Ludwig van Beethoven

1770-1827 By: Annika Hando

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Early Life

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany on December 17, 1770. He had 6 siblings, however only 3 survived to adulthood. Ludwig had a mother named Maria who was gentle, but he had a father who was demanding and an alcoholic, named Johann. Beethoven had always admired music. His father taught music to noble children and Ludwig would listen to the noise. Johann discovered Beethoven's musical ability and nurtured it. When Ludwig was 17, he went to Vienna and the city became his home.
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Map of Vienna

This is an image of the map of Vienna, Austria in 1802. When he was 17, Beethoven traveled to Vienna in 1787, and was immersed in the culture of the city. He loved the way of life there so he decided he would live there. Due to family tragedies, Ludwig had to go back to Bonn, Germany to care for his family. However, after his father died, Beethoven moved to Vienna for good. In Vienna, he studied piano with Franz Joseph Haydn. He composed many pieces in Vienna.
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 | Gustavo Dudamel [HD]

Symphony No. 5

One of the world's most popular symphonies is Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. This piece was written in 1808, and was what a "modern" work was like back in the 18th century. The intense, concentrated, and energized sound of the masterpiece left listeners under an emotional impact. In the piece, the famous "da-da-da-daaah" repeats continuously. The instruments used in this composition consists of a piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, a double bassoon, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, a timpani and strings.


Other Known Music

Beethoven created many different types of music. Some pieces he composed were:


  • 32 piano sonatas

  • String quartets: No. 1–6, op. 18 (1798–1800); No. 1–3, op. 59 (Razumovsky; 1806)

  • Concerti: No. 1-5

  • Symphonies: No. 1-9

  • Other orchestral compositions: two romances for violin and orchestra; various overtures, including Coriolan, op. 62; Leonore No. 1, op. 138; 2, op. 72A; and 3, op. 72B

  • Theatre music: One opera, Fidelio, one ballet, Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, incidental music to four plays


Beethoven's Legacy

Ludwig van Beethoven was an innovator; he was creative and ingenius. He wrote many pieces of music that delights, challenges, and moves listeners. Beethoven struggled with deafness, however he overcame that challenge and wrote even more powerful compositions. Beethoven inspires people because he continued to write and play music in a different way when he lost his hearing. Ludwig never stopped doing what he loved, and people today still adore him for that.

Works Cited

Adagio. “Ludwig Van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 | Gustavo Dudamel [HD].” YouTube. N.p., 15 Mar. 2015. Web. 23 May 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGnBrabqdP4>.


BEETHOVEN Ludwig aged 28.. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 24 May 2016.

<http://quest.eb.com/search/113_906215/1/113_906215/cite>


Vienna / Map / 1802. Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 23 May 2016.

<http://quest.eb.com/search/109_124640/1/109_124640/cite>