Cool facts about Beethoven

 

Born nearly 250 years ago, Ludwig van Beethoven remains one of the most prolific and world known musicians of all times. He is considered as one of the transition composers between the Classic and the Romantic ages of music. His symphonies and concerts are still highly appreciated and only the best musicians get to play his masterpieces.

And, while almost every human is acquainted with some of Beethoven’s work, his private life outside music remains little known for the most of us. There are many interesting facts about Beethoven’s life that yet remain unknown or of little public interest for the vast majority of people.

However, some of these facts about Beethoven’s life are worth mentioning and, if you too are passionate about music and musicians, you will certainly find the following interesting.

 

His birthday

There are still some historians who claim that Beethoven’s real birthday is not the one stated in all music books, meaning December 16th, 1770. What is known is the fact that Beethoven the child was baptized on December 17th, 1770, and at that time, it was a custom to baptize your child one day after its birth.

Also related to his real birthday, for many years the child has believed that he was younger than he was in fact. It is speculated that the deception was, in fact, his father’s work, who wanted to brag about Beethoven’s musical talents and make him seem even more advanced in music skills than he already was. Thus, his father claimed for a long time that Beethoven was, in fact, born in 1772.

 

His relationship with his father

Beethoven comes from a mediocre family, being born in Bonn, Germany, as the son of Magdalena Keverich van Beethoven and Johann van Beethoven. His father was a failed court singer and a known alcoholic.

After his father realized Beethoven’s musical potential, he forced him to practice for endless hours even when he was exhausted. Even though he was talented as a child, his father kept pushing his limits. At the age of 11, he was forced to drop out of school to provide for his family.

Later on, like his father, Beethoven began consuming large quantities of alcohol which may be one of the causes he died at a rather early age.

 

The student of Mozart and Haydn

Ever since his earliest stages in life, Beethoven was considered a wunderkind, similar to Mozart. However, what many people don’t know is that Beethoven was actually sent to Vienna in 1787, at the age of 17, to meet the great composer. He was trained by Mozart for a short while because he had to return to Bonn once his mother got sick.

Five years later, in 1792, Beethoven embarks on a second trip to Vienna, and this time takes lessons from another great composer and music genius, Joseph Haydn.

 

Music in poetry

 

I recently came across an article that I wanted to discuss. What better place for my thoughts to go to than my blog? I am passionate about the arts, in general, and about music and poetry in particular. I’ve noticed that there is an undeniable link between the two. With artists like Bob Dylan, it is more evident. As you probably know by now, he’s won the Nobel prize.

According to Folkways, it appears that there are two types of poetic forms that began as songs. One of them is the British and American ballad, and the other is the blues one of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.

 

 

Ballads are known for several centuries now. In the Middle Ages, they were used to transmit a particular message, which mostly related to love and personal feelings. There are several aspects that make a ballad a story song, as it is also known, but I will not go into such details as they might seem tedious.

What I would like to talk about is the poetry of blues. Unlike the formerly mentioned ballads, blues poems are structured in a unique manner. They are shorter and more to the point and have a driving beat to them.

 

Langston Hughes is said to be the first blues poet. He was born in 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. He first heard the blues in Kansas City, when he was eleven. After having moved to the East Coast, he listened to it in clubs in Harlem, New York. What appealed to him was that this music seemed to have a special beat that resonated with its listeners. That’s why he decided to start writing poetry that resembled blues.

Hughes’ autobiography, The Big Sea, deals with his work, personal experiences, and the way he managed to mix music with poetry. It’s one of the most heartwarming collections of thoughts and memories, and that’s mostly due to the fact that he spent a lot of his years in Harlem and Paris. As a waiter and cook in Paris nightclubs, he had the chance to listen to a lot of musicians and interact with a plethora of dancers and artists, most of whom were alcoholics.

 

 

It’s a shame that when we think about the Golden 20s, we tend to forget about the smaller poets, those who aren’t as well-known as novelists Gatsby and Hemingway. We don’t hear about Hughes too often, especially in comparison to Stein and the others.

While I haven’t yet read Hughes’ autobiography, I plan to do so. I’ve checked out its Goodreads page, and it appears to have gathered a myriad of favorable reviews. I am curious to find out more about the man himself and how he managed to create the unique poetry he has written.

 

 

 

Should You Buy a GPS or Use a GPS App?

 

Getting around is much easier in this day and age than it used to be not so long ago. Now we have GPS units we can mount on the dashboards, and we can use our smartphones instead, due to the up-to-date, reliable GPS apps that keep us connected with what is happening on the road.

 

 

Why you should get a GPS unit

While you may be tempted to think that GPS manufacturers should throw in the towel, seeing that anyone with a smartphone can get directions to the destination they seek, without the need for a specialized unit, the truth is these dedicated road companions are still in high demand.

For starters, their larger screens are easier to use than those of smartphones. The standard screen diagonal size for a GPS unit is 4.3 inches or 5.5 inches, which is significantly larger than what a smartphone can offer. The largest models come with a 4-inch diagonal, so it is easy to spot the difference.

In regards to mounting the unit on your dashboard, GPS units come with dedicated mounts, unlike smartphones that are usually just placed on the seat next to the driver for lack of better options. Mounts are sold separately today, so this aspect is not a make or break issue, but it is still worth mentioning.

 

Why you should prefer a GPS app

Although there are significant advantages to enjoy when using a GPS unit, you should not neglect the fast growing importance of smartphones in our daily lives. A GPS app can offer you sophisticated features, such as up-to-date information on real-time traffic, gas prices and many other things that may make your driving experience more productive.

It is important to check on what connectivity features are offered before downloading such an app. For instance, the best RV GPS apps should be able to provide you with information on RV camps available on the road, as well as other RV-friendly facilities. Not to mention that the best routes should be displayed, as RVs have different requirements than other vehicles.

 

 

Another advantage is offered by the fact that your smartphone is always connected to the Internet. This means that you will be able to download maps as you go. There is no better way to stay up to date, but keep in mind that traveling to areas with no cellular reception will suspend this advantage.

Of course, you should not forget about the fact that you will not have to pay extra for a GPS unit if your smartphone fills in this role. Also, usually GPS apps are free to use, and they create no additional costs for you unless you want to pay for premium features.