Did Beethoven Compose Music After He Went Deaf?


5 Answers

Mark Henderson Profile
Mark Henderson answered
Yes, Beethoven did continue to compose music after he went deaf.

At the age of 26 Beethoven had already began to lose his hearing. He suffered from tinnitus (a high pitched ringing in the ears) which made it difficult for him to hear music and make conversation. The actual cause of his deafness is still debated, although it has been attributed either to typhus or to a form of auto-immune disorder.
Beethoven had first started to complain about ringing noises in his ears in 1796 - and by 1801 he had lost almost 60% of his hearing. Despite this, he continued to compose and perform music.

Impact of hearing loss on Beethoven's life and music.

in 1811, and despite being almost completely deaf, Beethoven attempted to perform his own Piano Concerto No.5 (the Emperor). The performance was an abject failure and, although he continued to compose music, he never played in public again after this performance.
Beethoven's deafness did not have any detrimental effect on his compositions, however - because like most composers he wrote his pieces in his head before putting them on to paper. His expert musical knowledge meant that he could hear the sound of his compositions in his mind's ear, without them ever having been performed before.
Believe it or not, this is not unusual - and Mozart and Britten (both of whom were not deaf) are known to have written their compositions almost entirely in their heads. In fact Beethoven himself never considered his deafness as an obstacle to his writing, though it did affect him socially and as a performer.
E Jacobson Profile
E Jacobson answered
It is not quite clear how deaf Beethoven was, at least until 1820. However, records show that when he was just 27, he started to have difficulty with his hearing and four years later, in 1801, he wrote to his brothers stating that he had not been able to hear a flute when it was played. (However, this could simply be because he had lost his high-frequency hearing, and he may have had a reasonable amount of low-frequency hearing left).

However, Beethoven's hearing does seem to have deterirated even further, and by 1820 he was reputed to be completely deaf and not able to hear any music (although he may have felt the rhythmn).

Nevertheless, he did compose after 1820 and during this period managed to produce some of his best works, including the five string quartets the Missa Solemnis and the 9th Symphony.

He died in 1827 at the age of 56.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Yeah, he did. He was the first deaf man to write an entire symphony.
Ho Han Fan Profile
Ho Han Fan answered
He did. He did not stop composing music just because of a disability. This shows his persistence and love for music.

Answer Question