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Beethoven Essay

Beethoven Essay

Example #1

We have witnessed and had the chance to hear many pieces from both classical and modern composers. Numerous composers have tried to match the style of one of the most prominent composers of the nineteenth century, but few have come close.

We are speaking of the ever-famous Ludwig van Beethoven. Beethoven is one of the most famous composers of all time and always will be considered to be among the best. The rise of Beethoven into the ranks? of history’s greatest composers was paralleled and in some ways a consequence of his own tragedy and despair.

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Ludwig Van Beethoven, born in Bonn, Germany, was considered generally one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition. His father was a singer in a court chapel. Beethoven followed in his father’s footsteps and became a court musician as well, because of his father’s mental absence. His father was an alcoholic, so Beethoven needed to somehow support himself and the rest of his family.

Under the tutelage of German composer, Christian Gottlob Neefe, his early compositions signal an important talent. It was planned for Beethoven to study in Vienna with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart died in 1791, preventing Beethoven to ever join him. Beethoven ended up going to Vienna in 1792 and became one of Joseph Hayden’s, an Austrian composer, pupils.

Beethoven’s piano improvisations dazzled aristocracy in Vienna. He entered into favorable arrangements with Viennese music publishers. Beethoven succeeded as a freelance composer due to the broadening of published music. Mozart took the same path, except for he found it full of frustration.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Beethoven loosely constructed a style of works such as the Septet Opera 20. Beethoven claimed that he had never learned anything from Hayden. He then revealed this complete assimilation of the Viennese classical style in every major instrumental genre: symphony, concerto, string quartet, and sonata. 1798 led to an increase in social isolation, due to Beethoven’s hearing impairment.

His hearing began to deteriorate until eventually, he became totally deaf. He went into a period of despair and even considered suicide, but then found the strength to devote his life to the music, which he could know only feel within himself. He reached his peak during these years. He gradually settled into patterns of shifting residences, spending a few summers in the Viennese suburbs.

During these times of relocation, Beethoven found himself to be falling in love, in love with the wrong women. He tended to fall for the unattainable women, either they were aristocratic or married or both. These women inspired him to write many pieces, yet it is still unknown who these works were written for.

In 1815, Beethoven’s brother, Casper Carl, had died. Beethoven devoted himself to a costly legal struggle with his sister-in-law for custody of her nine-year-old son, and Beethoven’s nephew. Beethoven won custody of his nephew, after a lengthy hearing. Yet this whole arrangement did not work out for either Beethoven or his Nephew, Karl. In the years these two spent together, they were engaged in many fights and disagreements. This contributed to Karl’s attempted suicide in 1826.

Beethoven relied on small “conversation books” due to him becoming virtually deaf in 1818. The conversation books contained visitor remarks so he could at least read them since his hearing ceased to exist. He stayed with a steadily shrinking group of friends and withdrew himself from all others.

His music remained fashionable during these times, but only among a small group of educated people. During Beethoven’s last illness, he received an outpouring of sympathy from the surrounding communities. On March 26, 1827, Beethoven died in Vienna. Tens of thousands witnessed his funeral procession.

In Beethoven’s 57 years of living, his major outputs consist of seven concertos, nine symphonies, seventeen string quartets, ten sonatas for violin and piano, thirty-two piano sonata’s, an opera, five sonatas for cello and piano, several overtures, two masses, and numerous sets of piano variations. People considered Beethoven a bridge to Romanticism.

After Beethoven arrived in Vienna, he alternated between compositions based openly on classical models, such as the String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18, No. 5. From 1802 to 1812 he projected a heroic aura, although his works of this decade musically represented an expansion of the tighter forms of Hayden and Mozart. This is apparent in both, Eroica Symphony and his Piano Concerto No.5.

His piece entitled, Eroica was dedicated to Napoleon, who seemed to symbolize liberty and fraternity. Beethoven later ripped up the dedication when Napoleon betrayed the cause of freedom and was crowned emperor. Ludwig also represented formerly compressed works, such as his Symphony No. 5 and the Piano Sonata, Op.57.

The fading hopes for a successful relationship with the “Immortal Beloved” and the completion of the Symphony # 8 left Beethoven with composition uncertainty. A couple of his works prior to 1812, experimented with reviving and expanding on the more relaxed musical structure he had employed in the 1790s. A couple of examples is the Piano Sonata in A Major Op. 101 in 1817, and the Op. 98 song cycle An die feme Gelibte in1816.

