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Franz Joseph Haydn is regarded as one of the most prolific and important composers of the eighteenth century. Research papers on the works of Haydn are studied and conducted worldwide and serve as an integral part of the framework for the study of classical music. From humble means to musical greatness Haydn exemplifies the inherent qualities and musical aspirations of the period's greatest composers and his biography, works and legacy merit reflective examination.

Facts about Joseph Haydn:

  • Joseph Haydn was born to parents of humble means, Mathias and Elizabeth Haydn
  • Birthdate: March 31, 1732
  • Born in the Austrian village of Rohrau.

Geiringer suggests that the Hungarian/Croatian musical environment that Haydn was exposed to exhibited a strong musical emphasis, especially in folk music. Consequently, the region in which he was born was marked by a heritage of love and instinct for music and like many parents, the Haydns made music an important element of the lives of their children. Of all the children, son Franz Joseph showed a special interest in music and at a young age began instruction in string instruments.

As a young man, Haydn had the unique opportunity to acquaint himself with numerous Viennese musicians of the period including von Dittersdorf and Turkey, a circumstance that would prove beneficial to his development as a musician. These associations as well as others would contribute not only to his interest in musical composition but also to his innovative style.

Aside from the influence of his acquaintances, Geiringer maintains that Haydn's familial background had a major impact on both his interest and capacity for musical composition. This, despite the fact that there was not one identifiable musician in his family tree. Instead, Geiringer suggests that it is Haydn's colorful cultural background that provided the fodder for his imaginative and innovative application of traditional musical theory, facilitated by stories of hard work, poverty, and even war, all of which was distinctive of central Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Like the acquaintances he developed with musical greats as a young man, these factors were elemental in stimulating the musical aspirations and strengths of a third generation Franz Joseph Haydn.

It was the folk music of his ancestors, just as it was the inspiration of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, that initiated Haydn into the music world. Despite his humble musical beginnings, he has been perceived as the creator of many new and modern forms of music, particularly in regard to the "sonata, the symphony and the string quartet".

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