Ludwig Van Beethoven was a pianist and composer of German origin. His music is greatly distinct from the rest because of their large extended architectonic designs that featured broad templates, musical materials, and motifs developed through ‘modulation’ technique (Swafford 92). The technique involved an adjustment of the home keys through a cluster of keys as well as the formation of a consonant region capable of raising a group of non-identical keys with unexpected notes to join them. The enlarged consonant realm enhances both musical and empiric space leading the direction the music should take making the unfolding drama to exploit such a space (Broyles 82). The music structure can therefore be concluded as complimenting the contemporary novel development in literature. Nonetheless, he also composed five piano concertos, 16 string quartets, nine symphonies, a single violin concerto, close to 33 piano sonatas, a single opera, Fidelio, and above all, the Mass the Missa Solemnis. The above compositions were a landmark in the music industry that traveled beyond countries of the west to other regions.
Who is Beethoven in the history of music?
Beethoven links the classical and romanticism eras of music. He was the first individual, for instance, to use the orchestra’s ‘wind band’ as a solo entity. Wind band, in the context of the orchestra, is in reference to the woodwinds and brass used as a choir in contradiction to being used as another layer of color over the string choir alone (Swafford 12).
He moved the quartet composition genre into greater level making it mandatory for any new composer to write string quartets as a mark of approval. The adoption of a simplified melodic theme integrating them into exposition, reiterating them, breaking them into pieces and fitting them back through varied ways is another contribution of Beethoven (Solomon 65). The simplification is an advancement of the earlier complex works full of boredom and repetitions involving stating of themes, taking them to the neighboring key and bringing them back to the original key with new themes introduced as needed creating a lot of bureaucracy.
Further, Beethoven extended the working of the predecessors who succeeded in expanding the substance and the length of instrumental music through their use of ‘exposition’ (Wagner 34). Beethoven adopted the Sonata form by making the exposition development stretched and by enhancing its structural appearance. Eroica Symphony, for instance, is subdivided into four relatively equal sections resulting into a sonata form within a sonata form that has set the trend followed by composers to date (Solomon 101).
Another peculiar musical innovation of Beethoven is the use of forceful rhythm; is motifs and themes are more rhythmic than they are melodic (Wagner 96). Beethoven also introduced larger orchestras shifting the center of the sound downwards to the lower registers of the violins and cellos making his music posses darker and heavier feeling as compared to the predecessors.
Apart from success histories, the composer suffered a major setback in his career and daily life through ear impairment. He had to be turned round to witness the applause emanating from the crowds after performances with suicidal thoughts becoming imminent. Nonetheless, sonata number 14 pieces have a way of arousing deeming romance in the course of a heartbreak bringing the withering souls into life. Even if social class prevented the realization of true love to the composer’s ‘fiancé’ the song disobeyed the social order and passed a message straight to the young Countess, Julie Guicciardi (Wagner 92).
Levinson, Jerrold. “What a musical work is.” The Journal of Philosophy, no. 77(1), 1980, pp. 5-28.
Solomon, Maynard. Beethoven. Schirmer Trade Books, 2012.
Swafford, Jan. Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. Print.
Wagner, Richard. Beethoven. BoD–Books on Demand, 2012.