Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: Mvt. 2 Scherzo

Topics: Symphony No. 9, Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony Pages: 3 (933 words) Published: December 11, 2008
MUL 2110-02


Word Count: 791

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony: Mvt. 2 Scherzo

Throughout time there have been an ample amount of composers that have made great contributions to the musical world. The standard orchestral repertoire includes a lot of amazing works that have influenced countless people. However, since 1827, it can be argued that no composer has had the monumental impact on music that Ludwig van Beethoven did.

Beethoven was a third generation musician. His grandfather and father were both singers. Beethoven was baptized on the seventeenth of December 1770 (Grove). He began studying music before the age of ten with Christian Gottlob Neefe (Grove). Beethoven visited Vienna to study under Mozart, but returned home for unknown reasons (Grove.) However, Beethoven did have a famous instructor when he studied under Haydn in his early twenties (Grove). Beethoven began to go deaf sometime after 1796, but didn’t admit it to anyone until 1801 (Grove). His deafness had increased a great deal by 1814, and by 1818 he was having conversations by writing in a notebook (Grove). Beethoven wrote a multitude of pieces, including chamber music, piano sonatas, and an opera (Grove). However, it is arguable that Beethoven’s most famous works were the nine symphonies he wrote (Vazsonyi). Beethoven’s ninth symphony, commonly referred to as “The Ninth,” is based upon the poem, by Friedrich Schiller, “Ode to Joy” (Freed) (Gibbs). The Ninth has been used in several movies, television shows, and commercials and almost everyone has heard an excerpt from the piece in their life. This symphony is truly epic and has changed the way composers would write for years to come including the twenty-first century.

The second movement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony is a scherzo. The Italian word for “joke,” is scherzo, and if Beethoven was trying to be a comedian through music he succeeded. This is one of only a few pieces of the classical/romantic era that...

Bibliography: Freed, Richard Program Notes for Beethoven 's 9th Symphony. National Symphony Orchestra: 26 September 2007 (Accessed 20 October 2007),
Gibbs, Christopher H. Notes on Beethoven 's Ninth Symphony. Program notes of the Philadelphia Orchestra: June 13, 2006 (Accessed 19 October 2007),
Kerman, Joseph, Alan Tyson: ‘Beethoven, Ludwig van ', Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 19 October 2007),
Levy, David Benjamin. Beethoven: The Ninth Symphony. New York: Schirmer Books, 1995
Schenker, Heinrich. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992
Vazsonyi, Balint. Men for all Seasons. National Review, Vol. 48, December 31, 1996
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