Thursday, December 06, 2007

Beethoven's "Fur Elise" & How It Was Written

One of the best-loved of all classical pieces is Beethoven's Fur Elise.

Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most famous classical composers of the western world. Beethoven is remembered for his powerful and stormy compositions, and for continuing to compose and conduct even after he began to go deaf at age 28.

Beethoven scholars are not entirely certain who "Elise" was. The most reasonable theory is that Beethoven originally titled his work "Für Therese", Therese being a gal named Therese whom Beethoven intended to marry in 1810. However, she declined Beethoven's proposal, which no doubt contributed to his depression.

The piece begins with a trill-like melody flowing into an arpeggiation of Am and E7 -- the I and V7 chords in the key of A minor. The next section uses the same theme -- or an approximation of it, but in C major and G major. At the end the minor theme returns.

For details on the piece and how it was written, go to:

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