Call/WhatsApp: +1 914 416 5343

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Eroica symphony

Aural Musical Analysis

Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, op. 55 (“Eroica”) by Ludwig van Beethoven is a landmark musical piece because of its hypothetical heroic nature. Listening to the performance of the symphony, one can deduce that the symphonic conventions and style adopted by the artist were novel for his time. Two sharp orchestral chords introduce the piece. The purpose of the rapid tempo is to establish the major tone. The idea is to attract the attention of the listener. Furthermore, the musical piece exhibits a classical and romantic music styles. It is long, as most of classical symphonies are, and covers a more pronounced emotional ground than previous works of the composer. The second movement portrays a wide range of emotion, from a sad moment when the funeral march theme is dominant to a happier moments in the subsequent episodes. The finishing of the symphony is lengthy and entails a set of variations and fugue on a theme mostly used in ballet music. Such structure is contrary to what is observed in most symphonies that have overly breezy and quick endings.

Musical Relationships

The use of two different themes throughout the piece instills varying feelings during the performance of the symphony. The funeral march theme is characterized by unprecedented grief. Presented in a c-minor, it brightens to an aggressive C major and toughens into a fugue. This theme conveys a sad emotion different from the joyful feeling portrayed in the subsequent episodes of the musical piece.

Historical Context of the Music

Even though contemporary recordings attempt to evoke the original sounds of Beethoven’s symphony, they experience certain detractors that prevent them from discovering its intended context. Contemporary audiences could benefit from getting the right feel of the music and its extra-ordinary effects that shocked the earlier listeners.

Venue and Audience

The audience many not have significant effects on the performance of the musical piece. However, venue impacts the quality of sound during a performance. The side walls surrounding a stage in an auditorium allow for music to be propelled to the audience, improving their ability to listen. In the initial videos, the symphony was performed in a concert hall. A better experience would be attained if the piece were done on stage in an auditorium.

Media Considerations

A recorded musical piece offers a better experience than a live performance. While the latter allows a viewer to have a firsthand experience, the former ensures that the quality of music is conveyed. During recording, perfection is achieved such that all the desirable features are included in the audio. Watching a live performance of the symphony may not really change much about the understanding of the musical piece; however, it can allow the viewer to have a personal relationship with the composer and performers. 

Hermeneutic Lenses

The class reading presented a discussion on the use of music in various context including social, political, and cultural ones. Music can be used to communicate an ideology, and Beethoven is believed to have written and presented musical pieces that communicated his belief (Pederson 313). His release of musical pieces that celebrated freedom after wars shows that he was influenced by certain social or political phenomena. This information drawn from the course reading was important to the interpretation of the musical piece. The use of a funeral march theme means that the composer was expressing a sad emotional state experienced before the release of the musical piece.

Leave a Reply