His cyclic works of this period exercised the most direct musical influence on the succeeding generation of romantic composers. Beethoven made a second return to the tightly structured heroic style in 1818. The return was marked by his Piano Sonata in B Flat Major Op. 106. This piece was a work of length and difficulty.

Rather than have been composing in sets or even pairs, the works of Beethoven in his last period are each marked by individuality. Later on, composers would admire his work, and strive to equal his perfection. Beethoven gave expression to an all-embracing view which idealized humanity with the Ninth Symphony and the Missa Solemnis.

Beethoven’s style gave rise to the five-string quartets in 1824-1826. Although these pieces were viewed as inaccessible in their time, we in modern times have come to use these string quartets as a comparable standard.

The Romantic generation that followed Beethoven pictured him as a heroic artist, who fought against social injustice and hypocrisy. Beethoven was far more than that and his greatness was not recognized completely until after his death. His later works were so advanced, that they were considered unplayable for fifty years. Beethoven’s brilliant compositions continued to develop and signaled the beginning of a new era in all fields of human creativity and experience.


Example #2

It has been called the greatest audio entity one could ever listen to; a song which can pierce the soul of even the most dedicated music-hater: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Not only has it been designated thus; also, as one of the few truly divinely inspired works, one which most men can only marvel at, as they wallow in their appropriate humility.

These creations, however, are definitely not the only aspects of entities beyond the scopes of men; there are far more examples, which are seen every day but often overlooked. I was walking outside, with this song echoing in the recesses of my mind, on a dismal, overcast day in the Autumnal quarter, a day when where the streets blended with the atmosphere when one could hardly look up without feeling the singe of the wind against one’s face.

To me, these days have always conjured up images of some distant, looming storm, some silent tempest which, if not otherwise distracted will soon wreak mayhem and disaster on my environs. This day had an intense air about it, as do others of its ilk. This is most likely the fault of the storm under which it is shadowed, as though it and its inhabitants are uneasy and harrowed about the imminent predator waiting overhead to pounce.

As the sky overhead swam with deeper and deeper shades of gray and hopeless black, the song in my mind was reaching some vocal crescendo in the fourth movement, a better foreteller of the gale I could not imagine. While the winds bullied and tormented the defenseless neighborhood, I started for my house.

Unexpectedly, as the crescendo was losing speed, a quiet, pacific violin entered the musical fray in my brain, and the entire mood of the symphony mellowed, the winds themselves pacified, seemingly under Ludwig’s fickle dominion. Thinking the storm had passed, I continued blissfully onward to the meadows which were my destination. Again I was assaulted, this time by a different part of the symphony; not too long after the first chorale.

This was the startling and almost fearful, but still uplifting, part in which the female and male vocals collided like two huge tidal waves with the power to splinter a fleet of ships with the German Alle Menschen repeated several times. Upon this onslaught of euphony, I turned from whatever I might have been thinking before, and looked at some violently twisting and rising leaves and other debris, and gazed at the playful heavens, again ominous.

Annoyed with Beethoven and the cruel elements, I stood there, unmoving; indecisive, not knowing whether to turn around or pursue my present course, I felt the excited chorale still striking some unknown and inexplicable fear within me, as though some divine creature were about to strike me down in some vehemence which lies well beyond the realms of verbal description.

So, as the chorus continued repeating its faithful mantra, the winds again rose up stronger than before, as twigs began to snap and fall about me; I was still, yet deeply moved. Perplexed at the whimsy antics of nature, I was about to retreat to my home, when, in the remarkable symphony, a single male vocal broke through the complicated entanglement of godly voices, and I, despite the protests of my superego, decided to continue on with some alien, renewed vigor against the gusty weather, as though I were the bearer of news about the winner of a war or some other momentous aftermath.

At this, as though impressed with my display of singular determination, the wind made itself placid, laying down before me. Violins were heard, along with the driving, male voice. Suddenly, completely without warning and all at once, what seemed like throngs of angelic, female voices sang as though sent on an appeal to God on the eve of the apocalypse.

They continued, soon joined by male voices, and other instruments, in the most spiritual and epiphytic reverberation I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing, and, seemingly, all in my favor, against cruel and remorseless nature, pleading to let me pass. I, however, felt like only a petty bystander in this competition between the symphony and the elements, completely unable to comprehend, let alone justify either side’s wish, only able to observe the outcome and obey it as the gospel that I knew it was.

Thus, whether or not I ever achieved my destination is beside the point. My sojourn in that small neighborhood taught me perhaps what is life’s most important lesson. This lesson is clear: there are many things in this world completely beyond most men’s small intellects. They may manifest themselves in certain artworks, novels, or musical masterworks; however, these manifestations only serve as reminders to arrogant men.

