In the countryside to the west of Warsaw, Poland, Fryderyk Chopin was born in 1810. Chopin’s mother played the piano and the harpsichord. Chopin developed his own unique style of pianoforte because his music teacher Wojciech Żywny (pronounced “whoa-chek shiv-nee or shiv-nuh”) was a violinist primarily and a pianist secondarily and was only teaching young Chopin because Chopin’s father Nicolas and Żywny knew each other through their church. Żywny drank heavily and rarely bathed but he was able to...
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