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t was not possible for me to say: speak louder, shout, because I am deaf. Alas, how would it be possible for me to admit to a weakness of the one sense that should be perfect to a higher degree in me than in others, the one sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, a perfection that few others of my profession have ever possessed. No, I cannot do it.”These words are taken from the “Heiligenstadt Testament,” a document Beethoven wrote to his brothers in 1802. As it indicates, although Beethoven had experienced hearing problems for several years, he generally kept these troubles a secret. Beethoven explained his ability to do so by pointing out that people often attributed his confusion in conversations to his well-known “fits of absentmindedness.”Beethoven’s hearing problems progressed until he could no longer keep them a secret. By 1818 he carried on conversations via notebooks. In 1822, a contemporary described Beethoven’s attempts at conducting: “With a bewildered face and unearthly inspired eyes, waving his baton back and forth with violent motions, he stood in the midst of the performing musicians and didn’t hear a note!…The inevitable happened: the deaf master threw the singers and orchestra completely off the beat and into the greatest confusion and no one knew any longer where they were.”Although these difficulties forced him to quit his performances as a pianist and conductor, Beethoven did not allow his disability to stand in the way of composing: up to his death, he continued to write music.
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Music He Couldn’t HearLudwig (lood-vig) Van Beethoven (bay-toe-van) was one of the world’s greatest composers of classical music. Even after he became deaf at about the age of 30, he was able to compose beautiful music. Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in December 1770. His father and grandfather were also composers of music, and Beethoven was already an accomplished musician and composer by age 12.Beethoven moved to Vienna, Austria in 1792 to study music. He gave concerts, taught piano, and sold original music compositions. Unfortunately, before 1800, Beethoven began to notice he was having trouble hearing. By about 1815, Beethoven was deaf and no longer able to hear people speak. He “talked” to people by writing on tablets. His deafness did not keep him from composing music, however. He faced the challenge and his depression over his condition and went on to create new works of music that were unlike any classical music ever composed before.Beethoven’s music can be divided into three periods. His early works (until about 1802) reflected a traditional, classical style. In about 1803, when his deafness was already advancing, his music became less traditional, and much more powerful and dramatic. His latest works, when his deafness was much more advanced, were less dramatic and more thoughtful.Beethoven died in 1827 at the age 57. Discovery Links:
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t was not possible for me to say: speak louder, shout, because I am deaf. Alas, how would it be possible for me to admit to a weakness of the one sense that should be perfect to a higher degree in me than in others, the one sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, a perfection that few others of my profession have ever possessed. No, I cannot do it.”These words are taken from the “Heiligenstadt Testament,” a document Beethoven wrote to his brothers in 1802. As it indicates, although Beethoven had experienced hearing problems for several years, he generally kept these troubles a secret. Beethoven explained his ability to do so by pointing out that people often attributed his confusion in conversations to his well-known “fits of absentmindedness.”Beethoven’s hearing problems progressed until he could no longer keep them a secret. By 1818 he carried on conversations via notebooks. In 1822, a contemporary described Beethoven’s attempts at conducting: “With a bewildered face and unearthly inspired eyes, waving his baton back and forth with violent motions, he stood in the midst of the performing musicians and didn’t hear a note!…The inevitable happened: the deaf master threw the singers and orchestra completely off the beat and into the greatest confusion and no one knew any longer where they were.”Although these difficulties forced him to quit his performances as a pianist and conductor, Beethoven did not allow his disability to stand in the way of composing: up to his death, he continued to write music.
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Music He Couldn’t HearLudwig (lood-vig) Van Beethoven (bay-toe-van) was one of the world’s greatest composers of classical music. Even after he became deaf at about the age of 30, he was able to compose beautiful music. Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in December 1770. His father and grandfather were also composers of music, and Beethoven was already an accomplished musician and composer by age 12.Beethoven moved to Vienna, Austria in 1792 to study music. He gave concerts, taught piano, and sold original music compositions. Unfortunately, before 1800, Beethoven began to notice he was having trouble hearing. By about 1815, Beethoven was deaf and no longer able to hear people speak. He “talked” to people by writing on tablets. His deafness did not keep him from composing music, however. He faced the challenge and his depression over his condition and went on to create new works of music that were unlike any classical music ever composed before.Beethoven’s music can be divided into three periods. His early works (until about 1802) reflected a traditional, classical style. In about 1803, when his deafness was already advancing, his music became less traditional, and much more powerful and dramatic. His latest works, when his deafness was much more advanced, were less dramatic and more thoughtful.Beethoven died in 1827 at the age 57. Discovery Links: