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Beethoven part one

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Series of slideshows on the piano, its music and composer continued with Ludwig Van Beethoven.
Fifth of ten presentations.

Publicada em: Educação
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Beethoven part one

  1. 1. Beethoven’s father wanted him to be a prodigy—like Mozart.
  2. 2. So he forced him to play piano and violin for hours every day, making him go without sleep. He beat the little boy when he made mistakes.
  3. 3. When young Ludwig was seven years old, his career as a performer started. His father lied and said that he was six (the age Mozart had been when he became famous). Beethoven would later believe that he was born two years later than he actually was (in December 1770), even after he was shown his baptismal record with his real birth date.
  4. 4. Beethoven’s birthplace in Bonn, Germany.
  5. 5. Beethoven did not become famous as a child.
  6. 6. However, he became an excellent pianist and was gifted musically. He was composing by the age of twelve.
  7. 7. His family was musical. Here is a portrait of his grandfather (also named Ludwig van Beethoven), a successful musician and composer in his time. He died when little Ludwig was three, which was a shame, because he was kind to the boy (unlike his father).
  8. 8. Others were kind to young Beethoven, too. He had a good piano teacher who believed in him. Christian Gottlob Neefe made sure that his student knew the works of Bach. He also taught him literature and philosophy. Beethoven was given a job as Assistant Court Musician when he was fourteen, very young to be hired for such a post (especially since he was really only twelve.)
  9. 9. The gifted boy was then sent to study with Mozart.
  10. 10. Unfortunately, Beethoven had to return home after just a few weeks. His mother was ill. In the time that they spent together though, Mozart was impressed with Beethoven’s talent.
  11. 11. “Keep an eye on him. He will give the world something to talk about,” Mozart said. Here is a portrait of young Beethoven.
  12. 12. Notice how differently he is dressed than Mozart.
  13. 13. What are some differences?  He is wearing his own hair, cut short—not a long powdered wig in a ponytail.  He is wearing a plain black jacket and a simple cravat (necktie), not elaborate lace and a red velvet jacket.  You can’t see his legs, but he is certainly wearing long pants, not knee breeches…
  14. 14. ..like Mozart’s father in this picture.
  15. 15. Mozart was only fourteen years older than Beethoven, but the world changed a lot around 1791, when the older composer died. The French Revolution had started in 1789. People began to dress simply to show they agreed with the principles of equality and they look much more modern without the wigs and knee breeches…
  16. 16. ..like this. Sketch of Beethoven.
  17. 17. The style of music changed at this time and become much less decorated and orderly— and more dramatic. We call this new musical style “Romantic”. This doesn’t mean it has anything do with love or ‘romance’; it’s just the name of a musical style.
  18. 18.  Baroque period in music (Bach, Handel) 1600- 1750  Classical period (Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven) 1730-1830  Romantic period (Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann,Tchaikovsky) 1790-1910 Here are the names of some other periods in music, and their dates.
  19. 19. Notice that these periods overlap each other. This is because an older composer will often continue to compose in his accustomed style, when the fashion changes. Bach, for example, was writing music that was considered to be old- fashioned by the end of his life…
  20. 20. ..Baroque music, at the same time that younger composers had begun to compose in the Classical style, which was more modern. Please note that this doesn’t mean anything about the quality of the music, just the style. Bach’s ‘old-fashioned’ music…
  21. 21. ..was incomparably better and more important than what the younger men (including some of his sons) were writing. Even though people did not yet realize this. But it was still definitely in an older style.
  22. 22. Did you notice that Beethoven’s name was in two different periods of music?
  23. 23. That’s because he is a ‘bridge’ between the Classical and Romantic styles. He is BOTH a Classical AND a Romantic composer. His early music sounds very much like Mozart’s in style (Classical)—but his later music is definitely Romantic.
  24. 24. And he looks Romantic in this drawing. Where is he? What is he doing in the picture? How would you describe his manner? Calm or dramatic?
  25. 25. You would never see a similar picture of Mozart, taking a walk outside, looking so untidy. The drawing itself is very ‘Romantic’. And the scenery is ‘Romantic’ too. The Romantics liked the outdoors in its natural state…
