Joseph Haydn Essay

702 WordsOct 2, 20083 Pages
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Even though Joseph Haydn's family had no formal musical training, his father was a folk musician who played the harp and the family often sang in their community. After noticing their son's singing talent, Haydn's parents decided to send him to study music. He left his home for good at age six and lived about seven miles away at a relatives house. His living conditions weren't ideal, but he became proficient on harpsichord and violin. In 1740, at the age of 8, Haydn was recruited by a music director from Vienna to come and be a choirboy. He went, and again found tough conditions. He lived and performed at St. Stephen's Cathedral, which was a center of music. This gave young Haydn the opportunity to listen to performances by a range of professionals. At the age of 17, Haydn was no longer able to fill the role of a choirboy, due to his changing voice. He would have been left homeless in the streets of Vienna, were it not for a friend who took him in. Haydn found work freelancing, as he didn't have enough formal training to work at a church or court. He worked as a music teacher and street musician to make a living. Knowing he needed more formal training in theory and composition, Haydn studied with Nicola Porpora, who taught him important ideas behind composing. Haydn also studied Gradus ad Parnassum by Johann Joseph Fux, which taught him counter point, and the work of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Haydn's studies gave him the tools to make a name for himself. His works started appearing in music shops, and eventually found an aristocrat who would employ him, and eventually one who would employ him full time. He worked as a music director for Count Morzin, where Haydn began serious composing. His steady job allowed Haydn to marry Maria Anna Aloysia Apollonia Keller, with whom he had a terribly unhappy marriage that he could

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