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While it is true that these manifestations are created by singular members of the selfsame race, these members serve only as conduits of a greater, nearly incomprehensible power; something which they, themselves, may often forget.


Example #3

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn Germany. His mother was a singer in the service; his father was a court musician that had little motivation and a drinking problem. His father noticed that Beethoven had a gift at a young age, and began teaching him piano and violin. But Beethoven was a hard learner, he was self-involved and impatient. This probably led to why he was a loner and why he only went to academic school for three years.

Beethoven s father was t the only one who saw Beethoven s talent, Gottlob Neefe (a German Organist) become young Beethoven s mentor. Gottlob thought Beethoven was the next Mozart, so he sent him to Vienna to meet him. But Beethoven s mother got sick so he had to come back home before he met him formally.

By the time he came back to Vienna, Mozart had died so Beethoven sought help from Hadyn, another German composer. He became Beethoven s second mentor and taught him new styles of music.

Beethoven did his first show in Vienna in 1795. He was the first composer that was not supported by wealthy persons; instead, Beethoven supported himself with money from selling his music. By 1778, Beethoven started hearing humming and whistling sound in his ears, and it got worse.

A few years later, he became completely deaf. Although he was deaf he could still write music. He finished his first symphony in 1800.

In 1802, Beethoven became depressed and thought a lot about suicide. He went to a small village in Germany where he stayed for a few years. The next couple of years Beethoven created his most impressive masterpieces. In 1812 he had completed over twelve of his best works and he was known worldwide. But after this Beethoven did not release any music for a while and he got in trouble with the law over some royalties to songs. But in 1817 he began composing again and he did through 1824.

In 1824 Beethoven composed two of his most memorable pieces, the Ninth Symphony, and Ode to Joy, these were two of Beethoven s best compositions. The first time Beethoven conducted the Ninth Symphony, the crowd, at the end of it was tremendous applause. And Beethoven was still with his back turned on the podium until one of the soloists turned him around.

In 1820 Beethoven won custody of his nephew, Karl, since his brother had died in 1815. Although Beethoven wanted to treat Karl like a son, he was neglected because of Beethoven s temper and his working on his music. At this time Beethoven was completely deaf and the ringing in his ears was making his temper worse and worse.

In 1826 he produce five of his last works, these works did not become that famous because they were too ahead of their time. In 1927 on a journey back to Vienna with Karl, Beethoven got sick with pneumonia and began coughing up blood. After pneumonia, Beethoven was struck with much other illness which eventually led to his death on March 26, 1827. Thousands and thousands of people came and mourned at his funeral even though he was an impolite man.

I think Beethoven was a very important person in our history, he helped change the face of music forever. Beethoven wrote many symphony s, string quartets, and opera s that can still be heard and seen today. He also inspired many people to become musicians and writers. This is why I did my report on Beethoven.


Example #4

Compression, homogeneity (1809-10) Sonata in F-Sharp Major, op. 78 (1809) is challenging performers with the fragmented short motivic ideas which are eventually the characteristic of Beethoven’s last sonatas. One other interesting factor making this sonata unique is its intro measures.

It is only four-measure long, but it is not appropriate to be called introduction because of its completeness which never happened in the eighteenth-century introduction. Rather it is better to be considered as a (fragment of an) independent movement despite the short length.

Sonata in G Major, op.79 (1809) is relatively easy with full of humor and romantic character. Sonata in E-flat Major, op. 81a (1809-10) is the only program sonata by Beethoven for the reason he gave titles to each movement. Summation, transcendence (1814-27) The final years, especially from 1812 to 1817, were difficult for Beethoven.

He had the lawsuit over his nephew’s custody and suffered from deafness and Immortal Beloved. Especially the letter of Immortal Beloved and an attempt to starve himself are the biggest event between 1809 to 1814 when he restrained himself from writing a piano sonata.

E minor op. 90 is important for its role as a turning point for Beethoven. This sonata is one that Beethoven wrote for the first time after the five-year of struggling, and form this point, his composition took a completely new direction.


Example #5

Some of the most well-known composers came to be in in the classical music period. Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the composers, along with other greats of the time like Haydn and Mozart, which helped to create a new type of music. This new music had full rich sounds created by the new construction of the symphony orchestra.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the town of Bonn, Germany on December 16 of 1770. Bonn is located in western Germany on the Rhine River. Beethoven showed an affinity for music at an early age. His father, Johann, taught Ludwig to play the piano as well as the violin. Johann did this in hopes that his son would become a prodigy, and then reach fame like Wolfgang A. Mozart.

