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Title: Verdi : The Story of the Little Boy who Loved the Hand Organ
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 "Verdi : The Story of the Little Boy who Loved the Hand Organ" ***

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                          CHILD'S OWN BOOK OF
                            GREAT MUSICIANS
                                 VERDI


                             [Illustration]


                                   BY
                             THOMAS TAPPER


                              Philadelphia
                          Theodore Presser Co.
                          1712 Chestnut Street



                             [Illustration]

                         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
outside.


                 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 THE 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
pages.

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
while.

                   *       *       *       *       *

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

            Bach                                 Mendelssohn
            Beethoven                            Mozart
            Chopin                               Schubert
            Grieg                                Schumann
            Handel                               Verdi
            Haydn                                Wagner
            Liszt

                         Printed in the U.S.A.



                         [Illustration: No. 1]

                         [Illustration: No. 7]

                         [Illustration: No. 10]

                         [Illustration: No. 6]

                         [Illustration: No. 11]

                         [Illustration: No. 3]

                         [Illustration: No. 2]

                         [Illustration: No. 13]

                         [Illustration: No. 8]

                         [Illustration: No. 9]

                         [Illustration: No. 15]

                         [Illustration: No. 12]

                         [Illustration: No. 4]

                         [Illustration: No. 14]

                         [Illustration: No. 5]



                                 VERDI


                      The Story of the Little Boy
                        Who Loved the Hand Organ


                         This Book was made by

                         _____________________


                              Philadelphia
                          Theodore Presser Co.
                           1712 Chestnut Str.


     Copyright 1919, by THEO. PRESSER CO.--British Copyright Secured
                           Printed in U. S. A.



                      [Illustration: No. 1
                      Cut the picture of Verdi
                      from the sheet of pictures.
                      Paste in here.
                      Write the composer's name
                      below and the dates also.]


                                  BORN


                   ..................................

                                  DIED


                   ..................................



                             Giuseppe Verdi


The picture on this page is of the house wherein a great composer was
born. Of course, one is not born a great composer. He has to become
that. So, at the moment this story begins there is, within this house, a
little boy quite like any other boy. He loved to play and to make a
noise and to have a good time. But most of all--what do you think he
loved?

A hand organ.

                          [Illustration: No. 2
                          VERDI'S BIRTHPLACE]

Whenever the organ man came into the village of Roncole, in Italy (where
Verdi was born, October 10, 1813), he could not be kept indoors. But he
followed the wonderful organ and the wonderful man who played it, all
day long, as happy as he could be.

When Giuseppe was seven years old his father, though only a poor
innkeeper, bought him a spinet, a sort of small piano. So faithfully did
the little boy practise that the spinet was soon quite worn out and new
jacks, or hammers, had to be made for it. This was done by Stephen
Cavaletti, who wrote a message on one of the jacks telling that he made
them anew and covered them with leather, and fixed the pedal, doing all
for nothing, because the little boy, Giuseppe Verdi, showed such
willingness to practise and to learn. Thus the good Stephen thought this
was pay enough.

Here is a picture of the little piano. In Verdi's language (Italian) it
is called a spinetta.

                          [Illustration: No. 3
                          VERDI'S SPINET]

It was on this spinet that the little boy discovered one day a wonderful
chord, for so it seemed to him. It was this:

                         [Illustration: No. 4]

The tones delighted him and he pressed the keys over and over again to
drink them in. But the next day when he sought again the keys which made
the lovely sound, he could not find them. This made him so impatient
and finally so curious that he began to break the spinet to pieces with
a hammer. Fortunately the noise he made brought his father into the room
and the spinet was saved.

When Giuseppe was making his first attempt to find beautiful chords on
the spinet he was, as we have said, seven years old. That was in 1820.

When he was ten years old (what year was that?) Giuseppe became organist
at the old church of Roncole. Truly a little boy for so great a
position! One day he scratched his name on the woodwork. Here is a
picture of the organ:

                          [Illustration: No. 5
                          ORGAN AT RONCOLE]

Here is the scratching of his name:

                         [Illustration: No. 6]

And here is the way he wrote his name, as a man:

                         [Illustration: No. 7]

Then there came the question of education--of reading, writing, spelling
and arithmetic--for this music-loving boy. The Verdis wanted Giuseppe to
grow up as he should; so it was arranged for him to go to school in the
neighboring town of Busseto. A cobbler lived there who was a friend of
the family, and with him Giuseppe went to live, having board, lodging
and tuition at the school, and all for six cents a day.

Giuseppe still played the organ at Roncole, going thither afoot every
Sunday morning and back after nightfall.

He must have been a weary little boy after the day's music-making at the
church. One Sunday night when it was dark and he was too weary to notice
where he was going, he fell into a ditch, from which he was rescued by
an old woman, who, hearing his call for help, pulled the half-frozen boy
out of the water.

Our little hero had another talent besides music. He knew how to win the
friendship of people. So at Busseto a man named Barezzi offered to take
him into his business. He sold spices, drugs and perfumes. But besides
this he played the flute in the church. At his house Giuseppe heard lots
of good music, for the town orchestra rehearsed there. Here is a picture
of Giuseppe's friend:

                         [Illustration: No. 8
                         BAREZZI]

Then Giuseppe made another friend who gave him a wonderful bit of
advice. HE URGED HIM TO BECOME A COMPOSER!

Better still he helped the boy in every way he could until he was
sixteen years old. By that time our little Giuseppe was grown to be
quite a man. His friend, whose name was Ferdinando Provesi, was proud of
him, for already he was becoming a master. He played the cathedral organ
at times; he conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra; he led its
rehearsals, and he composed music for its concerts.

