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Music refers to the arrangement of sounds in an artistic manner within a certain period. The music industry grew from monophonic in the Middle Ages to polyphonic common during the 9th century. It then developed to homophonic before developing to classical music in 18th century and eventually to romantic music in 19th century.
The 21st century music involved random noise and electronic sounds. Consequently, music composers have come up with their various compositions. Lonel power, Walter Frye, Henry Purcell, Mauro Giuliani, and Ludwig van Beethoven are amongst the famous artists of the world. With this highlight of the music industry and various composers, the paper provides a detailed research of Beethoven with the sole goal of showing how he established his career as a musician. However, the paper begins by a brief highlight of his early life
Ludwig van Beethoven’s early life
Beethoven was born in a family that had music orientations. Beethoven’s grandfather Lodewijk Beethoven was a famous classical music artist. According to Cooper, Lodewijk was a musician who was employed at Elector of Cologne as a singer (407). In fact, Beethoven’s grandfather had grown in music ranks to become a music director.
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in a place called Bonn. His father Johann also worked at elector of Cologne court as a musician in the tenor divide. Cooper asserts that Johann was also a music teacher. Johann taught how to operate the piano and violin.
Beethoven’s mother was Magdalena Keverich. The actual date of Beethoven’s date of birth is not known. However, there exist records that Beethoven was baptized on December 17, 1770. This information can be used to trace his date of birth to 16 December 1770 since children were baptized at the age of one day in that era. His biological father who was a musician initially taught Beethoven music.
However, he was a harsh teacher. In most instances, he forced his son Beethoven to learn music in tears. Other music teachers that made Beethoven a lead musician included Gilles, Tobias, and Rovantini. Beethoven had a music talent that was realized at a very tender age. His father Johann wanted to make Beethoven a leading example of gifted musicians in the country. He even went on to lie about the age of his son when he made his first public appearance. Beethoven made his first music performance at the age of seven.
According to Thayer et al, Beethoven began his music classes in 1779 in Bonn (67). His teacher at that time was Gottlob Neefe. Thayer et al. say that Gottlob was very influential to the music life of Beethoven (14). Gottlob taught Beethoven how to write and compose music. Thayer et al. posit that Gottlob helped Beethoven in writing his first music publication (56). Beethoven began working for the Electors court together with Neefe who was the deputy organist. Initially, Beethoven worked as an unpaid pianist in 1781.
He was later employed in 1784. Beethoven made his first sonatas publications for Fredrick Maximilian who was the Elector in 1708. This Elector realized that Beethoven was talented in music at his early age. Thayer et al. affirm that Maximilian encouraged Beethoven to better his music talent and studies (32).
When leadership changed hands from Fredrick to Franz, various changes in the field of arts and education were witnessed. As a teenager, Beethoven was highly influenced by these dynamics. Since Neefe (his teacher) was a member of Illuminati, Beethoven also became a member.
According to Cooper, Neefe and other people that were close to Beethoven were members of order of Illuminati (15). He therefore became a role player in the freemasonry. After the death of his mother, Beethoven’s father became a deep alcoholic thus leaving Beethoven with the role of providing for his younger siblings.
In fact, Thayer et al. confirm that it was due to his father’s drunkenness that Beethoven went to court and obtained a court order to receive half of his father’s salary in order to enable him provide for his family (57). During this period, Beethoven worked in the Court and made friends with influential people. One of such friends was one of his financiers Ferdinand Waldstein (Thayer et al. 105).
How Beethoven established his career
Beethoven’s music career began at a tender age of seven years when he did his first public performance. According to Cooper, Beethoven became an ally to Joseph Haydn when he stopped at Bonn in 1790 on his way to London (35). Due to this friendship, Beethoven got a scholarship to study in Vienna.
In 1792, Beethoven went to Vienna. Unfortunately, his father passed on at around the same time. While in Vienna, he was financed by Prince Joseph, Prince Karl, and Swieten (Cooper 53) to sharpen his music talent. In Vienna, Beethoven became famous for his ability to improvise music. It was also in Vienna that he studied how to play violin professionally under the instruction of Salieri. He leant Italian music and its composition.
By 1793, Beethoven had established his career as an expert in playing piano: a piano virtuoso. In fact, Cooper argues that, due to this expertise in playing piano, his publications of 1795 had a great effect (53). In 1795, Beethoven did his first public performance in Vienna. From this point, performances by Beethoven earned him a lot of profit. His first composition was dedicated to his Vienna patron Lichnowsky (the prince).
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Between 1796 and 1800, Beethoven was able to compose six quartets that he published in the year 1801. At this point, people rated Beethoven as the third king of music after Mozat and Haydn due to his powerful composition. According to Cooper, Beethoven’s music became prominent due to its character, emotional depth, originality, level of ingenuity, and manipulation of tone (82). During this period, he composed the Septet that has been very popular in the world.
