Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells

by Opal Wheeler Author, Mary Greenwalt Illustrator

Here is the story of Ludwig van Beethoven, greatest master of all, told with feeling and delicate skill for boys and girls. "Perhaps he, too, will become a musician, like all the Beethovens!" said Father Johann...From then on, the four-year-old Ludwig was kept at the piano hour after hour until the long exercises were mastered. The chiming bells in the chapel tower comforted him and wonderful melodies crept into his mind as the twilight crept over the city... "So...then you are a composer, as well as an organist," said Herr Zenser, the chapel organist. "But Ludwig - this is very difficult music - much too difficult for your small hands to play!" "Oh, that does not matter, Herr Zenser," answered the young Ludwig, "I will play it when I am bigger." "Surely he will be another Mozart some day," some said...Later he was to study with Mozart - go to Vienna - lead one of the finest orchestras in all the city - create great symphonies - until the name of Beethoven was spoken everywhere and eager visitors made their way to his door... This is his inspiring story of his achievements against all odds...of his growing deafness..."Long live Beethoven!" shouted the audience ..."But the master could not hear them, and as a singer turned him gently to face the audience, the noble head bowed low as he saw from the flutter of handkerchiefs, the applause that rained upon him."... Thus Opal Wheeler captures the superb quality of musical greatness of Beethoven and communicates it to boys and girls...a deeply stirring tribute to the greatest composer of all.

Additional Details

Resource Type
Print Status
In Print
Suggested Grades
1st - 5th
E.P Dutton & Co., New York


  • 1 Beethoven's childhood and first music lessons
  • 2 Studying music in Holland, first compositions, first job
  • 3 Lessons with Mozart in Vienna, meeting Haydn, composing in the palace
  • 4 The Fifth Symphony, life in the countryside, a great career

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