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George Frideric
1685 – 1759
(Baroque Period)
Born in Halle, Germany
February 23, 1685
He taught himself to play
the clavichord by age 7.
Handel’s father did NOT
want him to be a musician!
He wanted George to be a
He had to smuggle
a clavichord into the attic
and practice without his
father knowing - - Sometimes when
he should have
been in bed.
A duke heard young
George play and made
promise to provide a
music education for
He also learned to play . . .
• Harpsichord
• Organ
• Violin
• Oboe
At age 25 he moved to
England to write music for
the Royal Family.
• The Water Music
• The Royal Fireworks
Invented the English Oratorio
- a long work for chorus,
soloists, and orchestra.
His most famous oratorio is
The Messiah,
“The Hallelujah Chorus”
The King stood up during the
“Hallelujah Chorus”, so
everyone else did, too.
Now, it’s tradition to stand
for the “Hallelujah Chorus”!
He was blind for the last 6
years of his life.
He is buried in
“Poet’s Corner”
at London’s
“Handel is the greatest
composer who ever lived.
I would bare my head and
kneel at his grave.”
~Ludwig Van Beethoven