The world is full of very talented/gifted masters of music. In every country, certain personalities arise and leave their lasting contribution to the musical world. Among these is Joseph Haydn, a composer who rose from insignificance to popularity due to his contributions to music. He possessed characteristics that deeply influence his musical writing; these, in turn, placed him on the pedestal as a cornerstone of music during the Classical Period.
There are countless composers around the world, but I chose to study Joseph Haydn because his name is not common and there’s a certain ring to it that gives one an impression of his greatness. In addition, I have no exhaustive background of the composer, and this would be the chance to learn of his contributions to music. Joseph Haydn was born in Austria in 1738, a time when J. S. Bach was popular. This was also a time when the Baroque Period was on its final stages. His familty had an influence on him, as he was born to a family that was musical.
They would regularly sing togerther or with their neighbors. Joseph inherited the musical gene; even at an early age, he showed musical talents. He taught himself to play harp, and later learned to play both hapsichord and violin. Joseph also became a singer at a choir in Vienna. Joseph believed he was destined towards a musical career. During his time in Vienna , he received lessons in voice, musical instruments and other subjects. However, he experienced being hungry, as his instructor did not bother checking on his welfare. This was the same thing he experienced before he was brought to Vienna.
On the other hand, this experience was what motivated him to sing well. He hoped to get more invitations to perform before the wealthy and aristocrats, because during these occasions, singers were given refreshments. Joseph was dismissed from being a choirboy because he was unable to sing high parts as a result of his growing physically. He then became a freelancer, which was not easy for him at first. He only got the chance to a financially stable life when he got his dream role of Kapellmeister to Prince Esterhazy during his late 20s.
The new job required him to write and arrange performances of all types of music. It included religious music, operas and music for all occasions. He found freedom in experimenting with his style, thus enabling him to learn the many aspects of music as he slowly but surely obtained musical knowledge. Joseph also made sure that his music was interesting by bending the accepted rules of music during his time and adding variations. Given that his job did not allow him to leave the Esterhazy court, Joseph has to rely heavily on his ideas and thoughts.
Driven with the passion to be the best composer and musician, he continually experimented with his style. However, there were some important persons who have been deeply influential on him, such as C. P. E. Bach, the son of J. S. Bach, and Johann Stamitz. He was also influenced by other composers whom he had contact with. Furthermore, Joseph did not stop each time he learned something new. He also filled the gaps in knowledge by teaching himself new skills to build his musical capability. Accordingly, the public came to know him as a composer of an opera.
He was also known to be a cheerful person, and this reflected on his musical writings. His being a happy person also gained him meaningful friendships, most of whom were with other popular compsers. In addition, he was a devout religious man, always turning to his rosary whenever he faced difficulty composing. According to historical accounts of the composer, he has created more than a hundred compositions. For his many compositions, and his contributions to music, he became known as the “Father of the Symphony” and the “Father of the String Quartet.
Furthermore, the world recognized his important contribution to the development of both the sonata form and the piano trio. Even until today, Joseph is considered an important person in the world of music. His journey is an indication that despite challenges, one could still be an influential person. Joseph has also never stopped learning, and was not afraid to bend the rules that most composers of his time would strictly adhere to. Lastly, his cheerfulness and happiness deeply influenced his compositions.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 October 2016
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