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What Disability Did Beethoven Suffer From

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Family And Early Life

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Beethoven was the grandson of Ludwig van Beethoven , a musician from the town of Mechelen in the Austrian Duchy of Brabant who had moved to Bonn at the age of 21. Ludwig was employed as a bass singer at the court of Clemens August, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, eventually rising to become, in 1761, Kapellmeister and hence a pre-eminent musician in Bonn. The portrait he commissioned of himself towards the end of his life remained displayed in his grandson’s rooms as a talisman of his musical heritage. Ludwig had one son, Johann , who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment and gave keyboard and violin lessons to supplement his income.

Johann married in 1767 she was the daughter of Heinrich Keverich , who had been the head chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier. Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn, at what is now the Beethoven House Museum, Bonnstrasse 20. There is no authentic record of the date of his birth but the registry of his baptism, in the Catholic Parish of St. Remigius on 17 December 1770, survives, and the custom in the region at the time was to carry out baptism within 24 hours of birth. There is a consensus that his birth date was 16 December, but no documentary proof of this.

Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, and two younger brothers survived infancy. Kaspar Anton Karl was born on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann , the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776.

What Caused Beethoven To Lose His Hearing

A musical prodigy, Beethoven released his first composition in 1778, when he was not quite 8 years old. For the next two decades, he released a number of symphonies and other musical compositions. When he was 27, though, he began to note difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds and complained of hearing a buzzing in his ears, also known as tinnitus.

Over the years, Beethovens hearing declined until he was completely deaf sometime around 1814, when he was 44 years old.

Unfortunately, there is no conclusive proof as to what caused Beethovens deafness. Sometimes he claimed it was caused when he was interrupted while working and fell over in a fit of rage. When he stood up, he said, he was deaf. Other times, he blamed gastrointestinal distress. His autopsy stated that his auditory nerves were shrunken and his inner ear had developed lesions. Its likely that his issues were caused by an autoimmune disorder, typhus, or even his habit of dunking his head in cold water to stay awake.

Beethoven tried a number of treatments to regain his hearing. Some of them involved using ear horns or other hearing instruments of the time. A number were less orthodox, though, such as bathing in the Danube River or strapping wet bark to his upper arms. Suffice it to say, they were unsuccessful.

Presentation Of The Hearing Loss In The Primary Literature

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December in 1770 in Bonn, Germany and died on March 26th in 1827 at the age of 56 in Vienna, Austria. The first note of a hearing impairment was mentioned by the composer himself in two letters to his friend F. G. Wegeler written on June 29th and November 16th in 1801:

That malicious demon, however, bad health, has been a stumbling-block in my path my hearing during the last three years has become gradually worse .

My ears are buzzing and ringing perpetually, day and night. I can with truth say that my life is very wretched for nearly 2 years past I have avoided all society, because I find it impossible to say to people, I am deaf! In any other profession this might be more tolerable, but in mine such a condition is truly frightful .

I hear none of the high notes of instruments or singers. I often can scarcely hear a person if speaking low I can distinguish the tones, but not the words, and yet I feel it intolerable if anyone shouts to me

The ringing and buzzing in my ears have certainly rather decreased, particularly in the left ear, in which the malady first commenced, but my hearing is not at all improved in fact I fear that it is become rather worse

Also in 1802, Beethoven mentioned his hearing impairment in the Heiligenstädter Testament, a letter to his brothers Kaspar Karl und Johann from 1802:

Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like an exile.

Fig. 1

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The Whole Story Of Beethovens Deafness

How he dealt with this deafness is one of the great stories of humanity, not just of music.Music Director Donato Cabrera

Imagine directing an orchestra you cant hear. Or playing a soundless piano for a staring audience.

Most know classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven struggled with deafnessbut many dont realize how much of a struggle it was. Beyond composing without hearing a note, Beethoven grappled with living in the 1800s when few understood deafness, hindering his ability to communicate, work as a musician and even find a place to live. How he dealt with this deafness is one of the great stories of humanity, not just of music.

Losing Sound

Beethoven began losing his hearing in his mid-20s, after already building a reputation as a musician and composer. The cause of his deafness remains a mystery, though modern analysis of his DNA revealed health issues including large amounts of lead in his system. At the time, people ate off of lead platesthey just didnt know back then.

