Composer #3: Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)

Ludwig Van Beethoven was a revolutionary composer. He pushed the boundaries of music and used emotion as a driving force in his music. He overcame a struggle with deafness later in his life, and eventually became one of the most celebrated composers of all time.

Name that Tune!

Many of Beethoven's melodies are so famous that they're recognized all around the world. Do you recognize these compositions by Beethoven? If you do, what are the names of these pieces?

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3

The Story of Ludwig Van Beethoven

Listen to the narration of Beethoven's story. As you listen, try to answer the questions on the form below. Look at the questions before we begin:

  • What country is Beethoven from?
  • What three instruments did Beethoven play?
  • When he was a boy, what famous person did Beethoven play for?
  • Why didn't Beethoven and his teacher get along?
  • What started happening when Beethoven was 30 years old?
  • How many symphonies did Beethoven write?
  • How many people attended Beethoven's funeral?

Beethoven's piano in a museum

Beethoven statue

Click the play button below to listen to Beethoven's story. Click the form on the right and answer the questions.

Beethoven's Story audio

Beethoven and Emotion

Beethoven was the bridge between the Classical and Romantic periods of music. Beethoven's earlier works are similar to Mozart's classical pieces. As Beethoven grew older, he used emotion as a driving force in his music. Music in the Romantic period was expressive and "larger than life". Watch two examples from Beethoven's symphonies.

What emotions do you hear being expressed in these two examples?

Help Beethoven get to the concert!

A few years ago, Google made this "doodle" for their front page. Beethoven needs to get to the concert to conduct his ninth symphony, but he keeps losing his music!

Help rearrange the music to some of Beethoven's famous works to help him get to the concert on time. Click the link on the right to begin.

Please use headphones in class if you have them.