Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Interesting Facts About Beethoven You Didn't Know

Ludwig Van Beethoven is one of the most famous and influential musicians/composers of the Classical and Romantic era. He was born in Bonn, which is the capital of Cologne (Germany) on December 17th 1770.
He had a very diligent melodious career with the help of his father, Johann Van Beethoven, who started teaching him music at a very early age. Beethoven wrote 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for the piano and 1 for the violin, 32 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets to represent his entire career. There is probably no one in the developing world that doesn't recognize a piece or two that was written by Ludwig. His music was dramatic and fierce and lives on to this day. 
A lot of historical information can be found about Beethoven, but there are some exceptional facts about him that you may never have known:
Does Age Really Matter?
On paper Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on 1770. However, for many years the composer thought he was born in 1772. The exact year of birth was never officially definite. Historians believe that Beethoven's father intentionally created this deception by altering his age so that he could present a much younger musical virtuoso. Remember, around the same time period Mozart was already quite established, and most likely, Beethoven's biggest musical rival! His father didn't want his son to be out-done by a fellow young originator.
Student Turned Piano Teacher

Beethoven was forced into the practice of music by an early age and music became his existence. It became his identity and he was very successful. One would assume that his passion for music would be something that he would love to share with those who wanted to learn. Beethoven was known to show utter disdain for piano teaching unless he was able to teach exceptionally gifted students, and, it has been noted, that if the student was a beautiful woman, it didn't matter if she couldn't tap her fingers to chop-sticks let alone play the piano.
Sounds of Silence for Ludwig
The worst fate that could ever befall a musician is loss of hearing.  That is exactly what happened to Beethoven. His hearing loss was gradual, but by 1819, in his 30's, he was clinically and completely deaf.  According to correspondences written by Ludwig, he considered his hearing loss a "demon", which haunted him everywhere he went. There were moments in this phase of his life where he contemplated suicide, but the love of music and his career held that action at bay. After the deafness set in, he was still able to complete thirty-two piano sonatas, seventeen string quartets, nine symphonies, one of which would be the Fifth Symphony – one of the most commonly recognized pieces he ever wrote.
Twelve Times Thirty

Music and math have always been complimentary disciplines. According to the American Mathematical Society, counting, rhythm, scales, intervals, patterns, symbols, harmonies, time signatures, overtone, and pitch are ALL notations made my composers that are directly connected to mathematics. With that being said, Beethoven was not very gifted, to say the least, when it came to basic math. Due to family obligations, he had to leave school at the early age of 11 to help support his family.
Beethoven's Struggle For Health
Throughout Beethoven's childhood, middle years and up to his death, he was never blessed with a healthy life. In addition to his hearing loss, which was attributed to typhus, he also suffered from colitis, rheumatism, rheumatic fever, skin disorder, to list a few. His death was eventually caused by cirrhosis, which lead to liver failure. 

He tried many different natural supplements to aid him but nothing seemed to work.
Whatever strange behavior or physical infirmities Beethoven struggled with, there is no denying that he will forever remain one of the greatest composers of all time.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Making Music into a Melody

The art of making music is what makes my world go upside down. Every music that I hear gives a perfect tune in my ear. Music becomes my obsession in life that I tend to be inspired and be at my best simply by listening to it.

Both my parents belonged to a rock band during their younger years. They usually do a lot of local concerts in our town. Their band was really popular back then and they were labeled as the rock star couple. I believe that I inherited my passion for music from them. I remember when I was still young and we have visitors coming by, I would always practice my solo music so I can perform perfectly in front of the guests.

Living the life of music is what I dream of every single day. I envision myself to have a music shop of my own and continue composing music with lyrics. I started establishing myself as a freelance music composer and that is when I finally realized that I have a unique and special talent in arts and music.

As I was passing by my favorite music store, I bumped into an old friend who noticed how my physical outlook changed. She was able to observe how I gained weight and how it really change my overall appearance. I was not really into fashion ever since I was a kid and my weight did not bother me at all.

But when my friend talks about her life experience when she weight just like me, it was really devastating and I don’t want to experience the same. She mentioned how she totally change her diet and manage to do daily exercise. She even found a cocktail reciepe book that showed her how to mix drinks with low to zero calories. Trust me when I saw this was a huge hit and was passed around to everyone I knew!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Half Way Through the Year

New resolutions, new clothes, and new hobby for a new year. Definitely, I have a new playlist. Lately, I’ve been listening to The National, which explains the title. One of my favorites is entitled “All the wine”. I can keep listening to it over and over again. I heard it from watching Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and let me just say that the film has an awesome soundtrack.

I enjoy listening to a song again and again, while I try to figure out what the song means. More importantly, I always try to figure out what the artist wanted to say with its lyrics. I don’t like concluding what the song meant by myself. I simply enjoy the idea.  It’s been a habit, I guess. If you search for the lyrics of “All the Wine” you’ll find the chorus with repeated phrases “All the wine is all for me”.

I’ve done a research about the lyrics as well. Some people gave me the simple thought that the song writer has seriously done some real good time drinking, and he has seen good stuff from his hallucinations. Some people said that the Artist behind this likes drinking before performing onstage. They maybe right in one way or another. They maybe wrong as well in all the right ways. In my case, it is a song about new love in a happy state. I heard it like that.

He sounds free with “a wingspan unbelievable, I’m a festival, I’m a parade”, and ends it with “I’m in a state, nothing can touch us my love”. Free and in love, or high on drugs for some people. Whatever his purpose of writing the song, the melody and lyrics seem to leave the feeling of stillness. Well, that’s just me. It’s almost the same with what another “new “year tells you. The state of having another chance. The state of recreation. The state of another beginning. The state of owning a situation, being in control. I think that’s why I’ve been listening to the same song for two days now. Plus, it reminds me of the movie I just watched.

This year sets another stage, where you’ll have a chance to perform. Perform a new song for the crowd or strung the guitar to entertain myself. Either way, I am looking forward to this year. Hopefully, I’ll write a new composition, soon too.