Ludwig van Beethoven is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential composers of Western art music

Ludwig van Beethoven is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential composers of Western art music. From a young age, he exhibited considerable talent, independence, and willful nonconformity. Over the course of his life, these themes came through both in his compositions, and in his attitude towards social norms regarding music. Composing symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, concertos, and one opera, Beethoven shattered musical boundaries and set the stage for how musicians and listeners would think about music for the next 200 years, up to modern day. In this paper, I argue that Beethoven’s contemporary brilliance stemming from his upbringing and hardships play a large role in influencing not only shape the foundation of musical culture but also what we consider musical progress, and the role of a composer in today’s society.
During Beethoven’s early years, Europe was in a wide state of revolt from the Holy Roman Empire. Bonn, Germany, our beloved composer’s home, whafted the scent of these electric times. The culprit responsible for this wartime commotion was Napoleon Bonaparte and his campaign throughout Western Europe. His rise through the ranks of power in the French military to the crowned Emperor of France stood as an model the ambitious individual. Undoubtedly, his behavior as a military general during the french revolution, made an impression on the aspiring cultural minds within the vicinity.