Thursday, May 23, 2024

Which Composer Experienced Severe Hearing Loss During His Lifetime

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Craig And Charlie Reid

My Life as a Teen Musician with Hearing Loss: Finn

Craig and Charlie Reid together known to the world as The Proclaimers are proud sons of Leith. The twins were born in 1962, in their early years moved from Edinburgh to Cornwall and then to Auchtermuchty in Fife where they were educated. They have both since returned to Edinburgh and never stray far from their beloved Hibernian Football Club. The pair first came to the world attention with the 1987 album, This is the story and the single from that album Letter from America. What for most can be the difficult second album, for the Proclaimers is for many their best work. Sunshine on Leith containing the hit single Sunshine on Leith generated a hit show and a film and is sung regularly at Hibernian Football Club. I am not originally from Leith or Edinburgh so my football allegiances lie elsewhere but standing in Easter Road Stadium listening to a capacity crowd singing Sunshine on Leith, it is difficult not to be moved, and believe me I have tried. 

Their Albums are:This is the Story Sunshine On Leith Lets Hear it for t he Dogs Angry Cyclist  

In 2007, the single 500 miles, first out in 1988, was re-released as part of the Children in Need charity appeal and occupied the top of the charts in this second outing.  

Early Signs Of Deafness Send Beethoven Into Crisis

In his 20s, Beethoven began experiencing issues with his hearing.  The first symptom was tinnitus, a high-pitched droning sound that interferes with clarity and definition in hearing.  By then, Beethoven was already well known as a composer and performer, and of course he continued to compose until his death at the age of 56.  However, his career as a performer ended when the tinnitus overwhelmed his ability to hear his own playing, much less the other instruments onstage.  

Beethovens gradually intensifying hearing problems, of course, were a source of great concern for him and figure prominently in the above-quoted Heilegenstadt Testament, a letter he wrote to his brothers in 1802.  In that remarkable document, discovered among his papers after his death, he shares that his hearing loss sparked in him a life-and-death crisis, writing, I would have ended my life it was only my art that held me back. 

The maestro did continue, to the great benefit of audiences around the globe.  In fact, not only did he continue, but his music changed, deepened, and became even more profound as he slipped ineluctably into his final years of profound deafness.

Its generally accepted that Beethovens music can be divided into three eras, roughly.  His early period begins with his first compositions in the 1780s and ends around 1801. His middle period runs through about 1814.  And his final, or mature period concludes with his death in 1827.

What Survives: Beethovens Legacy

How do we sum up Beethovens life and art?  It would be nearly impossible to exaggerate the profound influence he had on the evolution of music and the introduction of Romantic ideals into the cultural life of his time.  To quote a recent biographical sketch:

Beethovens body of musical compositions stands with Shakespeares plays at the outer limits of human accomplishment. And the fact Beethoven composed his most beautiful and extraordinary music while deaf is an almost superhuman feat of creative genius.

We are indeed fortunate to have these masterpieces of cultural expression as part of the worlds heritage.  To honor this heritage, think about selecting one of Beethovens greatest hits to enjoy.

Five Famous Composers Who Suffered From Deafness

Hearing loss has been an occupational hazard for musicians for some time. It has been receiving more attention recently as significant numbers of musicians have reported how their careers have brought hearing difficulties with them.

Hearing problems need not prevent musicians from continuing on their craft. Everyone knows that Beethoven was deaf when he composed many of his most enduring works. His hearing began deteriorating during his twenties, meaning that he never heard performed such remarkable works as his Ninth Symphony with its iconic Ode to Joy, or his last sonatas and string quartet pieces.

Some of the other composers who suffered from deafness are less well known. Here is a selection of five other composers who suffered from deafness.

Which Composer Experienced Hearing Loss During His Lifetime

Celebrities with Hearing Loss

Beethoven is the composer who experienced Hearing Loss during his lifetime. In 1798, Beethoven is reported that he had experienced his hearing loss when he is interrupted by someone to while doing work.

Beethoven fell over and when he got up he finds himself deaf. Beethoven hearing has not properly resolved and gradually decline timely, and converted into the severe form of tinnitus.

