Was Beethoven black?

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The question of Beethoven's ethnicity began with the Nazis, who wanted to be certain the composer's music was "the essence of Germanic and Aryan strength." They did extensive research into birth records and found him "pure." However, modern writers have made the claim that Beethoven was, in fact, Mulatto, and many books have been written on the subject.

To begin the question of Beethoven's ethnicity, we must look at his parents and grandparents. Proponents of the "Beethoven was Black" concept point out that the composer was Flemish, and Flanders had been occupied by Spain for 200 years. It's true that Spain was home to a number of Moors (people, usually Muslims, of North African descent), but it does not mean everyone under the Spanish flag was Moorish. Beethoven's ancestry is well-documented. His father Johann was half Flemish, half German. His mother, Maria Magdalena Keverich, was the daughter of Heinrich Keverich, chief overseer of the kitchen at the palace of the Elector of Treves at Ehrenbreitstein, in Germany. Beethoven was only 1/4 Flemish. The rest of his family, including his mother, from whom proponents claim his African ancestry originated, were German and of well-to-do stock. The Flemish connection only means there is a possibility of Spanish and/or Moorish influence. A small chance. Less than a quarter.

There is the argument of Beethoven's features. His teacher, Haydn, was famously called a "blackamoor," yet portraits show he had only a red tinge to his pockmarked cheeks. Alexander W. Thayer, one of the foremost authorities on Beethoven says, "Beethoven had even more of the Moor in his features than his master, 'Haydn.'"

Beethoven's contemporaries described him as having "thick, bristly coal-black hair," a "flat, thick nose," large mouth, and what is described as alternately "ruddy" or "swarthy" complexion. In the middle of Teutonic Germany and Austria, where the average citizen had light skin, blue eyes, and blond hair, he must have made a striking, memorable presence. But what constitutes "swarthy" amongst such a population might not be what modern people consider "negroid." It just meant he was darker than the pale-skinned Germans. A Californian with a tan would have been classified as "swarthy."

It's obvious from the documented ancestry and many paintings that Beethoven was not "out of Africa," but there are some who claim his mother's family was from the Caribbean, where black slaves and Natives worked in the oversea trades. However, there is absolutely no evidence toward this claim, let alone a blood connection to African slaves. Although there is some credence to the argument that portraits were idealized, ancestral documents could have been faked, and the African and Arabic presence in Europe was suppressed by the Inquisition, a lack of undeniable evidence does not immediately prove the opposite.

The question was brought to modern science, but recent DNA evidence was inconclusive. For more information, please refer to the related link from the Washington Post.

The research team also said that future DNA analysis might answer lingering questions about Beethoven's ethnicity. As a young man, the dark-complexioned Beethoven sometimes was called "the Moor," and some historians have questioned whether he had African blood. Walsh said his analysis of the hair strands showed "no wrinkles or bends" typical among people of African descent, but that more tests may be conducted.

All that can be concluded about the matter of Beethoven's ethnicity is that the master of music was indeed "exotic" in looks. He might have been darker than his contemporaries, but calling Beethoven "Black" would be extremely misleading. In that day, even most people claiming to be "Moors" had lived in Europe for hundreds of years and only had darker hair to prove their ancestry. If you can call a person numerous generations removed from an African ancestor "Black," then maybe--maybe--Beethoven was Black. Just as a person whose family has lived in America for 500 years, but had an ancestor who sailed over as an African slave on a Dutch frigate, might call themselves Black.
There is an obvious bias to the contributors perspective on the ethnicity and Racial origins of Beethoven. One need only look at representations of Jesus Christ (blonde and blue eyed) and then read the Bible's description in Revelations describe him as having: hair like "white wool", feet that of "burnished bronze". St.Martin de Porres who lived in the 1500s was Black but today his likeness is often depicted with straight hair and white skin. Many things to consider when we speak about the perception and negation of our Race and identity.

Despite who his ancestors were, one only has to listen to the symphonies and concertos, music the deaf composer probably never heard except in his own mind, to know that he was a genius who, to this day, transcends time, age, gender, and ethnicity. Listen, don't look. Music is colorblind.

Music is an instrument but people are not nor are they color blind. Rather they are often biased towards anyone challenging socially accepted standards and Race is one factor that upholds certain privileged groups over others.
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When did Beethoven die?

Beethoven lived from 1770-1827. March 26th, 1827. Through the recovery of locks of hair, some believe Beethoven died of lead-poisoning. 26th March 1827

Who influenced Beethoven?

