Beethoven














By:
Seth Cox





















English Research Paper
3/26/99


Ludwig Van Beethoven, thought by many to be a sort of demi-god, a man of
otherworldly genius. Beethoven has had such titles as: Beethoven the Creator,
Beethoven, the Man who Freed Music, and Beethoven, Life of a Conqueror,
(Internet source, roughguides 1). These typical images created of Beethoven have
been around since the composerís day, extracting the astounding character from
the his astounding music. True excellence does not come from on category, to
discover his true source of excellence, his life, time and hardship must be
uncovered.
Beethoven is believed to be the ultimate product of German idealism and the
very personification of an age of revolution. Beethovenís music declared his love
for humanity, but in fact he hated most people. Beethoven put with people for
one sole reason, himself, the people paid his way, and he needed the money.
Beethovenís music was loved by all, and wanted by many, and he was capable of
selling scores to six or seven different publishers. Beethoven was a man who
wanted money, he didnít care about ideas or principles, so he sold his music to
anyone. Beethoven asserted his independence and self-expression by stating,
ďWhat is in my heart must come out, and so I write it downĒ (Internet source,
roughguides 1)
From the time of its composition, his music has been celebrated as western
civilizations most powerful expression of its innermost experience. Beethoven
has been renowned as the greatest, most respected pianist of the day. He was able
to improvise at length upon any theme, and capable of technical feats, that stump
and confuse even trained musicians nowadays, making them impossible to
duplicate. Beethovenís technique came as a shock to many people, he would raise
his hands above his head and literally smash the keys with such force that he
regularly broke the strings. Beethoven was so mad at himself for not being able
to reproduce the sounds in his head, he punished the keyboard for not allowing
him greater freedom.
Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770. He was not the first in his
family to deal with music, his father and grandfather were musicians at the court
of the Elector of Colongne. His father recognized his sonís talents; and his efforts
helped Beethoven to develop to his fullest extent. Beethoven started to take
lessons for the piano, violin and possibly the viola with his father as his teacher.
In 1778, Beethovenís father arranged a public concert in Bonn. After the concert,
his father realized that he must look elsewhere to teach his son.
Beethoven soon began to take lessons from a man named Christian Neefe.
During Beethovenís time of development, Neefeís teachings were vital, and also
through him, Beethoven gained a firm musical grounding. With Neefeís
teachings, Beethoven was encouraged to look beyond Bonn, so in 1787, he set out
for Vienna, but had to return on account of his mothers sickness. When
Beethoven returned from Vienna, he was appointed assistant organist and was
also a viola player in the court orchestra. In the winter of 1788, Beethoven was
engaged to
play in a theater orchestra that the Elector had organized. Beethovenís work at
court gained him valuable experience of orchestral practice and composition. In
1790, Beethoven met a man named Haydn, and in 1792 Beethoven decided that
he would go to Vienna and study with this man Haydn.
A few month after arriving in Vienna, Beethoven received word that his father
had died. His fathers death left Beethoven much pain and dispare, as well as
financial problems. His salary was guaranteed by the Elector because of his
friends at home, and even Haydn tried to help. Along with financial problems,
Haydn, who was giving Beethoven lessons, decided that he could no longer help
Beethoven, and left on a trip to London. This loss of lessons didnít affect
Beethoven much, as it turned out his lessons had not been much of a success.
After this, Beethoven decided that he should stay in Vienna and try to make a
career for himself.
In 1801, Beethoven began to notice a change in his hearing. At first, he
suffered day and night from a terrible buzzing in his head, but before long, he lost
the ability to distinguish pitch, and by 1803 he was virtually stone deaf. During
this time, Beethoven not once complained that he had become creatively impaired
because of his deafness, in fact, he went on to compose the most adventurous
piano music ever written. During this time of hardship, he went on to compose
such work as his Third