One of the most common facts about the Beethoven which is a most popular melodic genius, he cants hear his own work.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need more information or you have a query about Hearing Aid or Hearing Loss, just give us a call on +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.

So If Beethoven Was Completely Deaf How Did He Compose

Hearing loss of Beethovens is attracting his fans who want to know how he can compose. And what circumstances, he is facing as a deaf musician and how he managed to continue working after losing his listening ability at the age of 45. People found out that Beethoven observes the sound by gripping a stick in his teeth, holding it against the console of his piano.

After the complete hearing loss, Beethovens composed his most popular song the Ninth Symphony that become the most touching moment of his career.

Around the age of 26, Beethoven started to hear humming and ringing in his ears. But by the age of 44, his hearing ability has been lost and cant hear voices or such a large number of the sounds of the environment.

Custody Struggle And Illness

Between 1815 and 1817 Beethovens output dropped again. Beethoven attributed part of this to a lengthy illness that afflicted him for more than a year, starting in October 1816. Biographers have speculated on a variety of other reasons that also contributed to the decline, including the difficulties in the personal lives of his would-be paramours and the harsh censorship policies of the Austrian government. The illness and death of his brother Carl from tuberculosis may also have played a role.

Carl had been ill for some time, and Beethoven spent a small fortune in 1815 on his care. After Carl died on 15 November 1815, Beethoven immediately became embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with Carls wife Johanna over custody of their son Karl, then nine years old. Beethoven, who considered Johanna an unfit parent because of her morals and financial management, had successfully applied to Carl to have himself named sole guardian of the boy. A late codicil to Carls will gave him and Johanna joint guardianship. While Beethoven was successful at having his nephew removed from her custody in February 1816, the case was not fully resolved until 1820, and he was frequently preoccupied by the demands of the litigation and seeing to Karls welfare, whom he first placed in a private school.

The Middle Period: Sliding Into Deafness

It has been said of Beethoven that he was fully deaf when he wrote all his great works, but that he was able to compose, perform, and even conduct his work without being able to hear a note.

This is a lovely myth, but it does not take into consideration the progressive nature of his hearing loss.  The reality is that its quite possible to chart his slow but steady descent into total deafness through the periods of his career.

It was during Beethovens middle period, approximately 1801 to 1814, that the hearing problems became more apparent.  He became acutely aware of the tinnitus and a gradual worsening of his hearing.

In these years, his music got louder, deeper, and grander and, perhaps as a direct result, his star began to ascend as he captured strong emotions in his work. Representative work from this period would include the Symphony No. 3, Op. 55, Eroica, as well as the Piano Sonata No. 23, Op. 57, Appassionata.

The middle period is sometimes referred to as Beethovens heroic era, as the composer began to conceive many of his works on a grand scale.

In this period, Beethovens work to a large degree lost its brightness and high tones, which were supplanted by the more resonant tones of the deeper ranges that he could still hear despite that continuous ringing caused by the tinnitus.

Watch how Beethoven advanced the development of the piano through works like his Piano Sonata No. 23: Appassionata

Presentation Of The Hearing Loss In The Primary Literature

My Son Has Hearing Loss – What To Expect Next

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in December in 1770 in Bonn, Germany and died on March 26th in 1827 at the age of 56 in Vienna, Austria. The first note of a hearing impairment was mentioned by the composer himself in two letters to his friend F. G. Wegeler written on June 29th and November 16th in 1801:

That malicious demon, however, bad health, has been a stumbling-block in my path; my hearing during the last three years has become gradually worse .

My ears are buzzing and ringing perpetually, day and night. I can with truth say that my life is very wretched; for nearly 2 years past I have avoided all society, because I find it impossible to say to people, I am deaf! In any other profession this might be more tolerable, but in mine such a condition is truly frightful .

I hear none of the high notes of instruments or singers. I often can scarcely hear a person if speaking low; I can distinguish the tones, but not the words, and yet I feel it intolerable if anyone shouts to me

The ringing and buzzing in my ears have certainly rather decreased, particularly in the left ear, in which the malady first commenced, but my hearing is not at all improved; in fact I fear that it is become rather worse

Also in 1802, Beethoven mentioned his hearing impairment in the Heiligenstädter Testament, a letter to his brothers Kaspar Karl und Johann from 1802:

Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like an exile.

