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7 Surprising Things about Beethoven You Probably Didn’t Know

Music for the soul!

Of course, you have heard the name of the famous musician Beethoven even if you have not listened to his compositions. Although that is unlikely. In fact, if you are a music major, by any chance – you have most probably practiced some of his classic pieces in class.

Below are 7 surprising facts about Beethoven’s life which you might not have been aware of.

  1. He did not have an ideal childhood

Beethoven’s father pulled him out of school at the tender age of ten. Being a music composer himself, he pushed Beethoven into becoming a child prodigy by arranging his first public debut at the age of 7! His father was also an alcoholic and often abused Beethoven physically for making mistakes on the piano.

  1. Beethoven was unlucky in love (twice)

It is known to many that the famous composer never married nor had any children. However, he was hopelessly in love with a married woman named Antoine Brentano. Later he fell in love with Josephine Brunswick who took piano lessons from him but got married to a count.

  1. He was the first composer of his kind

This means that Beethoven was the first musician to receive a salary for no duties. All he was supposed to do was make music when and how he felt inclined.

  1. Beethoven composed his most famous works after going deaf

Feeling more and more isolated due to his deafness, Beethoven drew all his attention towards composing. This is when he produced some of his most celebrated pieces, including the Ninth Symphony.

It is said that he was not able to hear the applause for his famous symphony when it was played in Vienna for the first time.

  1. Math wasn’t Beethoven’s best subject

Being pulled out of school at the age of 10, Beethoven did not know how to multiply or divide and therefore, often struggled with his finances. In one of his letters from 1801, he wrote that he was ‘really an incompetent businessman who is bad at arithmetic’.

  1. He had some quirky personal habits

It is known that Beethoven had some strange habits such as the fact that he bathed often but wore dirty clothes. Similarly, he left plates of food around his home and never emptied his chamber pot.

  1. His final words were nothing short of interesting

There are many speculations about what Beethoven’s final words were. Some say he said ‘in heaven, I shall hear’ while others believe his final words were ‘applaud my friends, the comedy is over,’ but as confirmed by his close friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner, he really just said ‘Pity, pity -too late’ when his publisher sent him a case of wine.

Beethoven was a master of his craft and will forever be known as one of the greatest composers of his time. However, as some of the facts about his life reveal, he did not get to live an ideal life.

Riley Brown
Written By

Riley is a history, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Multimedia from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in many finance and lifestyle publications throughout the US. When he is not writing, Riley enjoys reading and hanging out at the beach with his dog.


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