The First Four Notes of the Beethoven’s Fifth


 Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven in 1804, the year he began work on the Fifth Symphony. Detail of a portrait by W. J. Mähler

The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67

Fifth Symphony was written in 1804–1808. It is one of the most popular and best-known compositions in classical music, and one of the most frequently played symphonies.

First performed in Vienna‘s Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterwards. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as “one of the most important works of the time”.

It begins by stating a distinctive four-note “short-short-short-long” motif twice: (About this sound listen (help·info))

The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are well known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll, to appearances in film and television.

The opening of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

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Ludwig van Beethoven – 5th Symphony 5 – Symphonie Nr. 5 – Best of Classical Music

beethoven-symphony-5-opening

Beethoven 5 th Symphony Opening

A new book, a new recording and some old instruments, all addressing the most memorable phrase in music: the opening of Beethoven‘s Fifth Symphony.

Matthew Guerrieri has written a book about this symphony, called The First Four Notes: Beethoven’s Fifth and the Human Imagination. (Source:http://www.wbur.org/npr/165495617/beethovens-famous-4-notes-truly-revolutionary-music)

Guerrieri writes about how Beethoven’s piece resonated with everyone from revolutionaries to Romantics, and German nationalists to anti-German resistance fighters.

So many people have found so much meaning in just those first four notes. But Guerrieri says that we really don’t know all that much of what Beethoven meant by them.

“The most common story that is told is that Beethoven allegedly said that the opening of the symphony was supposedly symbolizing fate knocking at the door. And this is probably an invention of his biographer, although we can’t really tell,” Guerrieri tells NPR’s Robert Siegel. “The other story going around at the time that Beethoven wrote it was that he had gotten the opening motif from the song of a bird. And that story just sort of fell away as the fate symbolism took over. But in Beethoven’s time, and to Beethoven, that actually would have been a fairly noble way of getting a musical idea.”

A Romantic ‘Bombshell,’ Delivered By Beethoven’s Fifth

English: Trio from Beethoven's 3rd. Symphony

English: Trio from Beethoven’s 3rd. Symphony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his book, Guerrieri writes:

“The Romantic era [of the early 19th century] never really ended … Every time a singer-songwriter is praised for projecting autobiographical authenticity, every time a movie star expresses the desire for a project that is ‘more personal,’ every time a flop is subsequently recategorized as a before-its-time masterpiece, all these are reverberations of the bombshell of Romanticism. And one of its pre-eminent delivery systems was Beethoven’s Fifth.”

The author adds: “I think that the Romantic era is another thing that we just sort of take for granted, because they’ve kind of always been there for us. But it’s amazing how many of these ideas were new around the time that Beethoven was writing music. The whole idea that music picks up where language leaves off — which is pretty much a cliche nowadays — that was a very specific Romantic idea, and it’s one that lasted. Also, the idea that the artist is somehow more privileged in accessing these things beyond language, in accessing the sublime, in accessing glimpses of the divine, however you want to characterize it. A lot of the ideas we use to talk about music are these ideas.”

And how to play those four notes? “The two things that have been argued about more than any other technical aspect of the opening are the tempo and the fermata that Beethoven stuck in the opening,” says Guerrieri. “A fermata is an indefinite hold — the conductor can hold onto a note as long as he wants.”

Holding On And Letting Fly: The Tempo

The question of tempo relates back to an interesting story Guerrieri tells in his book. The metronome was an invention of Beethoven’s day; he didn’t have access to it when he was writing his early symphonies. But later, he came into contact with it and loved the device. “He immediately buys one and sits down and starts going back over all his old scores and putting in metronome markings,” Guerrieri says. “And he picked a tempo for the Fifth Symphony that even today sounds really, astonishingly fast.”

The setting he chose was 108 beats per minute — so fast, so hard to play, Guerrieri says, that people have been theorizing for centuries about why Beethoven might have mismarked his own symphony. A broken metronome? Advancing deafness? Nobody knows.

Dah-Dah-Dah-Duh For ‘Victory’

Here’s one other story Guerrieri writes about those first four notes: In World War II, the anti-German resistance in occupied Belgium needed a simple graffiti symbol. A Belgian came up with the letter “V.” It stood equally for victoire — “victory” in French — and freiheit, or “freedom,” in Flemish. “Once that ‘V’ idea got back to the BBC and they wanted to start using it in their overseas broadcasts,” says Guerrieri, “it was at the BBC that they had the idea of combining it with the Morse code for ‘V’: three short and one long. Somebody at the BBC realized that matches Beethoven’s Fifth. So they could start using that as a little tag to symbolize that [something] was going to be a pro-Ally, propaganda broadcast from the BBC.”

