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The preparation of this volume began with a period of delightful research work in a great musical library. As a honey-bee flutters from flower to flower, culling sweetness from many blossoms, so the compiler of such stories as these must gather facts from many sources—from biography, letters, journals and musical history. Then, impressed with the personality and individual achievement of each composer, the author has endeavored to present his life story. While the aim has been to make the story-sketches interesting to young people, the author hopes that they may prove valuable to musical readers of all ages. Students of piano, violin or other instruments need to know how the great composers lived their lives. In every musical career described in this book, from the old masters represented by Bach and Beethoven to the musical prophets of our own day, there is a wealth of inspiration and practical guidance for the artist in any field. Through their struggles, sorrows and triumphs, divine melody and harmony came into being, which will bless the world for all time to come.