Although this composition was very popular during his lifetime, some critics observed that Beethoven disregarded the soloist hence making it unprofessional. Beethoven’s music has also been criticized of being more like the music composition of Mozart. His music career got another promotion in 1800 because of his overwhelming demand. This demand was especially coming from music publishers and patrons (Cooper 97).
At the height of his career, Beethoven taught a good number of famous students of music. For example, he taught Anna (a daughter to the countess of Hungary). He also taught Ferdinand Ries who later became a famous composer and writer. It is believed that the song “immortal beloved” that Beethoven did in 1812 was dedicated to Josephine after another man married her. However, in 1796, Beethoven began having a problem with his hearing ability.
This issue resulted from severe tinnitus that made him hard of hearing. After his hearing loss became profound, he stopped public performances. This situation happened when he failed to perform a piano concerto in 1811. Later on in 1827, Beethoven died in his bed due to a thunderstorm. His death has been attributed to alcoholism, syphilis, sarcoidosis, and lead poisoning. In 1862, his remains were exhumed for analysis.
Beethoven grew up as a vibrant musician with a likeable behavior. The health problem that Beethoven suffered from greatly impacted on his character. Since Beethoven experienced deafness and abdominal pains as early as in his early twenties, his character was unstable to a certain extent. At is also argued that Beethoven contemplated suicide due to these problems. According to Cooper, some of Beethoven’s allies argued that he suffered from bipolar disorder.
However, Beethoven had a strong personality that kept him moving despite his health problems. Due to his appealing character and ability to make many friends, most people moved in to help him during his final days. For several months that Beethoven was bed ridden, he garnered much support from many people who had earlier recognized him as a figure whose work was worth emulating.
The other strong character of Beethoven was respect for the authority. In fact, in most instances, Beethoven would stop his performance when he noticed that his audience was not according him full attention (Cross and Ewen 43). This stance made his audience to have great discipline, which in turn contributed significantly towards their understanding and liking of Beethoven’s music.
The other character that was so eminent in the life of Beethoven is his outstanding capacity to do planning and organization. This was evident based on his refusal to perform when he was hurriedly invited to do so. According to him, it was uncouth to do any performance that could not appeal to the eyes of his audience due to lack of proper planning and organization. Therefore, he preferred missing opportunities than having them only to displease his viewers.
Beethoven also advocated for social coexistence between people. He composed many songs that he dedicated to various persons. This strategy portrayed his passion for peace and love within humanity. It is also worth noting that various people sponsored Beethoven in his pursuit for music education. Beethoven also loved to learn. He went in search for more education even when he knew that he was talented in music.
Beethoven is a famous talented composer in the classical music world. He is among the great founders of classical music. Other founding talents include Brahms and Bach. These artists are the founders of the classical music in the world. In fact, Beethoven brought in the art of education in the classical music.
He made it possible for artists and fans of the classical music to seek more knowledge in the form of theory and practical skills. Beethoven played a great role in maintaining the classical music in the lead at the turn of the 18th century. He championed the change of traditional classical music to romanticism.
This kind of classical music became more appealing to the people hence making it a preference for them especially the youth. The music that Beethoven did was unique in style because Beethoven took his time to learn in addition to being talented in music composition. He spent quite a considerable part of his life learning how to play instruments like the piano, violin, and the flute. His music became more appealing due to the use of instruments.
Beethoven was also a good pianist. In fact, he was employed in the Electors House during his early years. His dedication to music was also demonstrated by his acceptance to work in the Electors court as a pianist without being paid. This gesture gave him an opportunity to learn from his teachers.
Beethoven also made many piano sonatas. He also made short compositions of classical music. According to Cross and Ewen, Beethoven’s music ran across various genres. In fact, in almost all of them, he came out outstanding. It is also worth noting that Beethoven’s music involved the use of instruments, which he also excellently played. Beethoven wrote orchestra music, symphonies, operas, chamber music, and soloist led songs.
In conclusion, Beethoven was a great classical music composer and an artist. Beethoven came from a family that was rooted in music. Both his father and his mother were musicians. It was out of learning from his father and the teachings of local teachers that Beethoven learnt the art of music. Other volunteers also sponsored his career. Beethoven’s appealing personality made him shine in the music industry.
He was able to make great friendship with sponsors in an attempt to manage his music life. Though he suffered from hearing loss, he was able to maintain a stable character. Beethoven played and wrote classical music. He is also credited with overseeing the change of ancient classical music to the romanticism classical music. In his music, he also added the accompaniments that made it very outstanding in comparison with the traditional classical music.
Cooper, Barry. Beethoven. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
Cross, Milton, and David Ewen. The Milton Cross New Encyclopedia of the Great Composers and Their Music. Garden City, NJ: Doubleday, 1953. Print.
Thayer, Wallen, Henry Krehbiel, Hermann Deiters, and Hugo Riemann. The life of Ludwig Van Beethoven vol1. London: The Beethoven Association, 1921. Print.