Frederic Chopin Semester Project

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Benjamin Morris Neidlinger Music Appreciation 3-20-17 Chopin Semester Project Frederic Chopin was a composer, teacher, and pianist born on March 1, 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, Poland. He was raised in a musical family as his mother and his sister played piano. At a very young age, he would listen to them play the piano, and not long after he was trying to play their repertoire while trying to make up his tunes. He officially started getting piano lessons at the age of seven, lasting six years, but would soon surpass and leave the teacher to teach himself (Clark). He also wrote two different polonaises at the age of seven; one in B flat major and the other in G minor. He played his first concert at the age of eight, and at age eleven played …show more content…

It was during this time that he found his major inspiration that he would fall back on when composing new works (Classic FM). At the age of sixteen he began studying at the Warsaw High School of Music for music theory, composition, and figured bass. This time at school broadened his musical ability and knowledge and he would finish only three years later (Barbara). Jozef Elsner, the head of the school, said that he was a musical genius and had amazing talent. After completing school, his parents allowed and funded his travels to Berlin in 1828, and later to Vienna in 1829 where he first debuted. After his second concert in Vienna, he would gain fame internationally and when he got back home wrote two different piano concertos in E minor and F minor (Libbey). He also wrote his first etudes, waltzes, and nocturnes during this time, since he no longer had any schooling at the moment. He played various other concerts back in Poland but would eventually leave to live in Vienna. Not long after arriving in Vienna, Chopin learned about the revolt in Poland against Russia …show more content…

The reason for this is that Chopin was known as not being very sociable (he was quite the opposite) and he thought his works were too quiet for large scale public concerts (Barbara). The way Chopin used the pedals, his unique fingering, and his expression on the piano were innovative for the time. For the piano, he wrote a total of: twenty six preludes, sixty one mazurkas, twenty seven etudes, sixteen polonaises, twenty waltzes, twenty one nocturnes, three sonatas, four scherzos, four ballades, four impromptus, and much more individual work as well (Hedley et al). An interesting fact about Chopin is that when he gave lessons to students he would look away as they put money on the mantle because he hated asking for money. His nickname was “poet of the piano” because of all of his roughly two hundred works for the piano. He only liked to play for his friends in small clubs/rooms. Chopin did write some pieces though very little, for other instruments like violin, cello, voice, and full orchestra (8 Notes). Chopin’s music is highly regarded as a trademark for the Romantic Period, but at the time he did not consider himself or associate with calling himself a romantic composer and didn’t really care; he just composed what he wanted without a limitations of what music from the time should sound like. (Hedley et al) This is why Chopin was ahead of his time because he tried to

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