Beethoven is one of the most celebrated and talented composers ever. His music is still played frequently today in various households and in many movies we know and love. The appeal of his music is centred in the catchy stanzas of his compositions. The emotional quality of his music is perhaps the fiercest of any composer. In this essay, I will analyse two Beethoven compositions and provide an explanation of the emotional qualities that he is able to invoke in his pieces. Rather than it being something that is inexpressible or not being in common with the material world, there is a scientific (albeit limited) reason why people feel so connected with Beethoven’s music. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
What is perhaps most striking about the compositions to be analysed here, and about all Beethoven’s work, is their ability to generate strong emotion from their audience. His compositions are powerful, such as that in the Fifth symphony, but they are also more temperate, such as in the Pastoral Symphony. Beethoven is so popular because he is able to generate emotion in his audience. In the cases of most music, it is the emotional quality that either makes the music good or bad. Because composers don’t usually use words to describe their work, they have to use specific instruments and notes to tell a story to the listener.
The appealing aspects of Beethoven’s work are difficult to put into words. However, with a great deal of humility, one can begin to turn the intangible into the tangible. The “Sonata in A major for Cello and Piano Op. 69” and the “Serenade, Op. 25” are, in this writer’s opinion, his most powerful compositions. While all of Beethoven’s pieces go through peaks and valleys, much like a good book or movie, these composition are similar through their flowing use of both string instruments and piano. They flow from softer tones to heavier and more violent tones. Throughout the compositions, there is a consistent tempo in the back, often played by the rapid notes on the piano. This provides the heart of the music while, in the broader sense of the composition, the instruments play around that tempo and guide the listener on an emotional rollercoaster. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
That emotion that is evoked from every part of the composition is a very valuable tool to use as a score in a movie, for example, and that is just the way that this music has been used. Some of the composition has been used more frequently than others, and its co-option is due to the fact that the symphony generates such a wide range of emotions. Each emotion is integral to communicating a section of a given plot. That is what makes Beethoven’s music so attractive to the listener, is its ability to generate emotion. These compositions capture the intense qualities of life, from being blissfully happy, to having tragedy strike in an instance. And this is what is most striking about them. As his high notes take on a melody that could conjure images of a butterfly testing flowers in the forest, he abruptly switches to a heavier section, which signifies danger. While the story isn’t directly told through the piece, one can begin to sense danger that is in the area, for example. Then, within a heartbeat, the listener is in the midst of a great battle. These sounds are not only art within themselves, but they are also able to make a mediocre film, for example, into something so much more genius. And that is Beethoven’s legacy. I would have to assume that the emotional quality has to do with the various tempos that vary throughout. But despite one communicating itself clearly to those who either understand the language of music, or who are able to translate the sounds with only their emotions, both have the same concept. I think Beethoven chose the various tempos because it represents what he is communicating in his symphony. He has inspired people to cry tears of joy, and tears of sorrow. < Click Essay Writer to order your essay >
The compositions communicate a style of political thought. It’s type of renaissance in the face of danger that Beethoven is trying to get across. The compositions don’t necessarily speak to a level of Western thought, because this music is also closely identified with the thought of the Eastern World. It is a thought that everyone on the Earth possesses, and that is the struggle of everyday life and dealing with the various challenges, often imposed by other people, on the way one carries out their life. While the music can closely connect with Western thought and philosophies, it can also connect closely with those of the East. For example, while it can connect with Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number of people), it can also connect with Buddhism, which says that everyone is connected in a singular consciousness. This is told in the section of Beethoven’s compositions in these pieces that includes feelings of happiness, sadness and danger.
The meaning behind Beethoven’s work can also be reflected in the politics of his time, which were ripe with people calling for democracy, and a change to the classist system. In a previous work, the Ninth Symphony, we can see that this is the type of meaning that Beethoven wants to evoke. He refers in that symphony to the fact that we are all brothers, and I would add sisters; though perhaps there is no dividing gender trait relevant to Beethoven or Schiller’s (whose poetry he used as an opera in the symphony) definition of brother. But I don’t think the “Sonata” and “Seronade” say the symphony is a piece that is completely open to interpretation, because you can’t add any element you want to the music. It is clearly a composition about life and the various obstacles and challenges, until the ultimate death. That is made perfectly clear in the music.
Works CitedCooper, A. (2011, December). Criticism of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony in London and Boston, 1819-1874: A Forum for Public Discussion of Musical Topics. University of North Texas.
“First Movement.” (n.d.). Long Island University.
Hughs, V. (2012, Dec. 18). Why Does Music Move Us So? National Geographic.