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Ludwig van Beethoven

Composer
Born in 1770 - Died in 1827


Ludwig van Beethoven<BR>
Ludwig van Beethoven (LOOD vig von BAY toh vun) was one of the world's greatest composers. He wrote many symphonies,* overtures,* and pieces for piano and other instruments.

He started studying the piano and violin when he was 4 years old. His father, a singer, was his first teacher. But he was not a good teacher. He beat his son and locked him in a basement to make him practice.

Sometimes when his father came home late after becoming drunk, he would awaken Ludwig and make him practice until morning.

When he was 10 years old, he started taking lessons from Christian Neefe. His new teacher was very patient with him and he began to do well. He wrote his first composition* (song) when he was 11. When he was 12, his teacher let him direct the orchestra part of the time.

picture2
When he was 22, he moved to Vienna and studied with Joseph Haydn (HI dn). Haydn insisted his student write "pupil of Haydn" at the top of each song he wrote. Beethoven became tired of giving Haydn credit for his songs and quit studying with him.

Most composers at this time were hired by people to write music, and they were told what kind of music to write. Beethoven, however, was treated as a friend, not an employee. He wrote the kind of music he wanted to write.

He knew he could play the piano very well and began to play at parties and to give concerts around Europe. When he needed an orchestra, he used a big orchestra. He would even use some of the instruments in the orchestra to sound like birds in the forest.

He liked taking long walks during the day. During these walks he planned his music. He would make notes in a notebook. Then in the evening after dinner, he would write music from about 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. He followed the same routine every day. If he was dining out and didn't have his notebook with him, he would write on the back of a menu. Once he even wrote on a window shade.

He would work on a composition until it was just right. Sometimes it took years, but it would be perfect when he finished it.

Beethoven began to lose his hearing when he was in his 20's. He became very suspicious* of people and hard to get along with. But he was still able to hear the songs in his mind and write them down.

He did not get along with his two brothers. When his brother Karl died, Beethoven took his 9 year-old son to raise. It was an unhappy time for the child and his uncle. The boy rebelled against him and caused him a lot of grief.

In 1826 he caught a cold. It developed into pneumonia* and he died. The world lost a great composer, but his music lives on today. You will enjoy listening to themes from some of his works.

This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.

Listen to music by Ludwig van Beethoven at Classical Connect


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Dictionary

From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster

(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)

symphony
Pronunciation: 'sim(p)-fə-nE
Function: noun
a usually long musical composition for a full orchestra

overture
Pronunciation: 'O-və(r)-'chu(ə)r, -chər
Function: noun
a musical composition played by the orchestra as the introduction to an opera or musical play

composition
Pronunciation: 'kahm-pə-'zish-ən
Function: noun
a literary, musical, or artistic production

suspicious
Pronunciation: sə-'spish-əs
Function: adjective
1 : likely to arouse suspicion, questionable as suspicious behavior 2 : likely to suspect or distrust Example: She was suspicious of strangers. 3 : showing suspicion as in giving a suspicious glance

pneumonia
Pronunciation: 'n(y)u-'mO-nyə
Function: noun
a disease of the lungs marked by inflammation and congestion and caused by infection or irritants


Research Links

Ludwig van Beethoven
The Magnificent Master

Ludwig van Beethoven
Favorite Classical Composers

Beethoven Symphonies
listen to themes from some of the symphonies at Amazon

Beethoven Piano Sonatas
listen to themes from Beethoven sonatas

Beethoven
pictures and biography

Information about Beethoven
(Look in the box top left) at Humanities Web

Sculptures of Beethoven
from Sculpture Gallery.com

Ludwig van Beethoven
It's Fun to Read at Starfall.com

Beethoven
links by William Lane

Beethoven
online book George Alexander Fischer, (View HTML 491KB)

At biography.com search for Beethoven.
Scroll the panel for the "Video & Audio Results".

The Tone Masters - Beethoven
online book Charles Barnard

Beethoven
great resource page available in four languages

BBC Listening Library
Look for Beethoven

Hyper Music
Music resources


Videos



Books
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Library

A LIBRARY OF
ONLINE BOOKS and BOOK PREVIEWS


Order the following books from Amazon.