Regrettably, though in the late 1790s Beethoven began to lose his hearing. Then at the start of the 1800s, Beethoven changed the way he created music and his personality because of the increasing deafness. Prior to the increasing loss of hearing Beethoven had been full of pride and independence, though a little odd. When his hearing started to go he changed, he became more apprehensive and ill-tempered.

Despite becoming absolutely deaf by the end of his life Beethoven’s works were still brilliant. It was on March 26, 1827, when Beethoven died, the cause was a simple cold that turned into pneumonia and then later dropsy. Beethoven’s works are classified into three periods. Beethoven’s first period took place between the 1780s to approximately 1800.

The works produced during this period show the Beethoven was just beginning his musical journey. The pieces created are similar to ones created by Haydn, Mozart, Bach, and Neefe. Christian Neefe was one of Beethoven’s instructors from Bonn. Despite the fact that Beethoven modeled his early works after others they still showed his personality in the way they were written and in their robust melodies. In Beethoven’s second period he generated many of his most famous works. This period lasted from about 1800 to 1820.


Example #6

Ludwig van Beethoven was and remains today, an influential figure in the history of classical music. Perhaps no other composer in history wrote music of such inspiring power and expressiveness. His influence on the last 150 years of music is unequaled.

Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. His father, a music enthusiast, dreamed of molding his son into the next Mozart. Beethoven never showed the impressive characteristics of Mozart, but he was unusually talented, learning the piano, organ, and violin at a very early age. At 14, he was already skilled enough on the organ to receive a professional appointment (Beethoven).

He held positions as an assistant organist in the electoral chapel where he obtained his first lessons in composition from the court organist. His family life was chaotic; his father was an alcoholic, and his mother died suddenly when he was only 17. After that tragedy, his family situation declined even more, and this caused him to leave home in 1790 and travel to Vienna to study composition.

In Vienna, Beethoven first studied with Franz Joseph Haydn but eventually became frustrated with the great composer’s teaching methods and he moved on to study with other composers. He performed often in wealthy salons but interestingly enough, he did not perform in public until he was 25 years old (Beethoven).

Beethoven impressed many of his fellow composers including Mozart and while he was in Vienna, he had a chance to play for him. After Beethoven improvised brilliantly at the piano on a theme Mozart had given to him, the 30year-old Mozart ran excitedly into the next room and prophetically told his friends, “Watch that fellow – someday he’ll really make a name for himself!”


Example #7

Beethoven was born in December 1770. His family originated from Brabant, in Belgium. His father was a musician at the court of Bonn, His mother was always described as a gentle, with a warm heart. The Beethoven family consisted of seven children, but only the three boys survived, of whom Ludwig was the eldest.

A musician from the town of Mechelen in the Duchy of Brabant in the Flemish region of what is now Belgium, who at the age of twenty moved to Bonn. Ludwig (he adopted the German cognate of the Dutch Lodewijk) was employed as a bass singer at the court of the Elector of Cologne, eventually rising to become, in 1761, Kapellmeister (music director) and thereafter the pre-eminent musician in Bonn.

A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, most often written by composers for orchestra. Although the term has had many meanings from its origins in the ancient Greek era, by the late 18th century the word had taken on the meaning common today: a work usually consisting of multiple distinct sections or movements, often four, with the first movement in sonata form.

However, classical music really inspire some modern music and song. One of the examples is the song with the title road to joy by bright eyes was inspired by the music composed by the Beethoven which is an ode to joy. While we’re on the subject of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, why not take a listen to the nifty guitar riff for Muse’s ‘Plug In Baby’.

The symphony usually consists of four movements. So for the Symphony no. 5 consists of 4 movement which is Allegro con brio (C minor), Andante con moto (A? major), Scherzo: Allegro (C minor) and Allegro (C major).

Some conductors take it in strict allegro tempo; others take the liberty of a weighty treatment, playing the motif in a much slower and more stately tempo; yet others take the motif molto ritardando (a pronounced slowing through each four-note phrase), arguing that the fermata over the fourth note justifies this. Some critics and musicians consider it crucial to convey the spirit of [pause]and-two-and one, as written, and consider the more common one-two-three-four to be misleading.

Critic Michael Steinberg stated that with the “ta-ta-ta-taaa”, “Beethoven begins with eight notes.” In addition, “Beethoven clarifies the shape by lengthening the second of the long notes. This lengthening, which was an afterthought, is tantamount to writing a stronger punctuation mark. As the music progresses, we can hear in the melody of the second theme, for example (or later, in the pairs of antiphonal chorus of woodwinds and strings), that the constantly invoked connection between the two four-note units is crucial to the movement.