For full article and interview with author visit: http://www.wbur.org/npr/165495617/beethovens-famous-4-notes-truly-revolutionary-music
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Manage Social Media, Social Networking and New Media


Online revolution is often referred to as “Web 2.0”, “New Media”, “we media” or “social media.” While much of this “user-generated content” is being created by young people who’ve grown up surrounded by digital tools, they certainly don’t have a monopoly on the concept.
According to the Pew Internet Project, approximately 48 million Americans have posted content to the Internet, from family photos to blogs to YouTube videos.  And it’s not just the well-off or well-educated that are doing it.

High-speed Internet access has become more affordable, while digital production tools are easier to use than ever before. New platforms allowing people to post content online using telephones have opened up user-generated content to an even larger audience.  This has translated into a democratization of online content. The Pew research even suggests that lower-income users and people with limited education posting content online in numbers on par with their well-off, better educated peers.
As social media has become ubiquitous, it’s also begun to make some professional content producers nervous. User-generated content is generally of lower production quality than professional content, and is sometimes anonymous or of questionable value. One only needs to spend a few minutes surfing around YouTube to get a sense of the wide range of quality, with much of it being on the lower end of the scale.
Having said that, quality content does rise to the top, usually through one of two methods. Some sites employ a gatekeeper model in which website managers review and vet content before it’s posted, preventing inappropriate content from appearing on the site. Others use a model in which the online community is given access to all content, rating and reviewing it so the best content rises to the top.

Managing User Generated Content

While the majority of people submitting content will have the best intentions, sometimes they may do things that should raise flags. In other cases, people might try to use this as an opportunity to air grievances or cause trouble, so it’s necessary to be on the lookout for content that’s inappropriate for public consumption.
First, there’s the question of who should be reviewing the content. At minimum, web site owner should have peronaly review materials and all post before publishing. Need to make sure that “auto post”, “post without moderations” turned off. No post should be published without moderatin.
It’s necessary to have someone with strong editorial judgment, who can identify the potential pitfalls of a given piece of user content, and pay attention to the details of the stories being shared.

For larger web site, whoever is tasked with reviewing the user content will probably need some assistance, whether from other staff or interns. In either case, these teams must be trained to recognize certain red flags, so user content is scrutinized appropriately before being published publicly.

Managing Different Media Types
Blos and forums owners migh be delaing with three different types of content from the public: audio, text and photos. Each of these media types have their own specific issues that should be discussed.

Audio types of content.
Since users will be submitting their audio over the phone, you shouldn’t expect the sound quality to be stellar. Having said that, there are ways you can help members of the public to submit audio that’s as useful as possible.
It’s recommended that you publish basic guidelines on your site, such as the following:
Use your home phone rather than a mobile phone, because the audio quality is better;
Try to find a quiet place to make the call;
Don’t play any music while you’re talking;
Avoid using obscenities in your story;
Please stick to stories about your own personal experiences during the war;
If you have multiple stories, please submit them separately;
If there’s a maximum time limit, be sure to inform users.

Text and photos types of content.
Along with looking out for the aforementioned concerns, you
should emphasize the importance of submitting original works rather than stories from other sources. The concern is that a user might take a war story or image they’ve found elsewhere and submit it. Even if they give appropriate credit to the author, there are serious copyright concerns, as you would have to get written permission from the owner of the material to republish it. With that being the case, you need to make it clear to users that they can only submit their own content, and under no circumstances should they copy and paste materials from other sources.

For text entries, you can always copy and paste sections of a particular submission into a search engine like Google to see if it’s been published online. Another useful tool is the search engine a9.com, which also allows you to search the text of books sold by Amazon.com. This functionality is particularly powerful since it can help you identify text that’s been lifted from published materials.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a photo search tool that allows you to search for identical copies of the same photo.
Once again, though, search engines can help. Yahoo.com, flickr.com, google.com and altavista.com, just to name a few, all allow you to conduct image searches. So if a person submits a photo supposedly from Berlin, you can search and see if it’s been copied off the Internet. Even searching for generic terms like “Classic Music” will show you a list of the most popular photos for this topic, and you can familiarize yourself with some of them to recognize possible copyright infringements.

Remember, there’s no way to prevent copyright infringement 100%. The key thing is for you to make a good-faith effort. If a copyright holder ever contacts you and claims their copyright has been violated, the best thing to do is to take the content down immediately until the issue can be resolved. Usually the act of taking it down will satisfy copyright holders.

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