When Florian von Jager-Müller played clavichord, women would swoon. So astonishing were his abilities, his friend Johann wrote eight little preludes and fugues just to hear Florian play them. Fame and fortune seemed assured, until one day he came upon an old man playing a glockenspiel
in the market.
Later, he described it as "a moment of transport,
of spiritual rapture". Pawning his clavichord, he
got a concert glockenspiel, and days later was enrolled at der Lübeck Academy, studying under Europe's master of the metallophone, Konzertmeister Dieter Schmitt.
The night before his graduation recital, they quarreled violently over an issue of repertoire.
The next day, local polizeidetektive found one of Florian's mallets in the Konzertmeister's left ear.
With nothing but the clothes on his back and his beloved "Glockie", Florian fled to Danzig. His father cut off his allowance and not long after that, his landlady Frau Ziegedame evicted him, much
to the relief of her other tenants.
Destitute, Florian and Glockie took to the streets, exploring the frontiers of the chromatic scale and earning a few pfennige for a crust of bread and a glass of beer. Over the years, "Herr Baron von Ding Dong" became a familiar - if under-appreciated - fixture of the city's streets and taverns until January 17, 1902, when he died of rabies after
being bitten by a rat.