Beethoven: Musical Inspiration

Moon 2

Table of Contents Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 3 Childhood ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 3 Hearing Problems ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 4 Achievements ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 6 Bibliography ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 8

2

Moon 3

Outline I. Introduction II. Development of Beethoven A. Childhood B. Beginning of Musical Life C. Beethoven¶s teachers III. Beethoven¶s Weakness A. Deaf B. Effects of Deafness IV. Achievements of Beethoven A. Famous Pieces B. Influence on other musicians V. Conclusion

3

Moon 4

Alice Moon Mrs. Panks English- Period 7 12 May 2010 Beethoven: Musical Inspiration Introduction Beethoven was a musician throughout the 18th century. For half of his life he was deaf, yet he could compose wonderful masterpieces. He followed the steps of other composers and became an inspiration for others. Beethoven¶s father believed that Beethoven could be a second Mozart, which wasn¶t completely true (Zobeley, 16). Beethoven ended up becoming famous in his teenage years instead of his young childhood. Beethoven¶s lived a long time ago, but some major points in his life were his childhood, deafness, and great achievements. Childhood Beethoven had a very hard and confusing childhood. Even his birth date is unclear. Some people believe that he was born on December 16, 1770, but others think that it might be the day after. According to Zobeley, The Portrait of Beethoven, Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 and baptized on the next day. Beethoven¶s year of birth is 1770, but Beethoven always told people that he was two years older and didn¶t tell anyone his exact birthday (Zobeley, 9). Beethoven¶s family was Flemish and consisted of many musicians. His grandfather was a singer in a choir of Cologne. His father, Johann, was a tenor singer in a choir during the 18th century. Beethoven¶s father wanted to make Beethoven a prodigy like
Comment [A1]: What does second Mozart mean?

Mozart, but that didn¶t happen till his teenage years. His mother was Maria Magdalena van Beethoven (Budden and Knapp, Britanica Biographies). Ludwig Beethoven was the oldest

4

Moon 5

son of three children. He used to have six siblings, but four of them died at a young age or when they were born (Budden and Richard, Beethoven). Beethoven¶s musical life started at a very early point in his life. Zobeley states that Beethoven had a ³skill on keyboard more than qualified him for recommendation as piano teacher to the aristocratic families of the court.´ (23). Beethoven first started to learn music from his father. Some people around the family believed that Beethoven¶s father made Beethoven practice the piano for 24 hours since his father was a music teacher. Some even thought that his father would wake him in the middle of the night to practice. Even though people thought Beethoven was forced to practice, Beethoven actually really liked practicing the piano. After he mastered the piano, he moved on to learning the violin and organ (Zebeley, 16). After his father, Beethoven was taught by Gottlob, Neefe. He noticed Beethoven¶s talent so he wrote about it in his report. Neefe was the first to compare Beethoven to Mozart. Beethoven wrote his first composition ³Maestoso´ under Neefe¶s guidance and Neefe published eight of Beethoven¶s compositions (Zebeley, 17-21). Beethoven always dreamed of learning from Mozart. Beethoven was allowed to work under Mozart for only two weeks before he had to return to his sick mother in Bonn, who died later on July 17, 1787. Therefore Beethoven could not continue to learn under Mozart (Budden and Richard, Beethoven). Hayden taught him next and had a hard time because every time Beethoven made a mistake he blamed Hayden. Even though it was hard, Hayden was still impressed and submitted compositions to help Beethoven (Zebeley, 33-34). Albrechtsberger was the next and last mentor and he was strict. He made Beethoven do numerous exercises that could last for several hours. Even though Beethoven felt overworked he felt a sense of trust towards Albrectsberger (Zebeley, 36). Beethoven¶s teenage year was when he started composing, but he faced many problems as he grew older. Hearing Problems

Comment [A2]: What were the names of the other siblings?

