Beethoven Essays Example
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Beethoven, Movement, Song, Classical Music, Relationships, Music, Love, Struggle
1. In Für Elise, the tempo is deceptively fast. Piano pieces are wonderful in taking a simple string of notes and adding to them in a series of mathematical calculated patterns layers of meaning and profundity. The piece goes at the same fast pace throughout the song and does not change in speed. The first sequence of notes of the piano piece comprises a very recognizable melody. The piece gathers complexity by slight variations added throughout the song. The dynamic of the piece is simple. A child can play the first part of this piece by heart on the piano, but as with many piano pieces by Beethoven the complex dynamism of the song builds and becomes richer until the end where the volume fills up the room with more robust tones. The tone of the piece is light at the beginning but should increase in intensity midway through and end on a very light note reflecting the original melody.
The Ninth Symphony is made up of four movement and in its form it is really a complex choral interpretation of a beautiful song that many people know by heart. The “Ode to Joy” is a song sung by many Christians in Church. Beethoven gives this simple Christian hymn a beautiful, profound dynamic by making it seem as if heaven is raining down on earth. The First Movement does not anticipate the joy that suffuses the final movement. The tempo of the piece is moderate, and in the final movement the tempo is a quickening pace that is a challenge for any conductor. What makes the melody, so dynamic is that the human voice rounds out the instruments in the final movement. It feels like the entire symphony leads up to this very powerful moment when the lead vocalist sings, “O Freunde, nicht diese Toene!”
2. Für Elise is a nice piece of music because it evokes a romantic walk in the park. It is a piece that one associates with romance. It reminds one of a pair of lovers playing a game, walking in the park, and the image of them having a good time. It is a playful, fun, light piece. It is easy to dislike Für Elise since it is so often imitated. It is hard to appreciate the originality. It is so often played. However, the Ninth Symphony is just so amazing, more so than one could hope for in a symphony that was made when the composer was deaf! (Wright 2014, p. 212). The moment when the human voices fill up the space that the musical instruments have been alluding to throughout the first through third movements is simply stunning. The Ninth Symphony is a major piece of music and to hear it in person is probably a magical experience. The Final Movement is my favorite. For me, going back to the first movement immediately after listening to the final movement is an immediate pleasure because one knows what is coming, and one feels the anticipation. There is not much to dislike in Beethoven’s Ninth. It would be amazing if the main vocalist were a female voice. It would certainly change the entire piece!
3. Beethoven’s biggest struggle in life was his deafness. He had to listen to music with his “inner ear” and was not able to construe notes in the natural way that we hear sounds (Wright 2014, p. 212). It means that Beethoven had to struggle to understand how his pieces would sound by actually lying down on the floor to hear the vibrations of the notes. Certainly he overcame this struggle. For certainly, Beethoven did not just assemble a bunch of notes to make a sound. He was a poet. In the final movement of the Ninth Symphony, it is evident that Beethoven saw himself as a Romantic poet. Beethoven sought to establish Classical music as a “romantic utterance” (Murray 2004, p. 67). According to the philosophy of the Romantic hero, the hero comes back from struggle, to overcome his obstacles, which makes sense given Beethoven’s personal history.
Murray, C. J. (Ed.). (2004). Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850: MZ (Vol. 2). Taylor
Wright, C. M. (2014). Listening to music. Boston, MA: Schirmer/Cengage Learning.