Ludwig van Beethoven - Creativity and Music
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
German composer (pictured right).
His masterpieces include his nine symphonies.
20,000 people attended his funeral in Vienna where he lived most of his life.
Why was he so creative?
1. Customer satisfaction
He always aimed to delight and move his audiences by giving his
music great power and emotion.
“Music should strike fire from man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman”, he said.
2. Imaginative revolutionary
He continually tried new ways of composing by breaking the existing
rules of music.
Beautifully original was his combination of:
Beethoven (pictured right in 1803) was the first musician who became rich from composing
So he had the freedom to write what and when he liked.
But he was also motivated by a desire to make money.
“I do not write what I most desire to, but what I need to because of money”, he said.
4. Love of music
He was totally absorbed in his work
His music saved him from the despair of his deafness.
5. Courage and determination
He had to overcome:
a) poverty in childhood
He had to leave school at 11 to earn money because of his alcoholic father.
He is pictured right aged 13.
b) deafness in his last 10 years
(when he composed some of his most brilliant works like the Ninth Symphony).
He was incredibly determined to be successful and never gave into despair or
His deafness only once forced him to attempt suicide in 1802, but his music and
determination pulled him through.
6. Relaxation and reflection
Beethoven (pictured right as a young man):
He started his Fifth Symphony in 1804 and finished it in 1808!
7. Inspiration and perspiration
Beethoven (pictured right in 1814) lived for his music and never married, despite having
During his writing, he lived in another world, forgetting everyday matters like meals, cleanliness and
“I live entirely in my music”, he said.
He had enormous belief in his ability, helped by his huge natural talent.
He made his first public performance as a pianist at the age of seven!
10. Lifelong learner
Despite his genius, he was humble enough to continually learn from anything that might
improve his music.
For example, he learned from:
He was a passionate believer in continuous improvement.
“Art demands of us that we shall not stand still”, he said.
Key quotes on music and
I live entirely in my music.
From the heart – may it return to the heart.
Music should strike fire from the heart of man and bring tears from the eyes of woman.
Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Key quotes on time
I will seize fate by the throat.
Key quote on stress and
This is the mark of a really admirable man: steadfastness in the face of trouble.
Key quote on
Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.
Key quote on
Art demands of us that we shall not stand still.
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