21-Day-projects Mind

Ludwig Van Beethoven, the Deaf Composer: An Inspirational Life Story
January 13, 2017
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Ludwig van Beethoven was a great pianist and composer in the 1700s and is still considered a musical genius to date. He was born in 1770 in Germany. He was raised by his alcoholic father who took to teaching him music in a rather brutal way. Often he would be flogged, locked in a cellar and deprived of sleep in order to practice. He struggled with Mathematics and Language his entire life, being only an average student, and some people even say that he may have been mildly dyslexic.

Nevertheless he went on to forge a great career in music for himself, which was in sharp contrast to his personal life. It has been theorized that perhaps the reason he never married or had any children was in part because Ludwig was very shy and not very good-looking. However, it was discovered that he had in fact had the misfortune of falling in love with a married woman named Antonie. He wrote her a long and beautiful letter professing his love but never sent it, perhaps indicating  a form of nobility in him that superseded his desire for her.

This may have contributed to his loneliness and frequent misery throughout his life. He was described as “short-tempered, absent-minded, greedy and suspicious to the point of paranoia”. He frequently fought with the people around him, including his brothers, work colleagues and employees, all of whom were unaware of his silent struggle with the fact that he was going deaf.

Beethoven composed his best symphonies while deaf.

Beethoven composed his best symphonies while deaf.

He struggled desperately to hide his affliction and to come to terms with it himself. For two years he stopped going to social functions owing to the fact that he couldn’t hear words spoken to him in conversation. He was afraid that his career would not survive his deafness but nevertheless continued to compose furiously and it is during this time that he composed his best works including his famous symphonies.


About author

Wanjiru Ndung'u

Wanjiru Ndung'u writes fiction, poetry and essays. She is an irretrievable night owl, tea-lover and cat mom. She enjoys books, alternative music, movies and streaming shows.

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