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Ludwig van Beethoven. Born Bonn, Germany Baptized 1770. Birthday unknown. Interested in music at an early age. Learned music from his father Close relationship with his mother First performance was at Cologne. . Johann. Maria Magdalena. Studied music from renowned artists. Neefe.

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Born Bonn, Germany

  • Baptized 1770.
  • Birthday unknown.
  • Interested in music at an early age.

Learned music from his father

  • Close relationship with his mother
  • First performance was at Cologne.


Maria Magdalena

  • Published “9 Variations in C Minor”


  • At age 14 was appointed organist at the Court of Maximilian Francis, Elector of Cologne.


Cologne, Germany

Maximilian Francis

  • Learned music from Mozart.
  • Mother died July 17th.


  • He organized his first symphony
  • He pushed the boundaries of music
  • He revealed his deafness to friends.
  • In spite of his disability he continued to create beautiful music


some of his works consisted of
Some of his works consisted of…
  • Symphonies
  • Concertos
  • Works for Soloist and Orchestra
  • Overtures and incidental music
  • Sonatas
other works
Other works…
  • He created his first and only opera “Lenore”
  • The name later got changed to “Fidelio” against his wishes.


  • Brother Kaspar Karl passed away
  • Guardianship of his nephew Karl
  • Continued to compose Quartets, Symphonies and Mass

Nephew Karl

  • Died March 26th
  • Surrounded by friends
  • 10-30,000 people attended funeral

Beethoven's funeral as depicted by Franz Stöber (1795–1858)

Beethoven's funeral - The painting by Franz Stober - 1827

composition history
Composition History

Moonlight Sonata

moonlight sonata
Moonlight Sonata
  • Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Originally called Quasi una Fantasia
  • Ludwig Relstab said it reminded him of the moonlight of Lake Lucerne
  • It was composed for Beethoven’s student GiuliettaGuicciardi


Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

moonlight sonata1
Moonlight Sonata
  • Consists of 3 movements
  • Adagio sostenuto which is the first movement
  • Allegreto which is the second movement
  • Presto agitato the third movement
listening guide
Listening Guide

Moonlight Sonata

the first movement
The First Movement
  • The First Movement: Adagio SostenutoThe first movement of the Moonlight Sonata is the most well known. The almost haunting and mysterious melody is dark and whisper like. The form of the first movement is a sort of “condensed” sonata. In other words, it plays the main melody, develops it, and then plays it again very similar to how it was originally played. Most of the first movement is playing in pianissimo and then gets mezzo forte.
  • 00:01 to 00:20 The introduction is played in four-measure arpeggiated chords. The soft melody is played over.
  • 00-01:40 Melody played in fortissimo loud chords.
  • 02:55-4:04 The middle section has motivic development of dialogue, exchanged between hands.
  • 4:04-04:30 The melody closes in bass.
  • 04:30-04:52 Resolution arpeggios and chords end the first movement.
the second movement
The Second Movement
  • The Second Movement: Allegretto The second movement of the Moonlight Sonata is fast-moving. The key of the second movement is D flat major, which is unrelated to the overall key of c# minor.
  • 00:01- 1:05 Syncopations in triple meter give asymmetrical feeling. Chords play loud then descending into a soft melody.
  • 1:06-02:11Short, repeated sections are played here. Melody played forte, loud and then going piano, soft.
the third movement
The Third Movement
  • The Third Movement: Presto AgitatoThe third movement is completely different from the previous two movements. Its rapid progressions from note to note are invigorating and powerful. The third movement of the Moonlight Sonata is actually marked piano, but Beethoven’s use of sforzandos and fortissimos which make the piece actually sound as if the overall dynamic was fortissimo.
  • 00:01-0:47 There is an underlying restless movement. Dramatic character, with sudden dynamic contrasts, building to huge climax as the tension builds.
  • 1:45-2:06 Theme 1—rising arpeggios punctuated by 2 sharp chords.
  • 3:03-03:15 Theme 2a—more lyrical, with restless accompaniment. Music grows louder, set in octaves.
  • 03:59-05:30 Theme 2b is played with accented chords grows loud then soft.
  • 06:07-06:24 Gentle closing theme, then builds and ends with chords. Rising chromatic scale leads to closing theme, builds to 2 fortissimochords.
bibliography and references
Bibliography and References
  • Wikipedia, Moonlight Sonata, retrieved from,
  • Wikipedia, Ludwig Van Beethoven, retrieved from
  • Wikipedia, Moonlight Sonata, retrieved from