The Life of Beethoven
by David Wyn Jones (selected pages) Order here

Beethoven
by William Kinderman (full view) Order here

Beethoven: the emergence and evolution of Beethoven's heroic style
by Michael Broyles (selected pages) Order here

Beethoven
by Richard Wagner, Arthur Schopenhauer (full view) Free Google eBook

Beethoven
by Barry Cooper (selected pages) Google eBook $14.72

Beethoven
by John South Shedlock (Public domain 1903 full view) Free Google eBook

Beethoven, the man and the artist: as revealed in his own words
(Public domain 1905 full view) Order here

Beethoven
by Frederick James Crowest (Public domain 1903 full view) Free Google eBook

Beethoven's symphonies: a guided tour
by John Bell Young (introduction only) Order here

Simply Beethoven: The Music of Ludwig Van Beethoven - 27 of His Timeless Masterpieces
Easy piano (selected pages)

Beethoven, the Music and the Life
by Lewis Lockwood (selected pages)

Beethoven, the Universal Composer
by Edmund Morris (selected pages)

Beethoven: impressions by his contemporaries
by Oscar George Theodore Sonneck (selected pages)

Beethoven Sonatas (full view)

Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved
by Russell Martin (selected pages)

Complete Piano Sonatas
(selected pages)

Complete piano concertos: in full score
(selected pages)

Credits and Solutions

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin

* Word Match Solution

Page Comments
Most Recent Comments
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2015-04-12
Very good! It helps me with my little Brother's homework, thanks a lot!!!!!!>,<
TOFU
2013-01-09
it helped me to do my homework so it was supportive to me.
thanks alot
2013-01-09
good but the writing is small and the text is complicated, not very clear.....
2011-12-26
I am interested in the photograph you have of Beethoven at the head of the page. Can you tell me if it is a photograph and at what age Beethoven would be in it. I have this same photograph which is an original to my knowlege and was wandering how old it is.
Sue
2009-06-06
I am Siamese, sorry for rusty English.
I am very impressive in Beethoven's symphonies. I think the Beethoven's symphonies were created to simulate a human life cycle. Beginning at his symphony No. 1 = Emerging of a child with innocent feeling of surrounding and got a lot of take care from his parents. Symphony No. 2 = life at teen-age stage with a lot of romantic feeling (I listen the second movement; Oboe-low pitch = male. violin-high pitch = female (sorry, may be mention of wrong instruments. I have no knowledge in music. I listen to music with pure emotional feeling.) and I see the movie "The Sound of Music" at the scene "you are sixteen going on seventeen..."). Also at this stage they possess a lot og impressive feeling in hero (in fact I think the symphony No. 3 represents something like "Tale of a Hero" (first movement = emerging of the hero; second movement = dead of the hero; third movement = celebrate the death hero; fourth movement = legend (I listen the beginning melody of the fourth movement and I feel like "Once upon a time..." or "long long times ago there was...")). The fourth symphony represents life growing up and gaining the knowledge, experience, etc. (the melody reminds me the feeling of the university graduate's atmosphere). To becomes a full strength and intelligent in the fifth. Then it is times to enjoin life at the sixth (Burgundy! Resort!! Royal Salute!!!). The seven symphony represents life going to the old age (first movement = recognizes the fading juvenile (the melody go from low pitch to high pitch); second movement = feeling of deep sorrow (even some crying melody); third movement = try to regain (fitness, exercise, health care, alternative medicine, etc.); fourth movement = achieves some success with feeling of cheer (the melody go from high pitch to low pitch). Eventually life becomes an old man in the eight symphony (first movement = watch the children playing; second movement = teaching, look after the children; third movement = thinking of the passed juvenile life with the feeling of deep sorrow; fourth movement = thinking of the 'would go' place (pantheon, heaven). And THEN! life reaches the ninth symphony = Final Destination!. Then the human world has no chance to listen to the tenth symphony because it was "song of the heaven". (Sorry for very short. I feel much more but diificult to write (in English).
Anon
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