Handel: A life of Musical Devotion

A good gift to music entered into the planet on 23 February 1685 in Halle, Germany. A life of great musical interest; one filled having an unbelievable talent that would become a beacon to many throughout the European continent and span centuries past its lifetime. It is just a life that would become centered around a good mystery of how a musical talent would blossom in to a recognized and celebrated gift; a life that would alter the musical landscape and the spiritual worship realm in a short 24 days, and a life that would become so influential that it would dictate musical compositions for quite some time afterwards.

A musical life that at first would find itself struggling to exist; a life which is forever known in George Frideric Handel. It is through Handel that people credit many great musical accomplishments; accomplishments in the blend of homophonic and polyphonic textures, through the creation of his own unique works through the method of combining German, Italian, French, and English musical traditions into his highly successful English Oratorios. And most importantly through the lasting effects of Handel's single greatest gift to the planet, and the planet of music: The Messiah. But how does the work with this single musician leave such a strong impression on the music that people have today? What might make the music of Handel something that might be hailed as electric, memorable, unique, and even cutting edge? And most importantly how could one individual alter the musical idiom via a single twenty-four day creation of a setting of Christ's life? Through these questions I will explore Handel's effect on music in ways that shed's light onto the significance of Handel as an artist, a teacher, and inventor and as a religious preserver. It is by using Handel that people credit a great deal of musical advancement.

Adversity in Handel's life was something he encountered in the beginning in life. At an early on age Handel found himself up against a father that did not support a vocation in music, in reality his father was a individual that greatly hated music; noting that it was a pastime that served the sole purpose of casting a mild on the weakness of character found inside a person. It was his father that wished he would strive to acquire a vocation as a lawyer, a position that would feature a great deal of security in place and financial stability. This is something that Handel himself will have to arrive at terms with, because he himself was created with "signs of a fierce ambition, born of an awareness of his superiority as an artist, and with a determination to steadfastly keep up his independence." This determination to advance his musical skill became a job that took a great deal of hard work and convincing; although it was Handel's mother that provided usage of a clavichord hidden in the family's attic. The hours spent hiding from his father in the attic, since the strings of the clavichord with cloth to dampen the sound, allowed young George the time for you to practice his musical development and eventually the information of just how to play the clavichord and the organ. This early study is most likely what saved the musical career for Handel, because it had been in the period stuck in the attic that the young Duke passing by heard young George playing in the attic and was so moved by what he heard, he stopped to listen. After hearing young George play the organ, the Duke pleaded with George's father allowing him to travel to Berlin and commence to take music lessons. The young Handel began taking lessons at the age of eight, and was easily able to conquer learning the violin, composition and theory techniques, harpsichord, and reinforce the organ playing skills. By the age of 11, there seemed little that any music teacher could teach George; it had been now that George's father began angry and again expressed his desire for George to cease playing in the music, and to return home and do as he wished. Handel at the request of his father did in reality return home, only to reach at his father's deathbed. This is a dark period of struggle for the young Handel, compelled to honor his father's wishes, George decided that it was best to help keep to his studies in law; though in this same time he continued to also sharpen the musical skills he knew he possessed. It was during this time period that Handel began to publish cantatas for the many churches he was serving in being an organist. It was the service in music that called out to Handel, and by the time he reached the age of eighteen, Handel had realized that it was in reality his destiny to become a great musician noting he was destined to enhance his musical abilities and his knowledge of music.


Published by Whitney Morgan