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Beethoven: The Influential Composer of All Time

Ludwig van Beethoven overcame many obstacles throughout his life (1770-1827). By expanding the style of his influences, he accomplished musical tasks before possible. His influences were Neefe, Mozart, and Bach. In comparison to other composers, such as Bach and Mozart, Beethoven produced a relatively small number of symphonies. However, his nine symphonies contained more emotion and ingenuity than all other artists' combined. In fact, the Ninth Symphony Orchestra is Beethoven's most renowned work, as well as the greatest accomplishment in music history. Beethoven possessed an enormous musical mind, and proved himself to be the most influential composer of all time.

Beethoven's road to fame was anything but easy. He encountered numerous difficulties along the way. Ludwig Beethoven was born into a dysfunctional family. His father, a successful violinist and tenor singer, was also an abusive alcoholic (Mann 72). Beethoven began learning to play the piano at a very young age, with his father as instructor. His father initiated the informal training through drastic means (Landon 52). "[Beethoven's] father would wake him up at night to beat the music into his sleepy head" (73). As a result, Beethoven's musical skills progressed rather slowly in comparison to future times.

At the age of nine, Beethoven began his first formal training with the composer and organist, Christian Gottlob Neefe (Landon 55). Neefe started what became a life long journey into music for the nine-year-old prodigy. In addition to instructing Beethoven on the piano and organ, Neefe also taught him to compose. In 1782, with the help of his mentor, Beethoven published his first works, a set of nine variations for piano (59). Although Beethoven had several different teachers, he did not adopt one style over another. Instead, he took all styles and combined them into a perfect balance.

Neefe introduced Beethoven to Mozart's strict counterpoint st...

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