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Ludwig Van Beethoven and the French Revolution

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Music was used to invoke nationalistic pride within the people of France and proved to be an essential tool when rising against the aristocracy during the French Revolution. For example, ‘Le Marseillaise’, which is the French national anthem. It was written during this period of time. It is clearly known that the French Revolution presented some composers even now we listen to their compositions. There are some main reasons why music is really inimitable and different from that period. The main point is the emotions that felt by the composers. The French Revolution is a really good example that it shows how music can inspire and unite a group of people into action.

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There are some historically major composers, such as Van Beethoven, who was affected by the French government, which it is tyrannically, and wrote his composing to reflect the feelings about France state. He wrote nine symphonies, eight of them he wrote when he was muted. Symphony No. 4 ‘Eroica’ reflected his thoughts of the Revolution. Beethoven wrote the opera ‘Fidelio’ during the Revolution. It represented personal sacrifice, heroism, and triumph. Beethoven lived in this era, the period of the Napoleonic Wars was one of the chaos and violence. Napoleon committed that spreading the values of revolution like equality, fraternity, and liberty to the rest of Europe after the French Revolution knocked down centuries of aristocratic rule in France. Actually, Beethoven was in a different relationship with Napoleon. I can call this a love-hate relationship. At first, Beethoven really appreciated military wiz and revolutionary thoughts of Napoleon, but afterward, he was disappointed because Napoleon disclosed himself to be a tyrant. When Napoleon's armies marched across Europe, Beethoven commented: “It’s a pity I don’t understand the art of war as well as I do the art of music. I would conquer him”.

After all, can we say that Beethoven's compositions have an effect on today's world right now? I want to give a good example for this question. In 2014, there were municipality elections in Moldova. In one of the biggest cities, the opposition party won elections, which this city was ruled by the government party before the elections. Then Beethoven's song 'Fidelio' was played from the speakers in all sides of the city. There are a lot of examples like that in today’s world. So, these examples show us that in the past, now, also in the future, compositions and composers like Beethoven, which directly relevant to revolution, always have extraordinary impacts on the people's life, thoughts.

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Ludwig Van Beethoven and the French Revolution. (2023, September 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 11, 2023, from
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