Language in Diversity

            I am thinking this era about how odd it is that music is a more effective way to express people’s feeling than other ways. Music is an expressive art for human life. In fact, music can absolutely express feeling of the musician. Mulcolm Budd stated that the common conception of music as an art in which emotion is expressed.[1] One of musicians who expressed his true feeling through music was Ludwig Van Bethoveen. Bethoveen, a German composer and pianist composed piece called “Fur Elise”. “Fur Elise” is German for “For Elise”. Scholars don’t know who Elise is. The most accepted theory is that Beethoven originally titled his work “Fur Therese”. Therese was Beethoven’s student whom he wanted to marry. When the piece was published in 1865, the discoverer probably mistranscribed the title as “Fur Elise”.

            “Fur Elise” is a good piece and the most incredible piece even, according to some musicians. There are some reasonsof being called  why a piece becomes good or great that we call masterpiece. Dizzy Gillespie, American jazz trumpet player, singer, composer and bandleader said that a good / master piece of music takes you away when closing your eyes and you’re in a completely different place or a good / master piece of music takes you not just to another country, it physically takes you to another world, complete with sights all around you, smells, feelings, tastes, and everything as if you were there so he thought “Fur Elise” is the one of good/master pieces.[2]  And Max Unger said “Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” is probably one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the world. Even if don’t recognize the name, you’ll recognize the melody when you hear it.[3]

            Sure, to create a piece becomes master or good, music needs to pull people away. It needs to take them to wherever it is that it wants to take them. It doesn’t have to be a nice place, so long as it’s the place music wants them to see. And a master or good piece will create its own reality for the audience. There are some reasons why “Fur Elise” called the most incredible piece. It is an expression of love history from its deaf composer, it contains beutiful and unique symphony in its piece, and it has a mystery behind its melody.[4]

First, “Fur Elise”can express great love history by its composer. Bethoven was a deaf musician before he started to compose with his “Fur Elise”. It was dedicated to the most special woman in his life, Therese Malfatti von Rohrenbach zu Dezza. Bethoven loved Therese but his beloved woman was married to another man. Bethoven became deaf even before he could tell his true feeling to Therese. Therese was a daughter of duke and Bethoven was only a deaf poor musician.Before he died, Bethoven wrote “Fur Elise” as an expression of his feeling only for his most beloved girl along his existence, Therese. Wilhelm Von Drobdik said the song is written in minor key, which means that it sounds agitated, dark, sad, and just not happy, but the song is really a love song and during Beethoven era, the word “Elise” was also used to describe one’s sweetheart.[5] So “Fur Elise” has explained Beethoven’s love story with Therese. 

Next, “Fur Elise” contains three touchy and unique sympony. Wilhelm also stated “Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” uses another musical form, the rondo using A B A C A structure with some variation”.[6] In the beginning movement, “Fur Elise” shows its softness, beautiful and unique composition. It describes how beautiful Therese was. This antecedent melody also tells how soft and charming Therese was. The melody was in minor, but this should come as a surprise as Beethoven’s music tends to be this key. In the second and third movements, “Fur Elise” presents a surprised broken composition. Based on the history, it declares how painful love was happened to Bethoven and Therese. In this part, “Fur Elise” tells us about the deaf Bethoven who couldn’t have his beloved Therese.

Finally, “Fur Elise” is known as mysterious piece among the musicians. “Fur Elise” was composed in 1810 but the piece was not published until 1865 well after Beethoven death in 1827. Some great musicians performed different composition in the second movement althoughthey play different melody of second movement. They cannot play perfectly of a “Fur Elise”. Another mysterious part is the name of “Fur Elise”. This piece was dedicated to Therese so the name should be “Fur Therese”. Some researchers have different theories about it. For example; Klaus Martin said that “Elise” may have been the nickname of opera singer Elisabeth who was being Beethoven’s friend as composer in that era.[7]  Another researcher, Kopitz gives some evidents that the first melody starts with E – Es – E which is actually thErEsE or ElisE.[8] However, the name “Fur Elise” becomes mystery in history of Bethoven music.

In conclusion,just because it happens to be loud sometimes doesn’t mean music has nothing to say. In fact, it has deep meaning and great history. One would think that even if Beethoven’s is a masterpiece of not, “Fur Elise” would continue to delight music lovers for centuries to come. The emotions that we feel through Beethoven’s music continues to touch everyone who hears it, whether they are young or old. Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” will continue to be a favorite among those who play the piano, as well as anyone who enjoys any form of classical music.


                [1] Malcom Budd. Journal of Aesthetic Education: Music and the Expression emotion. University of Illionis Press. 1989. P.19-29

                [2] Christpher ,F. Spaghetti Westerns: cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. IB Tauris Press. 2006. P. 215

                [3] http://www.frank.dds.nl/Etc/therese-melody-in- fur elise-jstor-page,(browsed on 20th June 2013)

                [4]htt;//www.Famous%20Musical%20Pieces%20%20F%C3%BCr%20Elise%20%20Jazz%20&%20More.htm (browsed on 20th June 2013)

                [5] htt://www.rokremembers.com/2008/09/fur-elise-ludwig-van-beethoven-1810.html (browsed on 20th June 2013)

                [6]  Ibid.

                [7] Christpher ,F. Spaghetti Westerns: cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone. IB Tauris Press. 2006. P. 218

                [8] Ibid P.219

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