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Beethoven - Research Paper Example

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This paper discuss' how Beethoven's hearing loss effected his music, including sources devoted to the matter. Also the paper targets the year he became completely deaf…
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Download file to see previous pages Whereas he remains one of the most well recognized and famous classical composers, scholars still debate what the ultimate cause of Beethoven’s hearing loss might have been. Beethoven himself described its onset as a troublesome ringing in his ears. Medical professionals at that time as well as today believe that the condition could have been brought on by an acute illness that he suffered during early adulthood. Whatever the cause, Beethoven began to experience a noticeable level of hearing loss by the age of 26. Scholars are aware of this due to the fact that it was at this age that Beethoven first mentioned that the hearing loss was troubling him in his correspondence to friends and family. As one might expect, for someone as passionate about music as was Beethoven, such a loss was tantamount to complete and total defeat and desolation. Within his own correspondence it was noted that he even experienced suicidal thoughts at times due to the fact that the hearing loss was affecting his ability to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude. As such, bouts of severe depression ensued by which Beethoven contemplated ending his life. However, the hearing loss was gradual and Beethoven was not aware at any one particular point during the hearing loss process that he would ultimately be entirely and completely deaf....
lthough a definitive date does not exist by which Beethoven completely and entirely could be considered deaf, it is widely reported that the first time he experienced complete and total deafness was at the premier of the 9th symphony; arguably his magnum opus. At this time, Beethoven reportedly went out on the stage at the conclusion of the symphony and was greeted by rapturous applause. However, due to the fact that he could not hear this, he felt initially that his work was a commercial and professional failure and began to cry heavily.1 Even this debacle and embarrassment was not enough to discourage Beethoven from performing publically. Several public performances with Beethoven as a featured musician took place following the debacle of the 9th Symphony. However, during the performance of the Piano Concerto No. 5, Beethoven was forced to allow his student Carl Czerny to perform as he could no longer hear the music or the beat and keep time with the other musicians. Though it is true that Beethoven was not completely and entirely deaf at this stage, he was unable to hear certain pitches of music and could only hear the very lowest bass notes. Recent scholarship into Beethoven’s music after the year 1814 notes the fact that his loss of hearing helped to alter the music after this period of time as compared to the music composed before it. What is meant by this is that the music prior to 1814 included something of an equal composition of both high pitches and low pitches within the score. Although it is true that there remain a profound number of high pitches within Beethoven’s music post 1814 (or after the time in which acute hearing loss profoundly impacted upon the way in which he composed music), it can be readily noted that as a direct result of his hearing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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