Continuing to compose and conduct, he changed lodgings constantly in Vienna, which could be due to Beethovens landlords frustration with him pounding on his piano at all hours.

Beethoven even continued performing publicly as a musician, which was necessary for many composers of the age: Thats how they got their pieces out, not just composing but performing. For the longest time he didnt want to reveal his deafness because he believed, justifiably, that it would ruin his career.

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Famous Person with Disabilities ( BEETHOVEN) Essay

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How Did Beethoven Compose When He Was Deaf

What makes Beethoven all the more remarkable is that he was able to continue composing even after his hearing started to go. Fortunately for him, his hearing loss was gradual, not sudden. This meant that he could still hear some music for years after he started to go deaf. When he became unable to hear higher-frequency sounds, he would use primarily lower notes. Moonlight Sonata is a good example of a piece of music from this period.

Beethoven is also known to have composed by feeling the vibrations from his piano. He knew he had the right note when he felt the correct vibration. Also, he had so much experience composing that he could remember a great deal about which notes from which instruments sounded best together.

What Treatment Did Beethoven Seek For His Deafness

Taking a lukewarm bath of Danube water seemed to help Beethoven’s stomach ailments, but his deafness became worse. “I am feeling stronger and better, except that my ears sing and buzz constantly, day and night.”

One bizarre remedy was strapping wet bark to his upper arms until it dried out and produced blisters. This didn’t cure the deafnessit only served to keep him away from his piano for two weeks.

After 1822, he gave up seeking treatment for his hearing. He tried a range of hearing aids, such as special hearing trumpets. Take a look:

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Alexander Graham Bell Thomas Edison Beethoven With Learning Disability

If anyone says that you are not smart as other because you have learning disability, dont worry. Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Beetoven were the ones of famous people with learning disability. For someone disagnosed with a learning disability, it can seem scary at first. But a learning disability doesnt have anything to do with a persons intelligence, after all such as sucessful people as Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Tom Cruise, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Henry Ford, Geroge Burn, Bill Cosby, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, etc.

Sometimes talent and genius are more than just inherited or evident from birth. Overcoming a learning disability has shaped the careers and accomplishments of some of the most famous people in the world. They are just as intelligent, talented, and sensitive as everyone else they simply have trouble processing certain types of information. Theres no cure for a learning disability. And you dont outgrow it. Most people with learning disabilities learn to adapt to their learning differences, and they learn strategies that help them accomplish their goals and dreams.

Heres what I found about Thomas Edison, Beethoven and AGBs background.

Ludwig Van Beethoven became deaf later in his young life when he composed his 9th symphony. He was very angry and struggling until he finished it.

Alexander Graham Bell suffered from dyslexia. He worked with deaf children. His mother and wife were deaf.

Geniuses And Their Abilities

Beethoven Deafness 1

Exploring the scientific and artistic careers of Ludwig van Beethoven, Louis Braille, Mileva Mari, and Francisco de Goya

On 14 October 1992, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 3 December as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day highlights how disability inclusion in our society is essential to respect human rights and to improve common social justice.

In relation to this principle, it is crucial to be aware of how people with disabilities continue their professional career to build a better future for all.

In this blog, we explore the scientific and artistic careers of Ludwig van Beethoven, Louis Braille, Mileva Mari, and Francisco de Goya.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the most important figures in the history of Western music. During his career, he worked as a pianist, arranger, teacher and composer. Some of his most well-known pieces are the Piano Sonata no. 14 called Moonlight Sonata, the Bagatelle no 25 called Für Elise, the Third Symphony called Heroic Symphony, the Fifth Symphony or Destiny Symphony and the Ninth Symphony or Choral.

Despite his disability, Beethoven went on to complete most of his works like the 9th Symphony assisted by hearing aids and his sense of rhythm and harmony.

Louis Braille

Mileva Mari

Francisco de Goya

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Beethoven Or Helen Keller

For me, it is extremely hard to decide between Ludwig Van Beethoven and Helen Keller. Honestly, my favorite historical figure is Beethoven. Beethoven is very influential and overall impressive in the things he did. Around age 41 , he was almost completely deaf. Yet, using tools such as his rod attached to the sound of the soundboard of his piano that he could bite to feel the vibrations of the sound, he continued to write beautiful music. As a musician, this is truly inspiring and impressive to me.

