Ludwig van Beethoven: His Life and Music By Joy Agre

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Ludwig van Beethoven: His Life and Music

  • By

  • Joy Agre

Ludwig van Beethoven His Life

  • Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, on December 16th 1770. His father was an amateur musician and realized that his young son would become a tremendous talent. His lazy father thought he could make a great deal of money from the concerts given by Ludwig.

Ludwig van Beethoven His Life

  • By the time he was twelve, young Beethoven was earning money composing and playing the organ, harpsichord, and viola.

Ludwig van Beethoven His Life

  • In 1787, Beethoven met Wolfgang Mozart while in Vienna. Mozart recognized his talent and told friends,

  • “Keep an eye on him, he will make a noise in the world some day.”

Ludwig van Beethoven His Life

  • Beethoven remained in Vienna and worked as a musician even though his lessons to study composition with Joseph Haydn weren’t successful. He was known as an eccentric, ill-mannered, bad-tempered person who had few true friends.

Ludwig van Beethoven His Life

  • In the late 1790’s, Beethoven began to lose his hearing which was the worst possible fate for a musician. He then preferred to be alone and often wrote music during long walks in the woods. He was an unhappy, lonely man who relied on his art for strength.

Ludwig van Beethoven His Life

  • Beethoven wrote some of his finest music (the Ninth Symphony) after he was totally deaf and actually conducted its first performance in silence. Ludwig van Beethoven died on March 26, 1827.

Ludwig van Beethoven His Music

  • Beethoven’s music is stronger and more romantic than that of his predecessors Haydn and Mozart. His symphonies are longer and more tuneful. They are clearly an expression of his personality. There is evidence from his sketchbooks that he composed with some difficulty, making several revisions. He wrote primarily instrumental compositions which included nine symphonies, a violin concerto, five piano concertos, and thirty piano sonatas.

Ludwig van Beethoven Questions and Answers

  • 1. Beethoven was born in FRANCE / GERMANY.

  • 2. Beethoven was born in 1770 / 1970.

  • 3. HAYDN / JOPLIN gave Beethoven composition

  • lessons.

  • 4. Eventually Beethoven became BLIND / DEAF.

  • 5. Beethoven mainly wrote music for


  • 6. During his life, he wrote TWO / NINE symphonies.

  • 7. Beethoven began earning money composing

  • when he was THIRTY / TWELVE.

  • 8. Sadly, Beethoven had few FRIENDS / PETS.

Ludwig van Beethoven Teacher’s Page

  • The biography pages about Beethoven can be read aloud as a class. The question and answer page should be used as an individual assessment for the students. They can simply write down the correct answer on a separate piece of paper to be turned in and graded.

  • The page about his music can be enhanced by listening to clips of various types of works by Beethoven.

  • DOT, DOT, DOT, DASH (a separate listing under MAP attack), can be used on another day. It will be helpful to have the students hear Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Then you will need to determine whether students will work individually or in small groups. Clarify instructions and demonstrate several of the suggestions in item 2. Allow students time to experiment and plan their compositions. Encourage students to perform their compositions for the class.

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