Each person has their own version of who the best is and what it takes. For some people, it’s about how far one capable is to push boundaries. How competent and efficient someone is in completing a given task or one they concocted for themselves. The composer, Ludwig Van Beethoven, was the perfect example of this. He was a ‘revolutionary, breaking the rules, stretching musical forms to unleash emotion, and catapulting the Classical Era into the Romantic’. He formed compositions while being almost or completely deaf. And due to this fact, composers like Sphor would call his art an ‘indecipherable horror’, but really Beethoven was a just a man ahead of his time who not only composed the greatest pieces of all time but inspired others to do the same.
Ludwig Van Beethoven was a German pianist and an innovated composer whose works of arts combined vocals and instruments. He was a transitional figure connecting the classical and romantic ages of western music. His art encompasses the spirit of humanism and a passion for the freedom and dignity of an individual. He exhibited the eloquence to project a philosophy of life without the support of a spoken text. If any composer deserved a revolutionary title, it should be Beethoven. The origin of the word revolution derives from the discoveries of the scientist Copernicus. He transformed the way we looked at the universe by establishing the way the earth revolved around the sun and our place in it. Similarly, Beethoven changed the way music was composed and listened to. Before Beethoven, wealthy patrons would doze through a composition and go home. Beethoven wrote music inspiring power and expressiveness. His deviation is the exact rebellious technique that made composers like Mozart and Beethoven great. Other artists were against the notion of deriving from a structured pattern and reinventing themselves.
Before his rise to fame, Beethoven suffered a miserable childhood. His father was an alcoholic and often abused him. He would force Beethoven to practice continuously and would slam the piano cover on his fingers if he made a mistake. And if he made no mistakes, there would be no positive reinforcement. Too often he would also wake him up in the middle of the night to just hear him play. He lost his mother at a young age and became the breadwinner when his father lost his job from being an alcoholic. He served as a deputy organist while Christian Neefe, the court organist, took leave, and was already under works to be considered a piano virtuoso. Beethoven was born during the classical period, which lasted from the 18 century to the 19 century. It was a time when wrote in strict, predictable music forms and more interested in orderly presentation than exploring intense human emotion. His works distinguish themselves from other composers by the extensive development of musical material, themes and motifs usually by the man of modulation. And he looked upon Mozart and Hayden’s compositions as models to create his own. By the age of 30, Beethoven had composed six string quartets, his first symphony and a couple of piano concertos. Beethoven’s musical timeline can be divided into three sections. An early period in which his works show the heavy influence of Mozart and Hayden, a mature period where he develops his own distinctive style, and a late period in which he wrote “transcendent” and “sublime” compositions by combining artists like Bach and Handel with Mozart and Hayden.
He had everything going for him until he noticed a buzzing sound in his ears. He couldn’t bear tell anyone in fear that it would ruin his career. It wasn’t till 1818 that Beethoven began communicating with people via writing in notebooks. A common question is how Did Beethoven compose without hearing, and the reality is that it likely wasn’t as hard as it seems. Music is like any other language. Knowing the rules of how music is made, one could sit back and compose song without hearing it. But as his life began to change from his disability so did his work. They began to take one a darker tone than his previous piano sonatas.
Beethoven’s faces several hardships throughout his lifetime, but it didn’t stop him from having a revolutionary spirit. Freedom and progress were not only his goals in his life, but what he centered it around. Known as the Shakespeare of music, Beethoven continues to inspire and revive the revolutionary spirit. He believed that all should strive towards the unattainable never stop learning.