How Did Aspects of Fryderyk Chopin’s Life Influence the Music He Composed?

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How did aspects of Fryderyk Chopin’s life influence the music he composed? Portrait of Chopin 1 Daniel Byers Chopin 1935 by Maria Wodzińska 2 Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin was born on March 18101 in a small village in Warsaw called Żelazowa Wola2. From a very early age he was recognised as a musical prodigy, true master of romantic music and a terrific pianist. He demonstrated a clear sense of individualism and expression that set him apart from his contemporaries. His music was majestic, virtuosic and expressive and has been an inspiration for generations. By the time of his death he had written two-hundred and twenty one compositions3, some of which were lost or never published. The question is what influenced his music? There were many elements to his inspiration: his teachers; Polish music; other artists and composers; relationships; his love for his family and friends; patriotism; illness; travel; sentimentality, even the weather. Most of all it was his innermost emotions (fear, sadness and loneliness) caused by a vulnerable and sensitive to his perspective on life that was his greatest influence. Although this vulnerability hindered him from performing regularly it was the driving force behind his music and allowed him to create revolutionary pieces that are played in countless concerts today and are part of every pianist’s repertoire. His music has been studied for many years, but in order for his music to be studied successfully it is necessary to acknowledge what it represents and what influenced it, and in doing so, a clearer understanding of Chopin himself can be revealed. Adalbert Zywny, 1810 3 During the early years of his life, Fryderyk Chopin showed a great fascination when in the presence of music. He demonstrated great fluency when improvising polonaises and showed a great interest when his sister Justyna played the violin. His

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