What It’s Really Like To Be a Google Doodler

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 things you need to know about Beethoven on his 245th birthday.

Google paid tribute to the music maestro Ludwig Van Beethoven on his 245th birthday. GIVEN BEETHOVEN’s forever-beguiling biography, as an artistic genius who endured a profoundly pained life, it seems especially apt how Google is saluting the composer for the ages upon the 245th anniversary of his birth. His exact date of birth remains unknown, hwoever, he was baptized on the 17th of December making this the day when the world celebrates the legend’s birth. To celebrate Ludwig, Google has today unveiled an animated and interactive Doodle, in which Beethoven is trying to keep the charts to some of his masterworks in hand as he treks to a symphony hall. Yet the fates of nature, as in his own tortured life, seem to be against him, from a hellish headwind to even each bedeviling waterway and tree and beast.

That Beethoven succeeded economically as a musician under a mix of a patron system and his own marketing was remarkable for that time, as it would be today. To help this ear-trumpeted composer get to his venue, you the viewer are tasked with reordering his charts — from Fur Elise to Moonlight Sonata to Ode to Joy — whenever they’ve been whipped into disarray.

Beethoven also coped with deafness, which lost him a revenue source from musical performances, so he “became a skilled negotiator,” according the Beethoven museum in Bonn, Germany. “The remunerations Beethoven received from his publishers were by far his most important source of income,” museum researchers wrote. “As a composer, Beethoven wanted to remain free and independent and create timeless compositions for a worldwide audience.” Beethoven’s musical genre is a further sign of how Beethoven was striving for artistic independence partly through different financial models. Beethoven, who struggled with his studies outside of music, was pulled from school prior to adolescence and made to work to support his family, even as two siblings died prematurely. At that time many composers wrote music for church services and holy celebrations, but Beethoven did not leave as part of his vast musical legacy a festive liturgy.

And somehow out of this crucible emerged a genius who could, after Mozart’s early death, especially bridge Classical and Romantic eras. (Even as romance so often eluded his unrequited heart.) And then, at the peak of his powers came the deafness that he tried so hard to hide from the public. By the turn into the 19th century, conducting a conversation was becoming difficult, and in 1801, after two especially trying years, he wrote to a friend: “I must confess that I lead a miserable life.” Amid his personal demons — his hot temperament and paranoia and penchant for feuding, among them — the deaf maestro could compose music that elevated him to becoming our sonic Shakespeare. Many of his musical colleagues – Johann Sebastian Bach is an obvious example – were patronized by royal courts or churches, and sacred music was a staple of these earlier musicians. Historians believe more than one romantic suit by Beethoven failed due to the objections of a lady’s high-born relatives, and his social status was at times a problem for him.

The Google Doodle – created by designer Leon Hong, artist Nate Swinehart and engineers Jonathan Shneier and Jordan Thompson – takes the form of a animated musical puzzle, documenting Ludwig’s journey to the symphony hall after his score is eaten by a horse. Not only did unfulfilled romantic hopes lead him to compose as only the heartbroken do, but his desire for independence, his status, and general economic unrest required financial creativity as well. Beethoven marketed his work by setting up concerts and writing variations on old favorites at publishers’ request, as Jeff Lunden wrote for NPR in 2007: “In the early 19th century, performers and composers had to be both artists and entrepreneurs. . .

For a musician like Beethoven, there were many logistical challenges in presenting his own work.” In this way, Beethoven’s musical career was somewhat more like that of the modern musician than his artistic forbears. His career required innovation not just in notes, but also in presentation and marketing. “Now, a composer says, ‘If you want to listen to my music, go to my Web site,'” New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival conductor Louis Langree told NPR. “Beethoven did the same, but he said, ‘Come to my concert.'” His was an age of social and economic disruption, but he made his living while producing a creative output so prodigious many call him the “father of the symphony” and greatest composer of all time. That makes the interactive honor on the home page for Google particularly fitting, as one of our time’s most successful technological innovators and disrupters.

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