Fig. 1

Dame Evelyn Glennie 1965

Noted as being the first person to maintain a full-time career as a solo percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie began to lose her hearing aged 8 and has been profoundly deaf since the age of 12.

Born in Aberdeenshire, she initially learnt to play the piano and clarinet before switching to percussion as her hearing deteriorated. Glennie attended the Royal Academy of Music in London, though she was initially denied a place as she describes the institution stated they a clue of the future of a so-called deaf musician. Glennie challenged the decision and auditioned again, being accepted the second time. Glennie advocates the act of listening with the whole body as opposed to simply by hearing, and as such does not refer to herself as a deaf musician but instead as a musician with a hearing impairment. With the aid of Ron Forbes, her percussion teacher at her secondary school, Glennie learnt how to tune timpani using vibrations she could feel with her hands flat against a wall, before finding ways to harness the vibrations created to further her musicianship, such as performing barefoot.

Music Therapy Interventions For Deaf Clients With Dual Diagnosis

Music therapy work with people who are deaf requires a particular approach, and even further modifications and adaptations are necessary when they have other difficulties. The following case examples identify some music therapy methods and techniques that music therapists might introduce to meet some of the diverse needs of individuals who are deaf, and also have emotional or behavioral disorders, and/or intellectual disabilities. The paper will describe the relationships between deafness and music, deafness and mental health, and deafness and intellectual disabilities. Specific music therapy methods such as improvisation, movement to music, and songwriting, will be discussed that may be applicable to meet the complex needs of individuals with dual diagnoses.

Explanation of Terms

For the purpose of this paper, when specifically referring to those who identify with the cultural minority the term Deaf will be used. In all other cases, the term deaf will be used. Other terms that individuals potentially relate to include: an individual with hearing loss, hard of hearing, or hearing impaired. It is important to determine whether an individual has a preferred term for identification.

Experiencing Music

Deaf and Mental Health

Deaf and Communication Issues

Deafness and Music Therapy Interventions

Move To Dresden And First Us Tour 19061917

Increasingly unhappy with the political turmoil in Russia and in need of seclusion from his lively social life to be able to compose, Rachmaninoff with his family left Moscow for Dresden, Germany, in November 1906. The city had become a favourite of both Rachmaninoff and Natalia, presenting them with a more vibrant musical atmosphere and favourable opportunities. The family stayed in Dresden until 1909, only returning to Russia for their summer breaks at Ivanovka. During a visit to Leipzig, he entered an art gallery which housed The Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin. The painting served as the inspiration for Rachmaninoff’s orchestral work of the same name, Op. 29. Despite occasional periods of depression, apathy, and little faith in any of his work, Rachmaninoff started on his Symphony No. 2 in 1906, twelve years after the disastrous premiere of his first. While writing it, Rachmaninoff and the family returned to Russia, but the composer detoured to Paris to take part in Sergei Diaghilev‘s season of Russian concerts in May 1907. His performance as the soloist in his Piano Concerto No. 2 with an encore of his Prelude in C-sharp minor was a triumphant success. Rachmaninoff regained his sense of self-worth following the enthusiastic reaction to the premiere of his Symphony No. 2 in early 1908, which earned him his second Glinka Award and 1,000 roubles.

Ralph Vaughan Williams 1872

BBC Radio 3

Sir Gerald Kellys portrait of Ralph Vaughan Williams depicts the composer during his final days. Completed after his death, the painting shows Vaughan Williams seated, a musical score in front of him, conductors baton in his right hand, and a hearing aid in his left ear.

Before the outbreak of World War One, Vaughan Williams had already composed some of his most famous works, including The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; these two works have just been voted 1st and 3rd respectively in Classic FMs Hall of Fame 2021. He volunteered for military service in 1914, despite being forty-two at the time. He served in France and Salonika , having joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and the 2/4th London Field Ambulance. The prolonged exposure to loud, continuous gunfire in the trenches caused Vaughan Williams to experience hearing loss, which worsened to severe deafness in later years. According to the biographer James Day, Vaughan Williams possessed a large number of hearing aids, the largest of which he referred to as his coffee pot.