Steinberg states that seconds later, Beethoven jolts us with another such sudden halt. The music draws up to a half-cadence on a G-major chord, short and crisp in the whole orchestra, except for the first violins, who hang on to their high C for an unmeasured length of time. Forward motion resumes with a relentless pounding of eighth notes.”

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The first movement is in the traditional sonata form that Beethoven inherited from his classical predecessors, Haydn and Mozart (in which the main ideas that are introduced in the first few pages undergo elaborate development through many keys, with a dramatic return to the opening section the recapitulation about three-quarters of the way through).

It starts out with two dramatic fortissimo phrases, the famous motif, commanding the listener’s attention. Following the first four bars, Beethoven uses imitations and sequences to expand the theme, these pithy imitations tumbling over each other with such rhythmic regularity that they appear to form a single, flowing melody. Shortly after, a very short fortissimo bridge, played by the horns, takes place before a second theme is introduced.

This second theme is in E? major, the relative major, and it is more lyrical written piano and featuring the four-note motif in the string accompaniment. The codetta is again based on the four-note motif. The development section follows, including the bridge. During the recapitulation, there is a brief solo passage for oboe in improvisatory style, and the movement ends with a coda.


Example #8

Beethoven was a German who had a passion for music. He performed his first talent for piano at the age of eight. Beethoven’s father was very proud of him and wanted him to pursue a career in music.

Beethoven played the piano in a court. He would study Haydn and Mozart. He relocated to Vienna and there he made his mane as a virtuoso pianist. When he was living in Vienna, he started his position in composing. He composed a piece called Pathetique. Also, at this time, his hearing began to go away but those around had no idea about it.

Beethoven was known for the classical type of music, but he soon turned to the romantic side of music as started to make that type of music. Beethoven went through an era where he did not put music out because he was refusing to acknowledge his health. He went through depression and was having suicidal thoughts. In 1818, he was considered to be completely deaf.

Beethoven transitioned his music. He went from classical to romantic. One of his best-known compositions was the Symphony No.3.’ He wrote this in the honor of Napoleon. Beethoven found Napoleon as a man with superhuman capabilities. The composition was so unique that no one could ever pinpoint the exact sounds. He soon renamed the piece Eroica Symphony. It was such an extraordinary piece that everyone found it as one of the best of the entire genre of music.

A second composition is Symphony No. 5.’ It is best known for its first four notes. He started creating this piece in 1804 but had to be delayed for four years because other music had to be released. It was performed by the name of Symphony No. 6 because of how long it was delayed. The last composition is the famous Fur Elise.’ It was released 40 years after Beethoven’s death.

Most people think he dedicated this piece to his friend, Therese Malfatti. It was discovered by a German scholar. There are many more compositions. Beethoven’s music was very famous during his time. Everyone around loved every single one of his pieces.

Beethoven played many types of different pianos. He played each instrument with care but may be played each instrument too rough. He used Viennese pianos, in which every time he would compose a new song, he usually breaks the strings. With all the new changes in the pianos, they would be much stronger to handle Beethoven’s rough playing. Beethoven would go so into the song he is playing and lose control. Pianos improving gave him the benefit of playing just as he would like.

Before Beethoven went completely deaf, he created his greatest works. He tried to hide his illness from everyone around him. He composed many works before he deaf. When his hearing got worse, he would sit at his piano just to feel the vibration from the instrument.

At the beginning of his career, he would use high-frequency notes because he could hear them better, but after his hearing got worse, he stopped using those types of notes. He continued to perform after he went deaf, but he would break every piano because he was banging on it so hard in order to hear any type of sound.


Example #9

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer of the transitional period (Solomon, 1998). Beethoven was born on 17 December 1770 in Cologne, Germany, and died on 26 March 1827 in Vienna, Austria (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011). History judges Beethoven as the greatest composer to have ever lived. This unmatched praise comes out of the fact that Beethoven dominated the musical history of his time in an extraordinary manner.

