him.

But before Joseph said good-bye to his schoolmates his spirit of fun
bubbled over again. Someone had left a pair of new scissors where he
found them.

What should he cut with them?

Ah, he knew. He would cut off the pigtail of one of the choir boys. And
he did.

Joseph Haydn was never lazy. His father and mother had taught him to
love work. He was industrious, happy-hearted, and made friends easily.
People loved him and he began to meet those who could help him. One of
these was the great poet, Metastasio. Another was the singing master,
Nicholas Porpora, who taught him music composition in return for which
the boy brushed the master's clothes, polished his boots, did anything
and everything, even to running errands. And all because he was so
anxious to be taught how to compose music.

Then soon afterward Haydn met Gluck, the opera composer; and another
time Wolfgang Mozart and his father, Leopold Mozart. So you see he was
getting on famously.

                         [Illustration: GLUCK]

                       [Illustration: L. MOZART]

One day he was invited to become Music Director (or Vice-Capellmeister,
as it was called) in the family of a great man who was known as Prince
Paul Anton Esterhazy.

Haydn's position in the Esterhazy home gave him just the opportunity he
wanted. There was an orchestra, and for it he composed all sorts of

When the band was to play for the Prince's family and its guests, Haydn
and the players were required to wear white stockings and white collars,
and a pigtail or tie-wig.

If you could have watched him conduct the players, you would have seen a
very short man with short legs; his face pitted with the marks of
small-pox. His nose was large, his eyes gray, but of the kindest

And here is a picture which shows exactly how the "good-natured sort of
fellow" looked.


A butcher in the town where Joseph was living wanted to celebrate his
daughter's marriage with fitting music, and was bold enough to ask
Joseph to compose a Minuet for the occasion. Joseph good-naturedly
consented, and wrote the Oxen Minuet, and made the butcher and his
daughter very happy. People say that soon after the wedding the butcher
appeared at Joseph's door leading an ox all decorated with ribbons and
with gilded horns.

                      [Illustration: OXEN MINUET]

For many years Haydn remained in the peace and quiet of the Esterhazy
family life. But, nevertheless his good work was heard of in distant
places. He received many invitations to travel to foreign countries.
One of these he accepted. He went to England; twice in fact. The night
before he left Vienna he and Mozart dined together.

"Do not go on such a long journey," Mozart begged of him. "You are too
old and you do not know languages enough to travel through so many

"But," said Haydn, "I know one language that is understood
everywhere--the language of music."

Mozart said farewell to his old friend. They never met again.

On the way north, along the Rhine, Haydn met Beethoven at Bonn; and it
was arranged that Beethoven should study with Haydn on his return to

When the traveler reached Calais he took the boat to Dover in England.
He was so enchanted by the sight of the sea that he sat on deck all the
way, to watch it. Never before had he seen such a sight, for, we must
remember, he was born far inland.

                  [Illustration: HAYDN ON CALAIS BOAT]

Most men do their best work in their younger years, but in Haydn's later
years he wrote two of his greatest works: _The Creation_ and _The
Seasons_. _The Creation_ is loved by all people. It is one of a group of
favorite oratorios which have found a warm place in the hearts of the
people. With it stand _The Messiah_, _Judas Maccabaeus_, _St. Paul_ and
_Elijah_. Do you know who composed each of these?

After the English journeys, Haydn lived quietly in Vienna in what is now
known as the Haydn house. Should you ever go to Vienna you will be
welcomed there by the caretaker, who will show you the rooms in which
Haydn lived.

One day toward the end of his life he asked his servant to carry him to
the piano. While the members of his household stood near him he played
three times, very solemnly, the _Emperor's Song_.

                   [Illustration: THE EMPEROR'S SONG]

This is the way Haydn wrote his name--



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

                     SOME FACTS ABOUT JOSEPH HAYDN.

1. He was born at Rohrau, in Hungary, March 31, 1732.

2. He was a few weeks younger than George Washington.

3. As a little boy he loved to hear his father and mother sing.

4. While they sang he played on a "make-believe" violin, of two sticks.

5. He left home at the age of six and never lived there again.

6. First he became a choir-boy at Hainburg.

7. When he was eight years old he entered St. Stephen's in Vienna as a

8. After he left St. Stephen's he worked hard for many years. Many
people whom he met in this time helped him.

9. Among his friends of this period were: Metastasio, Porpora, Gluck,
Mozart and his father, and Beethoven.

10. For a time he was Beethoven's teacher.

11. He spent a great part of his life in the Esterhazy family.

12. Here he was Vice-Capellmeister and composer to the Prince.

13. He was a short, stout man, with kindly gray eyes, and very dark

14. He went twice to England to conduct his symphonies.

15. Haydn was called the father of the Symphony and of the String

16. He composed a song which will always be famous. It is called _The
Emperor's Song_.

17. He died in 1809, seventy-seven years of age.

                            SOME QUESTIONS.

1. Where and in what year was Joseph Haydn born?

2. By what name was he known at home?

3. Who was his first teacher?

4. What studies had he at St. Stephen's?

5. With what distinguished family did he live for many years?

6. Give the names of some of the distinguished composers whom he knew.

7. What great composer was his pupil for a time in Vienna?

8. Why did Mozart think that Haydn should not travel through so many
strange countries?

9. What two great works did he write after he returned from England?

10. In what year did Haydn die?

11. Can you find in what year George Washington died?


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

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


Transcriber's Notes:

On page 8, "singingmaster" was replaced with "singing master"

On page 14, a period after "St. Stephen's" was replaced with a question

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