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How Did Beethoven Die?

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist who is seen as the most important person in the history of Western music. As one of the best and most important classical composers in the West, he had to deal with going deaf at the age of 28 in order to build a repertoire of the best classical music.

But who is Beethoven, and why has the cause of his death been argued about in history? Let’s look into this more.


Beethoven was born in the city of Bonn in December 1970. He was the son of Johann van Beethoven and one of three of his seven siblings to live.

His talent for music was clear from a young age, and his father was his first teacher. Later, Christian Gottlob Neefe, a conductor, and composer taught Beethoven. In 1783, he wrote his first piece, a set of piano variations, with Neefe’s help.

Most people divide Beethoven’s career into three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Most people think that until 1802, he was growing up and getting better at what he did.

Between 1802 and 1812, his middle period, which is often called heroic, was very different from the styles of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In his later years, from 1812 to 1827, he learned more about how music is made and how it makes people feel.

Some of his best-known works are his third (Eroica), fifth, sixth (Pastorale), and ninth (Choral) symphonies, as well as his eighth (Pathetique) and fourteenth (Moonlight) piano sonatas, two of his later piano concertos, his opera Fidelio, and the piano piece Für Elise.

But in 1801 Beethoven began to lose his hearing, and by 1814 he was totally deaf. Even though he was no longer able to perform in concerts, he kept making art. During this time, he wrote some of his best pieces.

Many of Beethoven’s best-known pieces, like his later symphonies, mature chamber music, and late piano sonatas, were written after 1810, when he was less involved in society.

He is thought to be one of the best classical composers in history. But he got sick and was sick for a long time, and he died at the age of 56. But what was the real reason he died? Let’s find out what happened that led to his death.

How Did Beethoven Die?

Even during his so-called “late period,” when some of his best-known works were written, Beethoven’s health got worse in his last years. As it became clear that Beethoven would not live, his friends got together to support him and pay their last respects.

Beethoven had four small operations to treat his ascites (swelling in the abdomen), but only the first one led to an infection. Beethoven died at his apartment in Vienna’s Schwarzspanierhaus on March 26, 1827, when he was 56 years old.

His sister-in-law saw it, and maybe his secretary, Karl Holz, and best friend, Anselm Hüttenbrenner, who later gave a detailed account of what happened, did, too.

Beethoven’s last known words were “Pity, pity, too late!” when he heard that his publisher had given him a gift of twelve bottles of wine.

How Did Beethoven Die?

People used to think that his last words were “Plaudite, friends, the play is over,” which is how an Italian Commedia dell’arte performance usually ends. In 1860, Hüttenbrenner said that this was not true.

On March 27, 1827, an autopsy was done by Dr Johann Wagner. The autopsy found that Beethoven’s liver was very cirrhotic and shrinking a lot, which is a common cause of ascites. Academics don’t agree on whether Beethoven’s liver damage was caused by too much alcohol, a hepatic infection, or both.

The autopsy showed that his aural nerves were damaged and that the arteries around them had hardened. However, the hardening of the arteries seems more likely to be caused by natural ageing than by inflammation from syphilis.

But it’s most likely that he died from lead poisoning since lead was a common ingredient in medicines back then. Another theory says that he may have gotten a lot of lead from wine that was tampered with illegally.

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In 2008, an Austrian pathologist named Christian Reiter said that Beethoven’s doctor, Andreas Wawruch, accidentally killed him by giving him too much of a treatment based on lead. Reiter says that Wawruch gave the patient the medicine to get rid of the fluid in his abdomen. However, the leaders reportedly got to Beethoven’s liver and killed him.

Even though there were many theories, it seems that lead poisoning was the real reason he died.

On March 29, 1827, Beethoven was laid to rest in the Wahring cemetery, which is northwest of Vienna. A funeral service was held in the Alsergrund parish church.

Even though the composer has died, his work still lives on.

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