Beethoven's early music was largely influenced by Mozart. He admired Mozart's music, and actually met him in Vienna at the age of sixteen, whereupon Mozart was so impressed by the young prodigy that he gave him his first composition lesson. Forced to return to Bonn with news that his mother was dyin (MORE)

Did beethoven get married?

Beethoven did not get married but there was a girl he liked called Alise and he composed a song for her called Fur Alise unforcanly she did not like him back

Where is Beethoven buried?

Beethoven was buried in the Währing Cemetery in the west of Vienna, but his remains were exhumed for study and moved to Vienna's Zentralfriedhof (second largest cemetery in Europe).

Was Beethoven blind?

No. Beethoven was never blind, but he did start going deaf while inhis late twenties.

Was beethoven crazy?

Beethoven was not crazy because he believed in himself and encouraged other people about compositions. Also, he cared about music more than any other thing that a death musician may do. This is the answer for "Was Beethoven crazy?"So, if this is not one of your answers then look somewhere else. Than (MORE)

Was beethoven deaf?

Yes. He was not always deaf but he started going deaf in his late 20s. At this stage, the deafness began to be manifested in the constant ringing in his ears (tinnitus) which eventually became "intolerable", in Beethoven's own words. All the music of his late period was composed when he was totally (MORE)

Did Beethoven have a sister?

Maria Margaretha Josepha was one of Ludwig van Beethoven's sisters who died in infancy (in total 4 of his siblings died soon after birth). His brother Carl and Johann were his only surviving siblings.

What did Beethoven do?

Beethoven was a composer during the classical era, and he was a very influential one at that... . Beethoven was better known for providing the transition from the Classical to the Romantic Era. His later symphonies had a dynamic power and passion which were in marked contrast to the less complex me (MORE)

Did beethoven have children?

Not legally, although some illegitimate claims have been made. An example would be Minona Stackelberg (1813-1897).

Was Beethoven gifted?

Yes, Beethoven even continued to write and compose after he was completely deaf.. The fact that his music is still played and enjoyed today shows he had enormous talent which spans the years.

Was Beethoven Canadian?

If you mean Ludwig van Beethoven, the famous composer, he was born in Bonn, Germany and spent a good section of his life in Vienna, Austria. so he was definitely not Canadian. However, his great nephew lived in Canada. This was Ludwig von Beethoven (he went by von, not van), who was the son of Beet (MORE)

Why is Beethoven famous?

Beethoven is a famous classical music composer. The main reasonthat he is well known for his work is because he was also deaf andused the vibrations from the piano to help create his music.

Did Beethoven have a brother?

Beethoven had 6 siblings, four of whom died in infancy. His two younger brothers were Kaspar Karl and Nikolaus. what waa Beethoven's dads name Ludwig Maria van Beethoven, Kaspar Anton Karl van Beethoven, Nicolas Johann van Beethoven, Anna Maria Francisca van Beethoven, Franz Georg van Beethov (MORE)

Where and when was Beethoven born?

The true date of Beethoven's birth is not known, but it is commonly regarded that he was born on 16 December 1770 . He was baptised on 17 December 1770, and it was common practice for infants of his time to be baptised the day after they were born. Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany .

Who was Karl Beethoven?

You may refer to Karl Beethoven who was Ludwig van Beethoven's younger brother, or Karl Beethoven who was Karl's son. Karl's son, Karl (Jr.), attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head but survived. Afterwards, Ludwig allowed Karl (Jr.) to decide his own occupation (Ludwig insisted on Compose (MORE)

When was Beethoven a composer?

Beethoven began composing during the latter part of the Classical period, and he provided the transition into the early phase of the Romantic period.

What was Beethoven known for?

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was a German composer. He continued to compose music even after he began losing his power to hear when he was 28 years old. Beethoven's Fifth and his Ninth Symphony are two of the best known compositions. He first performed at the age of seven. Beethoven went d (MORE)

What inspired beethoven?

well he was a pupil of Haydn and he was inspired by Mozart a lot but what made Beethoven was not this type of inspirations . he studied literature in the university and the fiery poems of romantic poets such as Goethe and Schiller was his main inspiration and also his own epic life was a source of i (MORE)

What breed is beethoven?

Saint Bernard. (: If you want to bring one into your home, I suggest you do some research first.. then check petfinder.com and see if there are any St. Bernard's looking for homes in your area.

Who did Beethoven marry?

Beethoven did not marry, and he is not believed to have ever fathered any children. He did have several close relationships with women.