                         [Illustration: No. 9
                         PROVESI]

So you see--all the wonderful operas that were to come were already on
the way!

It has been written that Provesi was the first person to see and
understand Verdi's real genius. The boy worked hard and advanced so
rapidly that it was soon necessary for him to go to a larger city for
lessons.

Now a good friend is always a good friend, so it is pleasing to tell
that Barezzi sent Giuseppe to Milan, the lovely city of Lombardy, to
study. And here a curious thing happened. He was refused a scholarship
at the Conservatory of Milan; the reason given was that the authorities
considered him to show no special talent for music. But this made no
difference to the boy. He believed in his talent and kept at work to
perfect it.

                         [Illustration: No. 10
                         VERDI AS A YOUNG MAN]

So, as the years went by, he kept on learning more and more, doing his
work well and always preparing himself for better things. Then one day
he was ready to begin to compose the operas that made him famous.

Some time when you read the full list of Verdi's operas you will learn
that he wrote thirty. The first was performed in 1839, when he was
twenty-six years old, and the last in 1893, when he was eighty. You will
not need to remember the titles of them all, but you must know the
names of the great ones, for one day you will see and hear them
performed.

                         [Illustration: No. 11
                         VERDI IN OLD AGE]

Here are the principal ones:

    Ernani,             La Traviata,            Aida,
    Rigoletto,          Sicilian Vespers,       Othello,
    Il Trovatore,       Masked Ball,            Falstaff.

Do you know that of one of Verdi's operas the scene is laid in our
country? The MASKED BALL was first entitled Gustavo III. But the
authorities would not allow reference to certain political matters in
it. Therefore the libretto (or story) of the opera was changed, and the
scene laid in Boston, Massachusetts. One of the characters was the
Governor of Boston, a humorous matter to us, for there never was any
such official.

Another famous opera by Verdi, the scene of which is laid in a foreign
country, is Aida. It was written for the Khedive of Egypt, and first
performed in Cairo in 1871, when the composer was fifty-eight years
old.

                         [Illustration: No. 12
                         A SCENE FROM AÏDA]

After Verdi had composed Aida he wrote no more operas for sixteen years.
Then to the great surprise of all the world he wrote two others, the
finest of them all--Othello and Falstaff.

Meanwhile he was a farmer. He planted, harvested, helped his tenants,
urged them to cultivate the land carefully. He bought all kinds of
American farming machinery to show the Italians how to cultivate the
ground to best advantage.

The great man, who was once a simple little boy, died in 1901, on
January 27, which day is the anniversary of Mozart's birth.

All his life long Verdi had succeeded, doing a little more and a little
better each year, so that, at the end of his life, he was able to do a
truly wonderful thing: namely, to build a home where musicians--who had
not succeeded in life--could find a comfortable abiding place in their
old age.

                         [Illustration: No. 13
                         VERDI HOME FOR AGED MUSICIANS]

                         [Illustration: No. 14
                         VERDI'S TOMB]

In this House are many souvenirs of the great Italian. Here, too, is the
tomb of Giuseppe Verdi.

Verdi was loved by his fellow-countrymen. His music is their joy--and
ours--and will so remain for years to come; perhaps forever.

The great sculptor, Vincenzo Gemito, has molded wonderful bronze busts
of Verdi, which shows us how the little boy of Roncole grew to be a man
of world renown.

                       *       *       *       *       *

                        SOME FACTS ABOUT GIUSEPPE VERDI

Read these facts about Giuseppe Verdi, 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 14, 15 and
16.

1. Giuseppe Verdi was born in Roncole, Italy, October 10, 1813.

2. He began to learn the Spinet when he was seven years old.

3. The Spinet is an early form of the piano.

4. Among the great composers who were alive when Verdi was a little boy
were: Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz and Schumann.

5. He became organist at Roncole when he was ten years old (1823).

6. He went to school in Busseto and lived with a cobbler.

7. After a time he studied in Milan.

8. But not at the famous Milan Conservatory, for he was told there that
he had no special talent for music.

9. Verdi wrote thirty operas.

10. The first was performed in 1839, when he was twenty-six years old.

11. One of his operas has its scene laid in Boston, Mass.

12. Another is about Egypt, and the scene is laid in Memphis and Thebes,
in the time of the Pharaohs.

13. Verdi founded, for aged musicians, the Casa di Riposo (House of
Rest).

14. Besides the thirty operas Verdi wrote a string quartet, The Manzoni
Requiem, and a National Hymn.

15. For a period of sixteen years Verdi wrote no operas. Then he
produced his two great works, Othello and Falstaff.

16. He died at St. Agatha, January 27, 1901.


                               SOME QUESTIONS

1. When and where was Verdi born?

2. How old was he when he died?

3. Can you mention three works of Verdi that are not operas?

4. How many operas can you name from memory?

5. What instruments did Verdi play as a boy?

6. What was the title of Verdi's first opera?

7. The title of his last two operas?

8. What did Verdi love to do besides compose music?

9. What is a Spinet?

10. In what famous city did he study as a boy?

11. How many operas, in all, did Verdi compose?

12. Where is the scene of Aida laid?

13. To what did Verdi devote his fortune?



                      THE STORY OF GIUSEPPE VERDI

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

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

                         [Illustration: No. 15]



                          Transcriber's Notes

This book has inconsistencies in the names, sometimes anglicizing names
and sometimes not anglicizing the very same name (e.g., Aida and Aïda).

On page 8, "The first was performed in 1893" was replaced with "The
first was performed in 1839".





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