1 minute reading time (141 words)

Deaf/not deaf

This morning I found myself humming the "Ode to Joy", the great theme from the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. And I remembered something I read recently: a leading musicologist has discovered that - contrary to received wisdom - Beethoven was not completely deaf when the Choral Symphony had its premiere in 1824. So the classic mental picture we all have of the profoundly deaf Beethoven, quite unable to hear his own glorious music, turns out to be (perhaps) not quite true...

For me, as I continue to think about joy, the question is: would we rather hold on to the tragic and romantic image of the deaf genius, receiving rapturous applause he cannot hear - or can we rejoice in the idea that he was still able to hear and delight in the unique sound-world he had created?


The importance of being kind

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