MUAR 211 Lecture Notes - Ludwig Van Beethoven

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MUAR 211 The Art of Listening Winter 2013
February 19th, 2013
Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) represents a bridge between Classicism &
Romanticism (transitional composer)
o born in Bonn, Germany
o travelled to Vienne at age 17 to play for Mozart & moved there before he was
22 to study with Haydn
o he was a keyboard virtuoso & renowned for skill at improvisation
o didn’t have a single patron income from subscription concerts, private
piano/composition lessons & proceeds from sales of published works
o noticed first signs of deafness in 20s & eventually became totally deaf
forced to stop performing & conducting but continued to compose
o embarrassed by deafness so became more isolated & contemplated suicide
o believed music could carry message & have a moral force
musical traits that made Beethoven Classical
o composed in styles & genres of classical era
o symphonies & string quartets have 4 movements
o concertos & sonatas have 3 movements
musical traits that made Beethoven Romantic
o chromatic harmony
o motivic development
o wrote 9 symphonies know this!
o later symphonies monumental in scope No. 9 lasts over an hour & uses
very large ensemble
o took creative liberties with genres & forms 3rd & 4th movements in No. 5
are elided together (there is no break in between them)
Beethoven prioritized individual expression worked with classical genres but
altered them to fit own aims
Beethoven died in March 1827
his work came to define Classical instrumental music
his music was one of the first to be solidly placed within the ‘canon’ of classical
concert music
o canonization: cultural process through which works of art become widely
known & commonly accepted to represent a ‘great’ and ‘historically
significant achievement’ set stylistic standards
seen as a Romantic Hero throughout Europe & Western world
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Document Summary

Ludwig van beethoven (1770-1827) represents a bridge between classicism & Romanticism (transitional composer: born in bonn, germany travelled to vienne at age 17 to play for mozart & moved there before he was. Musical traits that made beethoven classical: composed in styles & genres of classical era, symphonies & string quartets have 4 movements, concertos & sonatas have 3 movements. Musical traits that made beethoven romantic: chromatic harmony, motivic development, wrote 9 symphonies know this! later symphonies monumental in scope no. 9 lasts over an hour & uses very large ensemble took creative liberties with genres & forms 3rd & 4th movements in no. 5 are elided together (there is no break in between them) Beethoven prioritized individual expression worked with classical genres but altered them to fit own aims. His work came to define classical instrumental music.

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