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Beethoven’s deafness and his music styles


Everybody knows that Beethoven became deaf. The British Medical Journal shows today a theory according to which his deafness influenced the notes he composed on the scores.

In his first period there was no limitation in the notes he used, in the second period he avoided the high frequencies as he wasn't able to listen them. In his third period he was completely deaf an composed listening his internal ear, not his physical one. Again no limitation in the notes he choose for his compositions.

"For Richard Wagner, Beethoven’s late works were supreme (“a revelation from another world”), not despite, but because of, his deafness, which shielded the composer from the disturbance of the outer world and forced him to live in his inner world"

This quantitative research was made on the string quartets and the deafness of Beethoven was analysed according to what the great composer wrote in his letters and notebooks.

Yet there are still two challenge that can turn this theory in something more than just an idea:
1) quantitative analysis should now examine other scores as sonatas and symphonies.
2) The composition is also influenced by artist's biography. What if in this second period the big Maestro avoided high frequencies only because it was a dark moment of his life?

Beethoven’s deafness and his music styles Reviewed by Satin Beaus on Thursday, December 22, 2011 Rating: 5

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