The Life and Work of Ludwig van Beethoven

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Ludwig van Beethoven Section 1: Time line Ludwig van Beethoven was a revolutionary artist of his time, the late 1700s to the early 1800s. He refused to conform to traditional musical standards and didn't finish a piece until it reached perfection. The German instrumentalist and composer experienced much misfortune and loss throughout his life. Regardless, he is considered to have “created the bridge” transitioning from the Classical era to the Romantic era. The Classical Period came right after the Baroque period, and lasted from about 1775 until about 1825. In the middle of the eighteenth century a new style of music developed known as Rococo or pre-classical, which depicted a change from the Baroque era to the Classical era (The Classical Era 2). Rococo style music has a homophonic texture, melodic, and is ornamented elaborately. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, there were objections to the Rococo Style’s lack of depth and the use of decoration. This led to the birth of Classical style. The style is called “classical” because in both the art and the literature of this era the classical artistic and literary heritage of Greece and Rome are mirrored (The Classical Period 5). This era is known also as the “Age of Enlightenment” (The Classical Period 5). Many philosophers were writing about the value of the common person and how powerful human reasoning can be in overcoming the problems of the world. This revolution of clear thinking led to conflict between the old and new ideas. This attitude stimulated the American and French revolutions in the end of the eighteenth century (The Classical Period 5). Music in the classical period reflected what society was experiencing. This was the first period in music history ... ... middle of paper ... ...irectly inspired both conservatives (such as Brahms, who, like Beethoven, fundamentally stayed within the confines of Classical form) and radicals (such as Wagner, who viewed the Ninth Symphony as a sign of his own vision of a total art work, integrating vocal and instrumental music with the other arts). In many ways revolutionary, Beethoven's music remains universally appealing because of its characteristic humanism and dramatic power. Section 5: Conclusion Beethoven is said to be the transitional figure between the Classical era and the romantic era. His unique and revolutionary methods influenced composers to follow. Not only was he the first composer to become a public figure, but he was the first composer to include human voice and instruments on the same level. Therefore, Beethoven was the most influential and transitional composer of the Classical era.
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