Was Beethoven gay?

Some people belive he may have had a mutual-relationship with his nephew. there isn't much I have found on this myself. He was not gay, as he had relationships with women during his time, but there is a posibility he was bisexual? Or was just trying to fool us all with the women. There is no re (MORE)

What was Beethoven like?

Beethoven was always sad or angry. Because his father always drank alchohol and shouted at him and woke him up in the middle of the night to start practicing. . Beethoven was not always sad or angry, but he was a melancholy and emotive person. His passion and emotions came to be expressed through h (MORE)

Beethoven was he in a orphang?

No, he was not in an orphanage. He had parents, although they were very negligent. His mother died from consumption (tuberculosis) when he was twenty-seven and his father died from over drinking when he was twenty-two.

Was Beethoven part black?

Hilarious! Oftentimes in Europe--especially during Beethoven's lifetime--anybody who was slightly darker (without blond hair, or blue eyes) was considered Black. It wasn't referring to Black Africans, but a bit of hyperbole based on the relativity to others.

Who was beethoven?

Comoposer, pianist, musician. 1770-1827. b Bonn, Germany, d Vienna, Austria. Father was Johann van Beethoven. Famous works include Choral Symphony (no. 9), Fur Elise, Piano Sonata No. 8 (Pathetique). Chuck Berry told his listeners they should roll over him...

How did Beethoven dress?

He had long, wavy hair and dressed in an early 19 th century fashion. He sometimes wore a top hat.

What period is Beethoven from?

Beethoven is usually associated with the romantic period, but he lived and composed much of his composing life during the late classical period.

What did beethoven do that others did not?

Beethoven opened up a new way for music to be composed. He was by almost any definition a genius. He composed music that was more expressive... His music was also bigger and badder... You could say that he was like the Metallica of classical music but his stuff is very gentle and heartfelt at times. (MORE)

Was beethoven a conductor?

The short answer is yes. Beethoven conducted different orchestras to make money. He conducted the premier of his 9th Symphony, and rumor has it that he had his eyes closed and continued "waving his arms" even after the orchestra was finished playing.

Was Beethoven Bipolar?

Beethoven was believed to be Bipolar by numerous people. Studies have shown that musicians and other creative types have an increased rate of Bipolar Disorder.

Why was beethoven depressed?

Beethoven was suffering from hearing problems which ultimately led to deafness. Due to that fact he was becoming unable to give concerts or to conduct. In a letter to his brother he is describing his deafness which pretty much answers your question. This letter is often referred as 'Heiligenstäd (MORE)

Did Beethoven have sibings?

Beethoven's mother, Maria Magdalena, gave birth to Ludwig Maria in 1769 but she died 6 years later. Beethoven was born in 1770. Later Maria gave birth to 5 other children but only 2 survived, Caspar Anton Carl and Nikolaus Johann. So in the end, Beethoven had 2 siblings, who he took care of for 5 ye (MORE)

Who is Beethoven and is he dead?

Ludwig van Beethoven was a famous composer. He died in 1827. There also have been many movies with Beethoven in the title, referring to the dog

Where and how did Beethoven die?

Beethoven died in Vienna. Tests have recently confirmed that Beethoven died as a result of lead poisoning. This was attested to by the fact that he suffered from stomach ailments for much of his life, another sign of lead poisoning. It is not known what caused Beethoven's exposure to lead poiso (MORE)

Is Beethoven a Bohemian?

Not by birth. Beethoven was born and raised in Bonn, Germany, moved to Vienna in his twenties, and spent the rest of his life there. He was not really a Bohemian in lifestyle, either, in the classic sense of the word, he tried to live like an upper middle class gentlemen, but he was too eccentric fo (MORE)

Who is the wife of Beethoven?

Beethoven never married. He has had a few girlfriend's and a mysterious lover (though no one knows her name), but never a wife.

What was Beethoven legacy?

1. His insistence that the composer be treated as an artist, not as a servant. 2. His expansion of the orchestra: adding new instruments (piccolo, trombones, contrabassoon), and adding voices (as in the finale to Symphony #9) 3. His use of a very personal expressive style, with more dynamic contrast (MORE)

Which era was Beethoven?

He was a predominant musical figure in thetransitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras. Thatmeans he composed in those two eras.

Why do we honor Beethoven?

We honor Beethoven because he changed music history even though hewas deaf. This teaches us that even though we have problems in lifewe could accomplish our dreams. :)