Joseph Haydn. A four page biography of his life, music, and accomplishments.

Essay by Charlie7438High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2003

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In 1750 a new era of music began. Prior to this time, music was written to accommodate one mood, melodies were spun out and complex, and music was very ornamental. This was the Baroque era. Changes in society gave way to many changes in music, though. The middle class was growing substantially, instruments were being produced faster, and the common man had more free time. All these changes made music much more accessible to the people. Music began to get much simpler as an effect of this. Baroque style music was just too hard for the middle class. Replacing the complex melodies was the Greek and Roman based ideals, where balance and symmetry were stressed. One of the most important and influential composers of this classical era was Joseph Haydn.

Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria on March 31, 1732. His father was a wheelwright, his mother was a housewife, and his family enjoyed the comforts of a well off middle class family.

Haydn was sent to Hainburg to attend church school, partly because his mother wished him to become a priest. It was here that Kapellmeister Georg Reutter of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna encountered young Joseph. In 1940, Haydn was sent to Vienna. He mostly educated himself while at the cathedral; any lessons he received were for the sole purpose of perfecting cathedral performance music. As Joseph grew older, Reutter worried that Haydn would lose his beautiful voice. He discussed castration with Joseph, and music being his passion, agreed. Before the surgery was to take place though, Joseph's father visited Vienna, and this greatly angered him. Reutter cancelled the surgery. As a result, Haydn's voice lost its youthful beauty. Reutter seized the opportunity to dismiss Haydn for cutting another choristers ponytail off, where as the underlying reason...