Along with Mozart and Bach, Ludwig Beethoven is one of the most famous and influential composers of all time. Displaying musical talent at a young age, Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father. He moved to Vienna at age 21 to study music composition with Joseph Haydn and gained a reputation as a kickass pianist. He began losing his hearing in his late 20s and it was all but gone in the last decade of his life.
His best-known compositions include nine symphonies, five piano concertos, and 32 piano sonatas. To this day, his Ninth symphony remains the pinnacle of orchestral composition. But what many people seem to forget is that Beethoven was completely deaf when he composed the Ninth. He composed it by putting his head on the piano, to “read” the vibrations. He even conducted its premier performance in 1824, despite not being able to hear the orchestra because you know; deafness.
Beethoven showed that every physical limit is meant to be broken; you just need to find the badass in you to do it. And as many other great musicians have proved since; Rick Allen, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, creativity should not, and cannot be hindered by physical disabilities. Beethoven didn’t let his hearing loss prevent him from composing music, and we are all the more grateful for it.
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