  26. 26. NOT like this. (These are the gardens at Versailles, a palace, where Mozart played for Queen Marie Antoinette as a child. Are these ‘natural’ gardens? Why or why not?)
  27. 27. Queen Marie Antoinette playing the harpsichord.
  28. 28. And George Washington dancing. Is he dressed in a Classical or Romantic style? Washington is dancing a minuet .The minuet is definitely a dance from the Classical period of music. At the time of the French Revolution, it died.The father of our country was born in 1732 and lived until 1799. He wore a powdered wig and knee breeches to the end of his life.
  29. 29. The Romantics liked freedom; wildness; emotion. They disliked ‘artificiality’ and restraint. (Do you know the meaning of those words?) Romantic literature reflects this, and so does Romantic music. The piano was the right instrument for them (not the harpsichord and not the ‘fortepiano’), because the piano had continued to change.
  30. 30. Here is Beethoven’s last piano, made in 1817.
  31. 31. And here it is next to Mozart’s piano. They don’t look very different, do they? What differences do you see? Beethoven’s piano has pedals for the feet, not knee pedals. Mozart’s piano has the reversed keyboard and fewer keys than Beethoven’s has; but not very much fewer. It’s not a difference of octaves.
  32. 32. The main differences are on the inside.
  33. 33. Beethoven’s piano was made by the English firm, Broadwood. They made this piano especially for him because he always broke his pianos. The strings snapped and the keys broke with the power of his playing. Broadwood made him a stronger piano, although it didn’t yet have a cast iron frame…
  34. 34. ..like a modern piano. The cast iron frame was invented around 1818. It allows the piano strings to be wound much more tightly, so that the instrument can be played very loudly without strain.
  35. 35. Beethoven’s Broadwood was as strong as a piano can be, though, with the old-style wooden frame. And it had a beautiful sound. Do you know the name of the part of the piano responsible for the sound?
  36. 36. It’s called the soundboard. Can you see it here in this grand piano, under the frame?
  37. 37. This is how the soundboard fits into a grand piano.
  38. 38. Here it is in an upright.
  39. 39. Many other string instruments (guitars, harps, violins) have soundboards. The top of the guitar is its soundboard. The soundboard of this harp is painted.
  40. 40. Sound boards operate by the principle of forced vibration. “The string gently vibrates the board, and despite their differences in size and composition, makes the board vibrate at exactly the same frequency. This produces the same sound as the string alone, differing only in timbre.” (Wikipedia article on soundboards https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_board_(music)
  41. 41. Soundboards are always made of wood and the wood has to be carefully chosen and prepared. You could call the piano soundboard the ‘heart’ of the instrument…
  42. 42. So the soundboard of Beethoven’s beautiful piano must be a good one. (It can still be played). Unfortunately, by the time that he got it, Beethoven could not tell.
  43. 43. By 1817, he was deaf. “Conversation book” in which friends would write things down for Beethoven instead of saying them, because he couldn’t hear. He started to go deaf in the late 1790’s and by 1818 could no longer hear people talk.
  44. 44. How did he manage to keep composing in spite of this disability? And what kinds of piano music did he compose? Music Beethoven composed.
  45. 45. We will talk about that next time. Especially about Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
  46. 46. Images from: http://www.nyu.edu/classes/gilbert/classic/beethoven.html https://sites.google.com/a/cfsd.info/ludwig-van-beethoven/home/early-years https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155796468331820297/ http://www.nesseguitars.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/IMG_3469.jpg http://www.prattharps.com/Gallery%20Custom%20Walnut.htm https://traveltoeat.com/the-gardens-of-versailles/ https://www.google.com/search?q=minuet&rlz=1C1TSND_enUS612US612&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=602&site=webhp&source= lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjKkbjin6bMAhVql4MKHaisCXwQ_AUICCgD#imgrc=nZBB0qUIZQkdQM%3A http://blogs.kcrw.com/rhythmplanet/beethovens-pianos/ https://anamazingmachine.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/my-pianos-soundboard-is-cracked-push-the-panic-button/ http://broomfieldpiano.com/gallery/soundboard- refinish/http://www.reederpianos.com/bluthnerpianos/bspecs.html http://musicfrommarshall.blogspot.com/2012/02/cast-iron-frame-work-completed.html http://www.piano.christophersmit.com/frame.html http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/eppp-archive/100/202/300/inditer/2001/05-14/dane/pianos/pianos.htm http://www.lvbeethoven.com/Bio/BiographyDeafness.html

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