Beethoven conveyed the philosophy of life through his musical compositions. Historically, Beethoven’s composition borrows attributes from the Classical era composers like Haydn and Mozart. Moreover, Beethoven’s art extends a spirit of humanism and incipient nationalism that had just surfaced at the end of the Classical period (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

The humanism and incipient nationalism theme are visible in the works of other composers like Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller both from Germany (Mai, 2007). Other than extending the theme of humanism and incipient nationalism, Beethoven also radically changed morality as portrayed by Kant (Mai, 2007). Furthermore, he also changed the ideals of the French revolution, extending an emphasis on the importance of a passionate concern for the observance of individual freedom and dignity (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

Some of Beethoven’s compositions strongly assert the human will. Beethoven was not a Romantic composer; however, there are characteristics in his works that indicate his influential role on how the works of the Romantics turned out. According to Beethoven, music embodied more emotions than a painting would do. Therefore, he explored all the available scopes of compositions that he could.

The result of this endeavor was an overall expansion of the various scopes such as sonata, symphony, quartet, and concerto (Ludwig van Beethoven’s biography, n.d). His attempts were the first for any composer and therefore Beethoven is arguably the innovator. Another important innovation credited to his name was the first combination of vocal and instrumental music (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

Another first for Beethoven was his struggle against life’s disadvantages and the fact that he literally lived from the proceeds of his music without having to do composition when he did not feel like doing them. In this regard, it is worthwhile to observe that Beethoven suffered from an encroaching deafness condition, and most of his notable compositions occurred during his last 10 years of living when he could practically not hear.

Beethoven sold his works and offered them commercially for publication. Other than that, he received regular payments pegged only on his compositions. Thus, Beethoven saw no need to engage in other economic activities to sustain him.

Beethoven comes from a family of singers. Notably, his grandfather settled in Bonn and sung at the choir of the archbishop-elector of Cologne (Ludwig van Beethoven’s biography, n.d). Moreover, Beethoven’s father also followed the example of his grandfather and sung at the electoral choir. The tale of Beethoven is not unique; it is common for children to pursue similar professions with their parents.

However, even though Beethoven seemingly had an easy start in music having his family’s approval, material support did not come easily. He was born in a well to do family that later become gradually poor. The poverty of the family started with the death of Beethoven’s grandfather and was accelerated by his father plunge into alcoholism (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

This poverty consequence must have had the harshest effect on Beethoven. He was forced to leave formal schooling at the age of 11 and assumed the responsibilities of feeding his family soon afterward when he became 18 years old (Mai, 2007).

Much of the success of Beethoven musically came after he reached his adolescence. Before reaching puberty, his father really wanted him to turn into a child prodigy like Mozart without success. This came after Johann, his father noted that Beethoven was quickly grasping his way around the piano (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

Another contributor to Beethoven’s development of his music career came from the political decisions of the ruler of Bonn. As Beethoven grew up, Bonn, his hometown, was transformed into a cultural capital city by Maximilian Francis who was a brother to Joseph II the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1780 (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

It was not as a surprise to anyone that the new ruler transformed the once sleepy town into a culturally vibrant city. Most notable is the ruler’s decision to limit the power of the clergy and the creation of a new university in Bonn. These two developments attracted notable literature contributors of the time because of its suitable conditions for literary works (Mai, 2007).

During this transformational Bonn city, the Christian Gottlob named Neefe, a protestant, as its organist. Neefe later interacted with Beethoven and became his teacher. Neefe was not a renowned musician; in fact, he was most influential to Beethoven in the shaping up of his ideas rather than in his music compositions. Nevertheless, Beethoven communicated his emotions through his music. Neefe becomes instrumental in assisting Beethoven to publish his first surviving composition.

Neefe was a man of high ideals and wide culture, coupled with immense experience in letter writing, the composition of songs, and light theoretical pieces. This capacity enabled him to assist in the publication of Beethoven’s first work in 1793. During this time, Beethoven had worked for Neefe for almost a year, serving in the capacity of an assistant court organist.

A major break for Beethoven, which would be much celebrated by Johann, his father, given the amount of attention he had offered in coaching him as a child, came in 1787. After the publication of his first composition, Beethoven became relatively known and was appointed the continuo player to the Bonn opera (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011). Later on in 1787, the archbishop-elector, Maximilian Francis decided to reward the extraordinary talent of Beethoven for the benefit of the whole city’s cultural progress.

He sent Beethoven to the same university as Mozart in Vienna. Unfortunately, Beethoven could not complete his studies after the death of his mother. However, for the brief moment that he was in Vienna, he managed to convince Mozart that his ability to improvise would make him a great name in the world of music (Morris, 2005).

While back at Bonn for five years that followed his leave from Vienna, Beethoven assumed more duties playing at the theatre orchestra and started making worthy acquaintances. At first, he became a teacher of four children of a former Bonn chancellor (Solomon, 1998). Out of this arrangement, the new job presented him with a friendlier home than his own.