Leaving Russia Immigration To The Us And Concert Pianist 19171925

On the day the February 1917 Revolution began in Saint Petersburg, Rachmaninoff performed a piano recital in Moscow in aid of wounded Russian soldiers who had fought in the war. He returned to Ivanovka two months later, finding it in chaos after a group of Social Revolutionary Party members seized it as their own communal property. Despite having invested most of his earnings on the estate, Rachmaninoff left the property after three weeks, vowing never to return. It was soon confiscated by the communist authorities and became derelict. In June 1917, Rachmaninoff asked Siloti to produce visas for him and his family so they could leave Russia, but Siloti was unable to help. After a break with his family in the more peaceful Crimea, Rachmaninoff’s concert performance in Yalta on 5 September 1917 was to be his last in Russia. Upon returning to Moscow, the political tension surrounding the October Revolution found the composer keeping his family safe indoors and being involved in a collective at his apartment building where he attended committee meetings and kept guard at night. He completed revisions to his Piano Concerto No. 1 among gunshots and rallies outside.

Moscow Conservatory And First Compositions 18851894

In the autumn of 1885, Rachmaninoff moved in with Zverev and stayed for almost four years, during which he befriended fellow pupil Alexander Scriabin. After two years of tuition, the fifteen year old Rachmaninoff was awarded a Rubinstein scholarship, and graduated from the lower division of the Conservatory to become a pupil of Siloti in advanced piano, Sergei Taneyev in counterpoint, and Anton Arensky in free composition. In 1889, a rift formed between Rachmaninoff and Zverev, now his adviser, after Zverev turned down the composer’s request for assistance in renting a piano and greater privacy to compose. Zverev, who believed composition was a waste for talented pianists, refused to speak to Rachmaninoff for some time and organised for him to live with his uncle and aunt Satin and their family in Moscow. Rachmaninoff then found his first romance in Vera, the youngest daughter of the neighbouring Skalon family, but her mother objected and forbade Rachmaninoff to write to her, leaving him to correspond with her older sister Natalia. It is from these letters that many of Rachmaninoff’s earliest compositions can be traced.

Expert Listening Beyond The Limits Of Hearing: Music And Deafness

JESSICA A. HOLMES is completing her PhD in musicology at McGill University. Her research, which has been funded by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Program, lies at the intersections of music, disability, and embodiment. She has published in this Journal, Ethnomusicology Review, and Sound Studies, and has presented her work at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, the Society for American Music, and the Society for Disability Studies.

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  • Jessica A. Holmes; Expert Listening beyond the Limits of Hearing: Music and Deafness. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 April 2017; 70 : 171220. doi:

    The Early Period: Glorious Music

    Beethoven and His Deafness

    During Beethovens early years as a musician, when his hearing was not an issue, he was strongly influenced by Bach, Haydn, and Mozart, masters of the age whose work he found inspiring.  In fact, he studied with Haydn and others, in Vienna, and several early works in a strong upper range were clearly indebted to Mozart.

    The influence of Mozart and Haydn can be heard in the Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique.  The composition is from 1798, when Beethoven was attempting to gain a foothold in Vienna, where he had relocated at the age of 21.  Already, the young maestro was experimenting with big sounds and even bigger emotions.

    Another striking piece from his early period is the Moonlight Sonata .  This lovely and deeply expressive piece shows the composer in a thoughtful and reflective mood, selecting notes in ranges not yet affected by his incipient tinnitus, and soft tones to express his musical feelings and ideas.

    Watch the story of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14: Moonlight Sonata

    Illness Move To California And Death 194243

    In early 1942, Rachmaninoff was advised by his doctor to relocate to a warmer climate to improve his health after suffering from sclerosis, lumbago, neuralgia, high blood pressure, and headaches. After completing his final studio recording sessions during this time in February, a move to Long Island fell through after the composer and his wife expressed a greater interest in California, and initially settled in a leased home on Tower Road in Beverly Hills in May. In June they purchased a home at 610 North Elm Drive in Beverly Hills, living close to Horowitz who would often visit and perform piano duets with Rachmaninoff. Later in 1942, Rachmaninoff invited Igor Stravinsky to dinner, the two sharing their worries of a war-torn Russia and their children in France.