5

Moon 6

Beethoven¶s major weakness was that he had hearing problems. It took twenty years for him to go completely deaf. No one really knows what the cause was, but some researchers think that his Eustachian tube was smaller than normal. Beethoven¶s hearing problem was based on a nerve problem in his ear, but the Eustachian tube has nothing to do with the nerves (Huxtable, ³Life of Sound´). Another cause could have been when he was a child he had an infirmity. His mother couldn¶t take him to a hospital so she tried to just give him her own medicine. The infirmity could have broken the nerve in his ear (Zebeley, 16). Beethoven also had hyperacusis, a sickness where you can¶t handle loud noises. Sadly, Beethoven couldn¶t hear low sounds very well so he always had to lean in. He can hear conversations, but he can¶t understand what exactly the words mean (Huxtable, ³Life and Sound´). In 1801, Beethoven also had Tinnitus, an illness where you can hear whistles and bussing in your ears nonstop. Beethoven was scared about what was going on with his ear and after this he lost all hope of ever recovering his hearing (Huxtable, ³Life and Sound´). Beethoven¶s horrible hearing problems influenced the rest of his life. Beethoven¶s hearing problems had both positive and negative effects on his life. Huxtable states positive effects such as ³These early years of high anxiety for Beethoven was extremely productive musically.´ Beethoven could not play the piano or conduct pieces anymore, but he could still compose songs for his life. People still called him ³a blessing in disguise.´ Beethoven later decided he would not hide his hearing problems anymore so this helped his musical career and his personal life. At first he hid his secret from everyone except his close friends, but he later told the public (Huxtable, ³Life of Sound´). A negative effect is that at first Beethoven had to wear an ear trumpet for the rest of his life so that the noises around him were intensified (Huxtable, ³Life and Sound´). Another effect is that he became a loner. He didn¶t want anyone to figure out he was deaf since he was a composer. Beethoven removed himself from public life and rarely went outside. No one noticed his hearing

6

Moon 7

problems at first, but he told some of his close friends. He also got overly stressed which caused depression and thoughts of suicide. Music helped him through even though he knew he couldn¶t hear it ever again (Huxtable, ³Life and Sound´). Huxtable says, ³Deafness may have heightened his abilities as a composer« permitting a world of increasing auditory seclusion.´ He also says that Beethoven¶s deafness ³caused no tragic turn.´ Achievements Some of Beethoven¶s major achievements were his symphonies and his impact on the world. Beethoven is famous for 3rd, 7th, and 9th symphony. The Third Symphony is called ³Eroica´. This symphony was a very unique one because Beethoven made it twice the length and it was much more complex than others. Beethoven didn¶t follow the basic symphony movements of fast-slow-minuet-fast, which is something new (³Eroica´). The Seventh Symphony is called ³Pastoral´. This piece was for soldiers who were wounded during the battle of Harau. This piece was Beethoven¶s most successful concert. ³Pastoral´ has different styles, but it wasn¶t as intense as ³Eroica´ (³Symphony 7´). The Ninth Symphony is called ³Ode to Joy´ and it¶s Beethoven¶s last symphony. People think that this was his best piece even though he was completely deaf at this time. ³Ode to Joy´ was the first symphony to add vocal parts (³Symphony 9´). Some other famous works of Beethoven is Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise. Some people nowadays believe that Fur Elise was dedicated to a woman that Beethoven loved. Beethoven made major changes in music, but also in lives. Beethoven impacted the past and present day world so much. He impacted different composers such as Brahms, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, and Liszt. Chopin and Schubert didn¶t want to relate to anyone, but their music still relates a bit to Beethoven¶s unintentionally. Brahms and Schumann actually wanted to follow Beethoven¶s lead. They continued the Romantic Era with their own pieces (³Musical Influence´). Beethoven impacted music because he started the Romance Era of Music. He was the first to influence

7

Moon 8

the idea of romance expressed in music (³Musical Influence´). Different paintings, poems, and novels were based of Beethoven¶s hard work. Beethoven was deaf, but he could still make harmonies and long sonatas (³Musical Influence´). Beethoven was able to make future composers have a new way at looking at music and imagination. Beethoven opened a new way to look at music with more imagination (³His World´). Beethoven died on March 26, 1827. He died because he had a grave illness that no one could cure. Some people even believe he had lead poisoning. Beethoven¶s still talked about nowadays and known worldwide for his fantastic compositions. He has the pride of being able to write music even thought he was deaf for almost half of his life. Beethoven is an inspiration to all musicians.

8

Moon 9

Work Cited Page: Bibliography ³Beethoven and His World.´ Fishercenter.bard.edu. Bard. Web. 24 April 2010. ³Beethoven Symphony 9.´ Beethovensymphony9.org. 2010. Beethoven Symphony 9. Web. 24 April 2010 ³Beethoven¶s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92.´ Npr.org. 13 Jun. 2006. NPR Music. Web. 24 April 2010. Budden, Julian Medforth, and Knapp L. Richard. ³Beethoven, Ludwig van.´ Britannica Biographies. 2010: 1-2. Student Resource Center. EbscoHost. Y.I.S.S., Seoul, South Korea. Web. April 17 2010 Huxtable, Ryan J. ³Beethoven: A life of Sound and Silence.´ Molecular Interventions. Apr. 2001: 8-12. Web. ³Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) Symphony No. 3 in E flat, 'Eroica'.´ Library.thinkquest.org,1998. Symphony an Interactive Guide. Web. 24 April 2010 ³The Musical Influence of Ludwig Van Beethoven.´ Class.uh.edu. Class.uh. Web. 24 April 2010. Zobeley, Fritz. Portrait of Beethoven. New York: Herder and Herder, 1972. Print.

9

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master your semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.