In addition, from the association with the chancellor’s four children, Beethoven was able to get more wealthy pupils for his class. Furthermore, out of favorable circumstances, Beethoven happened to play at the Breuning circle. During his performance, part of the audience was Waldstein, a member of the highest Viennese aristocracy (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011). Waldstein was a music lover (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

Walden’s admiration for Beethoven’s work led him to extend exclusive invitations to Beethoven to perform at high society functions such as the funeral of Joseph II, the Holy Roman Empire’s ruler. However, his compositions were not performed at the funeral as players found some sections too complicated to grasp under a short practice time (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

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Later in the 19th century, the discovery of the manuscripts by Beethoven led to their first even known performance (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011). Before that, a renowned composer, Haydn, was impressed by the composition and took Beethoven as his pupil (Solomon, 1998). In 1792, Beethoven left Bonn during the French Revolution and never went back.

Genuine students of Beethoven hold great value to his works composed while he still lived in Bonn than those he composed while in Vienna. A major contributing fact to this observance is that at Bonn, Beethoven had a more severe clash with life’s experiences that made his emotions so deep thus making his compositions quite rich and attractive to the students of his music. His compositions are done while he was in Bonn embody his struggles to get used to his inadequate training and natural difficulties (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

Out of Bonn, Beethoven’s most notable influence was in his use of sudden pianos; unexpected outbursts, and wide leaping arpeggio, having the concluding explosive impact that later become known as the Mannheim rockets. After his departure from Bonn, the general style of Bonn changed into a preoccupation with extremes of soft and loud played in contradiction to the musical phrasing (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

The most notable influences for Beethoven musically were the popular music and folk music of his time. An examination of Beethoven’s mature music reveals instances of major influences from heavy Rhineland dance rhythms. Other than that, Beethoven assimilated idioms from Italian, French, Slavic, and Celtic.

Beethoven’s work shows a mild disregard for the harmonic procedure of folk melody. Beethoven also had an impingement from French music through his strong links with its capital Paris. From the Bonn national theatre, Beethoven also found French inspirations because it relied on repertories translated from French. Beethoven’s work shows favor for the forward march of the French Revolution because of the sympathy that Bonn had for the French Revolution (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

Beethoven grew with the piano teachings of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach who was the head of the expression music during its period as a major influence. The intellectual climate that raised Beethoven contributed to his ready acceptance and improvisation of the piano teaching more than other notable composers, such as Mozart and Haydn, did (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

During this period, music was viewed as an assortment of feelings. While Neefe, Beethoven’s master, valued feelings, in theory, Beethoven saw feelings in their practicality of everyday life. Perhaps that is the reason why some scholars identify his music as Romantic (Morris, 2005).

It would be expected that Beethoven would compose a lot of music based on solo performance because of the fact that his father and grandfathers were singers. However, Beethoven moves radically from this notion instead, favoring plural voice. Beethoven varied major themes of his time and presented them in a plural voice such that this feature became a recognizable attribute of his piano technique. His radical approach came from the view of compositions as the works of an artist rather than a musician (Solomon, 1998).

While in Bonn, Beethoven had become a piano dazzling. He was a prodigy at extemporization surpassing Mozart. Beethoven moved audiences to their tears with so much ease compared to other great pianists of his time. The aristocracies of Vienna were moved by this power and readily took him immediately when he moved to Vienna. The acceptance by the aristocracy made his music a favorite pastime for the whole of Vienna (Ludwig van Beethoven, 2011).

While in Vienna, Beethoven had another secret teacher in Vienna because he had more difficulties to deal with than Haydn could handle. Antonio Salieri was one of the secret teachers of Beethoven, he taught him vocal compositions (Morris, 2005). In 1795, Beethoven had his first public performance in Vienna. During this time, he also participated in a benefit concert for Haydn who had since moved to London. As the century ended so did Beethoven’s first part of his life, marked by his unfortunate problem of deafness (Mai, 2007).

Many people wonder how Beethoven who was already known as a great musician and composer would function musically without a hearing ability. During this period, Bonn appears as having a huge importance allocation by Beethoven because the first persons he confides in, about his condition, are from Bonn (Ludwig van Beethoven’s biography, n.d.).

When the deafness became acute, Beethoven started using notebooks to interact with his visitors, and most notable were his responses in written form. Beethoven resolved to rise above the difficulties presented by his deafness. However, he was very bitter about the loss of hearing. According to Beethoven’s accounts of his deafness, the cause was his treatment for a stomach condition (Ludwig van Beethoven’s biography, n.d).

