Music Paper: Beethoven

Topics: Tempo, Symphony, Ludwig van Beethoven Pages: 6 (2288 words) Published: January 16, 2011
Beethoven’s Life
On December 17, 1770, an amazing composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, was born. According to the “Enjoyment of Music” textbook, Beethoven was born in Bohn, Germany. His father, along with his grandfather, was both singers at the court of the local prince, Max Friedrich. (Forney & Machlis 197).

It was exposed that Beethoven, at an extremely young age, was forced to have to support his mother and two younger brothers due to his father’s constant drunkenness. Not even at the age of maturity yet, Beethoven was the assistant organist in the court chapel. A single year later, he advanced to become the harpsichordist in the court orchestra. A talented young man, Beethoven was privileged enough to perform for the infamous Mozart at the tender age of seventeen. Mozart too noticed that this young man was unusually gifted, commenting to his friends, “keep an eye n him- he will make a noise in the world some day”. And that, he surely did.

Beethoven did do what he had originally set out to do though. He was more than able to support his mother and brothers with handsome payments for lessons or gifts, given to him by the music-loving aristocracy. He also got money by performing concerts and writing and publishing his music.

Then, the most horrible thing that can happen to a musician happened to him; he began to lose his sense of hearing. His first symptoms occurred in his early twenties and he started to feel alone in the world, and inadequate. He personally felt the blow perhaps even more hard than he should have because he felt that hearing was the sense that was almost owed to him in a way; he felt that that was the sense that was supposed to be superior to the others to say the least, and it was supposed to be much sharper and developed for him, who trained his hearing to the sound of music, than for a common man.

Later, Beethoven realized that art must have given him the happiness that life withheld; so he fought his way back to health. At the height of five foot four, Beethoven died deaf. It is evident that he did not regain his hearing though. Beethoven died because he took a carriage ride while the weather as bad; this brought on an attack of edema that that proved fatal. According to the text, “Beethoven died at the age of fifty seven, famous and revered”.

Side note=> the text also offers that due to modern science, it has been concurred that Beethoven may have dead from lead toxicity. They do not believe that he was poisoned though, but rather excessively came in contact with china, pots, or wine, which are all potential sources of lead. They found this by DNA analysis of a lock of his hair, cut off at his death and preserved throughout the years. The researchers claim that lead toxicity causes serious health problems, “,many of which matched Beethoven’s symptoms”. All the information on this subject can be found in Russell Martin’s book, “Beethoven’s Hair” (2000)

Beethoven’s Music
Beethoven is regarded in the text as “the supreme architect in music”. This is simply for the fact that he is a musical genius, and his genius is only matched by a select few. He was particularly well at sonatas and symphonies in large-scale forms. Beethoven’s works took place in three different periods: the first period having reflected the Classical elements; in which he had inherited from his predecessors, or his idols, Haydn and Mozart. Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times- which ranges from Bach to Beethoven. The second period is where characteristics that were more closely associated with the nineteenth-century. The nineteenth century entailed stronger dynamic contrasts, explosive accents, and longer movements. In the text, Beethoven is credited for expanding the dimensions of the first movement, especially the coda, and making the development section the...

Bibliography: • Forney, Kristine, and Joseph Machlis. "The Enjoyment of Music". 10th . NYC, New York; Wells Street, London: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2007. 197-205. Print.
• Wikipedia contributors. "Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010.
• Wikipedia contributors. "Symphony No. 7 (Beethoven)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 Nov. 2010. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.
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