Now, my favorite deaf *idol* has to be Helen Keller. Even more of an idol was her instructor, Anne Sullivan, who had enough patience to deal with Helens overly ignorant and feisty self as a child. Yet, Helen as an adult was very strong in the community, proving that anything is possible in the education of the deaf and the blind.

If I had to choose, it would probably be Beethoven. But as I said, I have separate opinions about both, and find it difficult to choose between them.

Did Beethoven And Mozart Ever Meet

Boxing Day in Bonn While we dont know for sure that Mozart and Beethoven ever met, we definitely do know that Haydn and Beethoven did. Haydn was one of the most important figures in Beethovens early career. It started on Boxing Day 1790, just 11 days after Haydn had said that sad farewell to Mozart.

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Deaf Genius Beethoven Was Able To Hear His Final Symphony After All

The one thing everyone knows or thinks they know about Ludwig van Beethoven is that he composed some of musics greatest masterpieces while completely deaf. Compelling as this sounds, the story has a flaw: it may not be true. According to a leading Beethoven expert, the composer still had hearing in his left ear until shortly before his death in 1827.

This is going to send everybody scurrying to revise biographical concepts about Beethoven, Theodore Albrecht, professor of musicology at Kent State University, Ohio, told the Observer. Albrecht, who has uncovered crucial evidence in contemporary accounts, believes that although Beethoven suffered severe deterioration in his hearing, he did not lose it to the very profound depths that musicologists have assumed.

Not only was Beethoven not completely deaf at the premiere of his Ninth Symphony in May 1824, he could hear, although increasingly faintly, for at least two years afterwards, probably through the last premiere that he would supervise, his String Quartet in B-flat, Op 130, in March 1826, Albrecht said.

Beethoven began to lose his hearing in 1798. If I belonged to any other profession, it would be easier, he told a friend, but in my profession it is a frightful state. Between 1812 and 1816, he tried ear trumpets, with little success. From 1818, he carried blank conversation books, in which friends and acquaintances jotted down comments, to which he would reply aloud.

Mozart And Beethoven: New Diagnoses

Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar and Beethoven: Historic figures ...

It has been pretty clear for a century or so that Austrian court composer Antonio Salieri was in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease when at age 73 he “confessed” to murdering the young musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart’s untimely death in the late 18th century is generally still considered a mystery. Most present-day physicians don’t think he had tuberculosis or rheumatic fever, the two illnesses to which his death is most often ascribed.

British playwright Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus,” of course, lent new credence to the Salieri-poison scenario, but that’s mere poetic license, according to a neurologist with a penchant for latter-day diagnoses of history’s rich and famous.

Mozart’s problem, concluded neurologist Miles E. Drake, was a chronic subdural hematoma, a pool of blood between the membranes that separate the brain and the skull, that was caused by a fall. Doctors treating the symptoms — weakness, headaches and faintings — in all probability killed him, or, at the very least, hastened his death with their misguided techniques, mainly involving bloodletting, according to Drake, who teaches at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

“We neurologists are very vain about our historical and cultural interests,” Drake said recently, noting that the academy meetings usually have such presentations. Drake is especially interested in music, so it is no surprise that his historical diagnoses are musically oriented.

So much for Mozart.

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Beethoven: Black And Deaf

I dont feel like I know enough about Deaf History to have an actual favorite yet, but Ludwig van Beethoven has been in my thoughts a lot lately due to recently learning that he was black.

Its amazing to me that history can be manipulated so drastically that we could have such a large misconception about a person so fundamentally important to the music world. It makes me wonder what else was erased from history, and if there were influential Deaf people that we dont know about simply because people refused to tell their stories.

As for Beethoven himself, I really admire his dedication to his music, despite his tinnitus making it increasingly difficult for him, in addition to his chronic abdominal pain. He pushed through suicidal thoughts, and eventually started to tailor his music to what he could hear and feel, injecting the rhythm from his African heritage, creating some of the most unique music of his age because of it.

I havent read anything about Beethoven learning sign language, but even without it, his friends were very accommodating for him. They would write down what was happening in their conversation, and he would either respond aloud or write his response. It makes me wonder how different Beethovens life would have been if he had learned sign language and had a support group of other Deaf people to communicate with and normalize his condition. Would he have led a healthier life? Would he have known better ways to deal with his rapid hearing loss?

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