Thursday, July 24, 2008

Beethoven

The stories about Ludwig van Beethoven and how he composed after completely losing his hearing intrigued me. As a child, I couldn't imagine anyone being able to write music without being able to hear how it sounded. How would he know what it sounded like?

Now, however, I understand that someone who has studied, performed, and written music as much as Beethoven can develop the ability to "hear" something in their head. For instance, everyone who has practiced playing or singing the major scale can remember how it goes and should be able to "hear" the scale in their head when seeing it on paper. Try it! If you're not sure, think of the song, "Do Re Mi". We remember pitches and their relationships to each other. Beethoven did this as well with more complicated elements, such as chords and chord progressions.

Beethoven has been my favorite composer since I was a young child. Apparently I am not the only person who feels this way because I have seen many requests for a tutorial on Moonlight Sonata. To answer these requests, I have posted my advice for teaching and/or playing the Moonlight Sonata on my "Knol". (A Knol is a blog with "authoritative articles".) Read my knol and tell me what you think.

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