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Beethoven was the eldest surviving child of Johann and Maria Magdalena van Beethoven.The family was Flemish in origin and can be traced back to Malines.Although somewhat limited as a musician, Neefe was nonetheless a man of high ideals and wide culture, a man of letters as well as a composer of songs and light theatrical pieces; and it was to be through Neefe that Beethoven in 1783 would have his first extant composition ( In 1783 he was also appointed continuo player to the Bonn opera.
Beethoven composed music in the transitional period between the Classical and the Romantic eras, and his work has been divided into (roughly) three periods.
The first period, between 17, is characterized by traditional 18th-century technique and sounds.
It was Beethoven’s grandfather who had first settled in Bonn when he became a singer in the choir of the archbishop-elector of Cologne; he eventually rose to become Kappellmeister.
His son Johann was also a singer in the electoral choir; thus, like most 18th-century musicians, Beethoven was born into the profession.
His most famous compositions included Beethoven was born into a musical family.
His father tried to make him into a child prodigy, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but did not succeed. By that time, the teenaged Beethoven had published a composition ( ) and had been appointed continuo player to the Bonn opera.Widely regarded as the greatest composer who ever lived, Ludwig van Beethoven dominates a period of musical history as no one else before or since.Rooted in the Classical traditions of Joseph Haydn and Mozart, his art reaches out to encompass the new spirit of humanism and incipient nationalism expressed in the works of Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller, his elder contemporaries in the world of literature; the stringently redefined moral imperatives of Kant; and the ideals of the French Revolution, with its passionate concern for the freedom and dignity of the individual.Although his deafness did not become total until 1819, the first symptoms of the impairment manifested before 1800.Early on, Beethoven reported hearing buzzing and ringing in his ears.Later he disclosed “that from a distance I do not hear the high notes of the instruments and the singers’ voices.” Beethoven’s hearing loss didn’t stop him from composing music, though.He continued to write music well into the later years of his life.The visit was cut short when, after a short time, Beethoven received the news of his mother’s death.According to tradition, Mozart was highly impressed with Beethoven’s powers of improvisation and told some friends that “this young man will make a great name for himself in the world”; no reliable account of Beethoven’s first trip to Vienna survives, however.The second period, between 18, is marked by an increased use of improvisatory material.The third period, between 18, featured a wide range of musical harmonies and textures. He composed many of his most famous pieces—including the Beethoven was not born deaf, but he gradually became deaf.