    In August 2015, Russia announced its intention to seek reburial of Rachmaninoff’s remains in Russia, claiming that Americans have neglected the composer’s grave while attempting to “shamelessly privatize” his name. The composer’s descendants have resisted this idea, pointing out that he died in the U.S. after spending decades outside of Russia in self-imposed political exile.

    Why Hearing Loss Happens

    Others with noise-induced hearing problems include James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Liam Gallagher of Oasis, Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum, John Densmore of the Doors and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. And it’s no wonder.

    Long periods of exposure to sounds exceeding 85 decibels, the equivalent of busy street traffic, is considered risky. The pain threshold is 125 decibels. The average rock concert is 115 decibels, 10 decibels below a jackhammer or ambulance. The permissible exposure time before damage occurs at 115 decibels is three minutes, according to data from 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division. Sound systems in some arenas and stadiums can hit 140 decibels. Thats louder than a jet engine.

    Music may be harmonious, exciting and dreamy, but its still noise.

    “Noise can hurt you, even if its music,” says Kathy Peck, executive director of HEAR , a nonprofit she founded in 1988 with a San Francisco physician after both attended an exceptionally loud concert. “You dont realize that the high or rush youre getting from music can damage your hearing.”

    Peck, a former bass player for the Bay Area all-female rock band The Contractions, experienced hearing damage while performing in 1984 and developed tinnitus. She launched HEAR with assistance from such musical luminaries as Townshend, Metallica drummer Ulrich and promoter Bill Graham, as well as MTV, medical organizations and music trade groups.

    The Late Period: Profound Hearing Loss And More Profound Music

    This masterful late period, from approximately 1815 to his death in 1827, corresponded with Beethovens final descent into complete deafness.  By this time, he was using conversation books to communicate with those around him and was employing his prodigious gift for musical composition to create some of his most memorable, mysterious, and transcendent work.

    The musical setting for his Catholic Mass, the Missa Solemnis, is a superb example.  Beethoven called this the greatest work he had ever composed, and many would agree.   Despite his total inability to hear, he nonetheless composed music of great complexity that presented technical challenges for virtuoso performers. The music is of great range, in tone, tempo, and timbre. It might be said that he vanquished his deafness as he pushed his inventiveness along with his mastery of composition to new heights.

    The deepest and most acclaimed music of this period would be his chef-doeuvre, the grand Symphony No. 9, Op. 125.  This massive work in four unforgettable movements famously incorporates a full chorus singing Friedrich Schillers poem Ode to Joy, which serves as the climax of the symphony and, one might say, of Beethovens singular career.

    Watch how Beethoven’s grand Symphony No. 9 earned the admoration of contemporary audiences, yet Beethoven was unable to hear his aclaim.

    Musicians Are More Likely Than Other Professions To Experience Auditory Decline

    Professional Hearing Aid Center

    Sting performs on tour in New York City.

    Rocker Eric Clapton, diva Barbra Streisand and rapper may be worlds apart musically but they share this in common: All three are having audio difficulties.

    Theyre among a growing number of musicians suffering from hearing loss after decades of exposure to loud music. The problem is especially prevalent in the ranks of boomer rockers, including Pete Townshend of The Who, Neil Young and Sting.

    According to a German study that analyzed the health insurance records of 7 million people from 2004 to 2008, working musicians are nearly four times more likely to suffer noise-induced hearing loss than those in any other profession. They also were 57 percent more likely to have tinnitus ringing in the ears brought on by their work.

    Among musicians struggling with various forms of hearing loss: 

    Who guitarist Pete Townshend, now nearly deaf, began losing his hearing in the 70s. On “The Who Tour 1989,” he played guitar behind a glass partition. Who singer Roger Daltrey also suffers from hearing loss.

    Neil Young says his tinnitus began with the recording of 1991 live album Weld, which is why he followed it with mellower Harvest Moon.

    Barbra Streisand, also a tinnitus victim, first had symptoms at age 9.

    Eric Clapton blames his loss of hearing on cranking up the amps during his youth and regrets not heeding warnings to turn down the volume and wear earplugs.

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