Saturday, October 22, 2011

Would Beethoven Ever Have Worn a Music Tie

Ludwig van Beethoven wearing a cravatte
Music theme ties are for the music lover in all of us, not just musicians.

Would Beethoven ever have worn a music necktie? This hypothetical question could be answered as, yes - well probably, would be a better answer. He was a bit of an eccentric, not that it is a bad thing to be a little crazy.  After all, aren’t all artists eccentric?  Being eccentric is what makes them artists.  Not that you have to be nuts to wear novelty neckties, you just have to have the right personality and you would need to be comfortable with receiving a lot of attention. 

Music neckties could never have been imagined by Beethoven at the end of the 18th century, a little more than 200 years ago, The tie, or cravatte as it was called at the time, was a serious accessory to a man’s attire.  Any garment that was customary in that era would not have been designed as novelty themed fashion.

Born in 1770 in Bonn Germany, he became musically recognized as a court musician when he began supporting himself and his family at a very young age do to his father's alcoholism. At twenty years old, a composition of great value while under the tutelage of German composer Christian Gottlob Neefe became cause for his study in Vienna with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart’s death in 1791 prevented this from occurring; however Beethoven went to Vienna and became the student of Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. Surely Mozart was no easy act to follow at the turn of the 19th Century in Vienna.  The sensational composer that he would become, Ludwig Von Beethoven was at first stigmatized having to measure up to Mozart.

Vienna Opera House

At the age of 18 he started experiencing a loss of hearing which of all things was the most important of the five senses to a musician.   Despite the severity of his condition he was capable of composing works that to this day are valued as timeless symphonies.  Truly a testament to his genius was the fact that could hear the notes in his head.

He became quite popular due to his piano improvising none the less his compositions with Viennese music publishers. His style of music veered from what many thought to be a refinement of Mozart’s work which afforded him great success with the market for published music, something that had evaded Mozart a decade earlier. In the first decade of the 19th century he illustrated the complete Viennese classical style of symphony, concerto, string quartet, and sonata.

Perhaps Beethoven's best known classical work ever is his 5th Symphony which took about four years to complete in 1808; performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien.   Other popular works remembered in modern times evolved from the Symphony number 3 – Erotica, 1803 and Symphony number. 8 – 1812.    

Much of Europe was at the mercy of Napoleon from 1804 to 1815 with an occupation of Vienna in 1805 creating political stress in Austria.  Although he had achieved success as a composer he was distraught with his personal life and the world.  The height of his fame was realized in this period however his hearing impairment worsened, causing him great difficulty in his life as he was ofter ridiculed and laughed at due to his flawed hearing. He became socially isolated as a result which isolation which resulted in eccentric behavior becoming more apparent. Increasingly avoiding public appearances, 1814 saw his last performance. His difficulty with his love for women who were not within his reach due to their social status or the fact that were married caused him great pain. By 1818 he had become virtually deaf. This and other conflicts he had with family caused him to become a recluse with only a small circle of friends that he valued. His music became less fashionable with the exception of his Symphony Number 9. Although he had fallen from grace his funeral was attended by tens of thousands on March 26th 1827 in Vienna.

Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
In all he composed 9 symphonies, 7 concertos ( 5 for pianos ), 17 string quartets, 32 piano sonatas for cello and piano, an opera, 2 masses, several overtures, and numerous sets of piano variations. He is regarded as the representation of romanticism music style, and the greatest example of the classical style of Vienna. He personified the image of an artist being romantic through his symphonic style of drama.

The passion in his music has won the hearts and appreciation of generation after generation. For those who love Ludwig van Beethoven, or for those who just love music -  wearing music ties is a ritual more than like the habit of wearing such a fashion accessory. A necktie, especially a novelty tie illustrates a man’s artistic values and is a clue to his character better than anything else; save possibly having a half shaved head and a rainbow spiked hair doo highlighted with music note tattoos on your forehead. Wearing novelty theme music ties illustrating your love for music is much less severe and certainly a more socially accepted method of expression for sure.

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