March 31, 2013
Ludwig van Beethoven was a master composer who began losing his hearing at an early age. The deafness caused him to him live in isolation, as he felt his hearing should be better than that of others, since he was a musician. His later works were written in total deafness, and in fact, he even continued CONDUCTING even though he was losing his hearing. Two questions for you. 1) How can someone compose music if they are deaf? 2) How can someone conduct and lead an ensemble, if they can't hear that ensemble? (BTW - For those of you, who have Netflix, there is a terrific movie about this very subject - it's called "Copying Beethoven." It's available as a streaming movie and I think even your family and friends who aren't into "Classical" music would enjoy it.
From what I learned in music class in elementary school was that he wasn't deaf and that gave him some time to hear and know what the keys are.
Someone who is deaf can compose music by the vibration of the keys they play therefore they can compose music that way. Conducting or leading an ensemble is visual and does not depend on hearing. So if Beethoven wrote music then he knows how the music should sound, and depends on ensemble to guide him as he conducts his music to follow it.
April 9, 2013
In the 19th century, a new style of music emerges: Romanticism. During this era, songs for solo singer and piano become very popular (and of course they still are today). These art songs - or lieder (German term for art songs... sounds like "leader") - dominate the 19th century. Listen to two of these songs (lieder) listed...