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Beethoven

Introduction

My main goal in writing articles and research papers on this website, Devtome.com, is to help raise awareness of “dCoins” (Devcoins) and digital coins in general. So what does a piece about Beethoven have anything to do with Money, Economics, Finance, dCoins or crypto cash in general? There are only a small number of things that amaze me enough to burn in my memory many years later and one such thing was something about former Fed Chief, and one of the most famous - if not the most famous of all Fed chiefs in history, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Mr. Greenspan was elected Chairman of the Federal Reserve in 1987 by then President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, and his reign lasted many years, up until 2006. So what does Beethoven have in common with the most famous Federal (money printing Chief) in the History of the United States' history? Coincidentally, due to Greenspan's popularity, some in the media compared him to a “rock star”. The irony is that Chairman Greenspan didn't first study Finance or Economics as one would expect but rather music. He attended the Juilliard School from 1943 to 1944 studying music and it wasn't until he left music school to study economics that his destiny to become the most famous Economist changed. When I read that tidbit about him many years ago that really stunned me. How can a musician become the head guy of banking and the most powerful man in America, the one who gives the nod on how much money can be printed and most importantly, the sole person in the country who has the last say where interest rates go, up or down, which in turn has a profound and powerful effect on every individual and every business in America. When I studied Economics one interesting I learned was that the President of the United States was not the most powerful man in America or in the world for that matter, but it was Alan Greenspan at the time, the Fed Chief, because this man cannot be fired by anyone, including the President and he has the sole discretion to raise or lower interest rates.

For this reason I feel music, especially classical music, plays a profound effect on how our minds work, think and function and if a natural musician can become great at something so far from music as Economics is, then that means music is something that can play a role in helping anyone further achieve their goals. That may sound like a lofty claim but music at the very least can make you feel better in any given situation. I often play classical music for my small children and I definitely see a significant change in their mood. So next time your coffee has got you agitated or you feel down cause the DOW dropped another 2 percent today, try some Beethoven, or some Metallica if that's your thing, and see if that helps out. Cause at least for one man, Mr. Greenspan, I'm sure music was somewhere in the depths of his heart while he was in the midst of rising to the highest steps of the Financial Ladder.

And I might as well add another important piece of history which directly ties into what has, is and may happen shortly in America as a direct result of Mr. Greenspan's actions. Mr. Greenspan kept interest rates too low for too long, and it was, in large part, this policy of cheap money that led to a enormous bubble in the housing market which popped, leading to a massive collapse which in turn forced the government to then spend and borrow money in the trillions of dollars to not only help save homeowners but also the Economy and the very banks which were largely responsible for the trillions in bad home loans and irresponsible and unsafe derivatives games they were playing. And it was Mr. Greenspan's actions that now indirectly has placed on the path to alternative currencies such as Devcoin (dCoin), currencies which have recently gotten a powerful foothold in the market and in people's hearts, and I wholeheartedly believe these crypto currencies will soon gain popularity with the masses at large, “alternative fiat currencies” which in time may prove to be safer and more valuable than the fiat currency our government keeps printing, (the $), “as if it's going out of style”. Therefore, how fitting and how ironic, that the almighty Dollar may finally have to face the music, and at the end of this musical chair game, when the music stops - the question will be: where is your money parked?

And with that in mind, here is some interesting history which I found unique, about the life and talent of arguably the greatest music-maker of them all: Beethoven!

Beethoven - Personality

Beethoven had a very strict dad who tried to model him after Mozart, hoping he would also grow up to be a prodigy. He would force him to play the piano often waking him up at night and would beat him for normal mistakes. Because of this Beethoven did not have a father figure, he only had his mother to look up to. After his mother died in Bonn, in 1787, from tuberculosis and his sister dying the same year he had nobody to look up to. To make things worse Beethoven’s father and Mozart, someone he looked up to and admired also died just 4 years later. Because of this, and perhaps also due to his many health problems, it is believed that Beethoven began to create his own morals using his own music and slowly became rude and contemptuous. With that mindset, he cared less and less about others, with the exception of his remaining brothers. Beethoven is said to have had a major negative change in his personality around the age of 20. He was easily angered and often depressed. An interesting note, which went against this rude temperament, was in the summer of 1819 when he was staying in the country, in Moedling, when a local group of musicians asked him to write some dances for him to perform. Beethoven obliged and wrote 11 dances, now called, “The Moedling dances”. So it sounds to me like Beethoven was a wonderful person who became callous by his harsh upbringing and the early loss of his sister, Mozart, his father and especially his mother, whom he loved and cared for very much.

Beethoven - Health and Lifestyle

Beethoven was sick much of his life suffering from multiple health problems such as severe stomach pains, hearing loss, and depression and was also easily angered. Although some of these issues, like being easily angered, may have more to do with his early loss of his mother the other problems were most likely caused by something else. Recently, scientists who have studied Beethoven’s remains have found high levels of lead in his pieces of his bones. It is very rare but, high lead levels can lead to hearing loss and to many other health problems. Beethoven visited many doctors during his life to find cures for his ailments but had no success. Beethoven wrote a letter to a friend before he died urging researchers to examine his body after he died so other people would not have to suffer the way he did. It is believed that he eventually died from lead poisoning. There is no doubt that these ailments had a major negative impact on Beethoven’s personality, work and relationships. It is said that his personality changed drastically, for the worse, when he was 20 years old. It is a testament to his greatness, the fact that he was able to write such beautiful music while suffering from so many health problems.

Beethoven - Political and Class Views

Beethoven falsely pretended noble descent and his political views tended to follow those of his noble patrons; however, he sympathized with the Revolution and the idea of liberty and brotherhood. The ideals of liberty and social justice are obviously powerful in Fidelio and in “rescue opera”. While scholars agree that the works of the Napoleonic era such as the Eroica Symphony or Fidelio embody enlightened, revolutionary ideals of progress, freedom, and humanism there is no doubt that his later views became more conservative. This was most likely due to the Napoleonic wars plunging Europe into economic and political turmoil, or perhaps it was an aging factor, perhaps Beethoven saw things differently when he got older, going from a passionate revolutionary to a more subtle conservative. I guess we will never truly know, we can only make educated guesses.

Beethoven - Interesting Facts

I thought it was very interesting that his music reflected the views of several religions, but Frank Haydn thought of him as an Atheist. On the contrary he saw to it that his nephew went to confession and fulfilled his religious obligations. Also, soon before he died he wrote to a friend of his: “Indeed, a hard lot has fallen upon me! But I resign myself to the will of destiny, and only ask God constantly to grant through His divine will that, so long as I must still suffer death in life here, I am protected from penury. This will give me the strength to bear my lot, however hard and grievous, with resignation to the will of the Almighty.” Beethoven, much like his music, seems to be such a mysterious enigma. I think his lack of faith, at times, is due to his harsh upbringing and to the numerous emotional losses he had to bear early in life. Events such as that will test the faith of most people. It is both sad, and exciting to have read about the exciting and tumultuous life of Ludwig van Beethoven.

- Maximilian Wilhelm

Citations


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