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Joseph Haydn was without a doubt one of the greatest composers of his day He was loved very much as both a man and a musician and unlike many other composers when he died in 1809 he was one of the most celebrated composers in the world Haydn once said Young people can see from my example that something can still come from nothing but what I am is the result of dire necessity And it was very true The story of Haydn was a classic story of rags to riches His father Mathias Haydn 1699-1763 was a wheelwright who after traveling through Germany settled in Rohrau a village in Austria near the border of Hungary A year later Mathias married Anna Maria Koller 1707-1754 and on April 1 1732 Franz Joseph Haydn was born He was the eldest of twelve children six of whom never lived past infancy They lived in a quiet modest home which was always kept neat and tidy Music played a big role in the Haydn home Mathias through years of travel learned how to play the harp and would come home after work and practice He and his wife would sing Austrian folk songs along to the music and the children quickly caught on This was a nightly ritual and one night a distant cousin named Johann Mathias Franck visited the Haydn family in Rohrau Franck was the school rector from Haimburg and was responsible for the music there When he saw the family singing after dinner he took particular notice to the young Joseph Haydn who was strumming his arm with a stick pretending he was playing the violin It was clear that Joseph had a natural talent for music since he kept
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