Doctors advised him to have cold baths, which greatly improved his wretched belly condition; however, the treatment came at the expense of his ear problem, which got worse with every additional cold bath. Beethoven noted that winter baths had the most horrible effect such that he had to seek additional medication to address the problem of his ear. Notably, he wrote that his ears sung and buzzed constantly (Ludwig van Beethoven’s biography, n.d.).

As a mature composer, Beethoven was very anxious about monetary compensation attributable to the fact that he had no other income source other than his music (Mai, 2007). The instance of going deaf and having little money to live on pushed Beethoven into depression.

What pushed him beyond his struggle was his personality and the fact that he considered himself as an artist more than a composer (Solomon, 1998). Thus, his outlook on life and music came from an intellectual engagement in his mind. Even the expression of emotions in his music had to be channeled through carefully crafted thoughts (Solomon, 1998).

This essay has demonstrated beyond doubt why Ludwig van Beethoven is a respected and renowned composer. Moreover, it presents a deeper look at the major influencing factors of his career such as his health condition.

The reader would appreciate Beethoven as a genius by looking at his struggles, how he used his limited but critical opportunities to further his career. Lastly, this essay presents a critical link to understanding Beethoven; that of an artist and a musician.


Example #10 – interesting ideas

Beethoven probably used more sforzandos than any other composer of his period. He was also considered one of the first pioneers of Romanticism in music in the ways he wrote his later works.

If you mean the 9th symphony (that’s where the Ode to Joy theme was taken from), it was the very first time that voices had been incorporated into a symphony. Prior to that, nobody did it. Yes, he was deaf when he wrote it, but that isn’t the main reason why it’s so famous.

The first movement of his 9th symphony can be considered ‘free form’. Beethoven wasn’t writing it according to traditional sonata or symphonic forms. That was what made it so different. He also didn’t care for pretty melodies in the opening of the 1st movement. In fact, the very opening section is often called a ‘horror fanfare’ because it shocked audiences so much when it was first performed in Beethoven’s days. If you were to compare it to the Mozart or Haydn symphonies before that, you’ll see what a huge difference it was.

The fourth movement is where the Ode to Joy theme is from. As I’ve already mentioned, nobody before Beethoven had put voices into a symphony, let alone a whole chorus complete with soloists. The cellos imitate a recitative (that’s a term used in opera to refer to the speech-like singing in between arias), and the recitative melody is then taken up by a male soloist singing it. The theme (Ode to Joy) is then sung by the full chorus.

Now for something completely unrelated to your question. I’m sure the chorus sopranos of Beethoven’s time AND today – want to kill him for writing the crazy soprano part in the symphony. It’s horrendously high in terms of where the melody sits. No one in their right mind would ask chorus sopranos to hit high A’s and B’s repeatedly, with such a loud dynamic level. Makes one wonder what was going through his mind when he wrote it.

Why do you think Beethoven composed 8 symphonies in 14 years and why his ninth symphony wasn’t composted until ten years after his 8 symphonies.

Because by the time he wrote the 9th symphony, he was completely deaf. In order to “hear” the chords and music, he had to put his ear on the floor to feel the vibrations of the chords. I think that would slow down the process considerably, don’t you?

When Beethoven passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple of days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Beethoven was buried. Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, “Ah, yes, that’s Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, being played backward.”

He listened a while longer, and said, “There’s the Eighth Symphony, and it’s backward, too. Most puzzling.” So the magistrate kept listening; “There’s the Seventh… the Sixth… the Fifth…”

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, “My fellow citizens, there’s nothing to worry about. It’s just Beethoven decomposing.”

Hook statement for comparison essay Beatles to Beethoven?

“The letter B serves many purposes in the musical world. It is the middle line for the treble clef, it is the key for Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, and last but not least, it is the initial for Beethoven and the Beatles.”

I can see one similarity between the two: In many of his piano sonatas, Beethoven contrasts a less smooth first theme with a steady and legato second theme (f minor sonata, op. 2 no. 1, first movement at ms. 20; A major sonata, op. 2 no. 2, first movement at ms. 59; C major sonata, op. 2 no. 3, fourth movement at ms. 30; “Little Pathetique” Sonata, op. 10 no. 1, first movement at ms. 56; D major sonata, op. 10 no. 3, first movement at ms. 23; “Pastorale” sonata in D major, op. 28, first movement at ms. 76; g minor sonata, op. 49 no. 1, first movement at ms. 16, second movement at ms. 20).

Many pop artists have followed Beethoven’s example. Beatle songs of this nature include “When I’m 64” and “Girl.”


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