The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven
Elijah Colby Corder
Dr. Brack Miles May
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn Germany and learned how to play piano and music from his father. He grew up in a poor lifestyle and had a drunken, abusive father. He would soon move to perfect his musical talents and create many new great pieces of music. Beethoven developed a good name for himself in the music world and was starting to become famous. He would then later become deaf and would contemplate whether or not take his own life, but he decided to over come his hardship and was able to continue his work in music. His unique style and life story has become an inspiration for modern day musicians and music lovers.
The Life of Ludwig Van Beethoven
As a musician I sometimes look back on famous musicians and composers to see what thought process was and how they were able to produce such great pieces of music. One composer, in particular, I like to look back on is none other than Ludwig Van Beethoven. Beethoven is quite possibly the most well-known composer in music history; whether it’s his famous pieces of music that he wrote, or the lifestyle and struggles that Beethoven went through at the time when creating these pieces. Like many composers, Beethoven has left a major impact on music and his influence is still used in today’s time with modern music. In this paper we’ll go over what Beethoven has done to make him the famous composer that we all know and love.
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn, Germany. Beethoven’s father, Johann Van Beethoven, was a musician that was known for his singing and piano playing. Growing up, Beethoven’s father has taught him how to play instruments such as violin and the piano. However, growing up with his father wasn’t the best home life. Beethoven’s dad was a major alcoholic and would often wake Beethoven in middle of the night and force him to get out bed to perform in front of his father’s drunken friends. If Beethoven refused to perform then his dad would beat him until he played. Despite his father’s behavior, Beethoven had the potential to become a great pianist and in order to help with his talent he decided to leave Bonn to go to perfect his talent in music.
After leaving Bonn, Beethoven has made a name for himself in Vienna as a piano virtuoso, with a particular talent for extemporization. Most of his published works during his time in Vienna was mainly for the piano, alone or with other instruments, important exceptions being the String Trio in E-flat Major, Opus 3; the Three String Trios, Opus 9; the Six String Quartets, Opus 18; and the First Symphony. Things were going great for Beethoven until he slowly started to become deaf. Beethoven’s deafness affected his social life, and it changed his personality. He struggled to make out what people were saying in conversations and he even considered taking his own life. However, Beethoven revealed in a letter to his friend Franz Wegeler “I must confess that I lead a miserable life. For almost two years I have ceased to attend any social functions, just because I find it impossible to say to people: I am deaf. If I had any other profession, I might be able to cope with my infirmity; but in my profession it is a terrible handicap.” So, while it was difficult for Beethoven to continue his career, some his greatest pieces came from this part of his life. Pieces such as the last five piano sonatas, the Missa solemnis, and the Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy). It looked great for Beethoven; however, Beethoven caught a cold that soon developed into pneumonia and would later die on March 26, 1827. Leaving behind his legacy in the world of music.
In this modern age of music, we consider Beethoven as a musical genius. Beethoven is viewed as a transitional figure between the Classical and Romantic era in music history. Beethoven had the ability to rapidly establish a solidity in contrasting different keys and adding unexpected notes to join them. Another thing about his style was his extensive use of forceful, marked, and even stark rhythmic patterns throughout his compositions in particular, some of which are primarily rhythmic rather than a melody. This allowed him to combine some of his different features of his themes in a wide variety of ways, extending the techniques of Haydn in development. Beethoven’s music has meant a great deal to just about everyone in general. For example, in France, Beethoven has become the “Musician of the People” and was looked as a “hero of the French Revolution.” Many bands and musicians show a clear classical music influence in their work. Some musicians even have a hint of Beethoven thrown in precariously as he might have to make their piece as original as Beethoven’s was.
Looking back at Beethoven’s life, growing up, other musicians can relate to some of his situations. Whether it was his drunk abusive father, his hard times when he went deaf, or simply just overcoming everything and creating what he loved Beethoven is by far one of the best musicians to turn out the way he did. His story will always be an inspiration for us because no matter how hard life can knock you down you can come back and do something amazing. In conclusion, Beethoven is and will always be a legend in music for everyone in the future.
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