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Old 08-12-2017, 07:25 AM   #10
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
And isn't there another theory that, by the time the metronome was invented, Beethoven, owing to his deafness, "heard" his music mostly in his head?
This, according to some experts, would lead him to experience the music as being much faster than in real life, thus causing him to settle on some impossibly fast metronome settings
Of course all this could be balderdash.
Many great composers 'hear' the music in their head and only resort to the piano to try things over, so this would be nothing to do with his deafness. Berlioz considered composing at the piano the death of all originality - Stravinsky on the other hand always worked from the piano! It has however been demonstrated with some composers that they do actually 'hear' their music in the head faster than they play it so there may be something in this - however we know tempo was of great importance to Beethoven and I imagine he would have taken a great deal more care over the matter.

I'm not sure how we can account for Beethoven's metronome markings but here is an interesting article by Benjamin Zander.
'Man know thyself'
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