Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade May 2001

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Many people think of Beethoven as the greatest composer who ever lived. His works include nine symphonies, an opera, two choral masses, 48 sonatas, 10 overtures, and dozens of trios, quartets, and songs. He was a master of musical procedure and an artist of great passion. His example inspired other leading composers, who were proud to acknowledge their works to him.

Ludwig van Beethoven was named after his grandfather(1712-1773) who left the family business to become a well respected musician. Ludwig was born on December 16, 1770 and died in 1827. He never really knew his grandfather, he died when he was three.

Ludwig's father, Johann van Beethoven(1739-1792), followed in his father's steps by becoming a musician, first by becoming a soprano as a boy, then as a tenor when he got older. His father was never as successful as his grandfather.

Ludwig was constantly reminded how respected his grandfather was.

Throughout his life he treasured that memory and hung a picture of his grandfather on the wall as inspiration. As he was growing up, so was Wolfgang Mozart, and Ludwig's father noticed that Mozart's father was making money off his son's talent. So Beethoven's father tried to do the same thing with his son. Unfortunately, it didn't work out the same way.

Schooling for him stopped when his father had to start paying for it. In Bonn, there was free schooling but Beethoven had to leave when he reached the age limit. He never learned to spell, write or figure correctly. He spent all his efforts on music.

It was his first teacher, Christian Neffe, that recognized young Beethoven's talent.

He said of the young man that he could become a second Mozart "were he to continue as he has begun." He never received any money until 1787,