This absolutely crucial typo in a Beethoven book changes everything

25 November 2021, 18:55

Beethoven's 5th, conducted by a 3-year-old boy

By Kyle Macdonald

You knew Beethoven was good, but not THIS good!

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A few years ago, baroque and classical violinist Polly Smith was reading a text about great German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. During her eagle-eyed reading she spotted a small, yet very significant typo.

The line in the book was supposed to read: ‘Being deaf did not stop him in the slightest from recovering quickly and going on with his music’.

Read more: A restaurant wanted some beautiful music for their menu… but made a bad choice

But instead, with a slight slip of a finger, it read:

Her pitch-perfect tweet has garnered over 16,000 retweets, as well as a few inspired exchanges in the replies. Like this one:

Beethoven typo tweets
Beethoven typo tweets. Picture: Twitter / @plantypal

We’re sure there’s a decomposing joke in there too.

Our tweet's author, Polly Smith is part of the ensemble Art Sung. We also note that Art Sung has undertaken some fantastic projects championing women in classical history, including singer Jane Bathori, Clara Schumann and Alma Mahler.

Those who can see past a small yet hilarious typo, might like to know more about Beethoven, and how exactly he did compose when deaf. This article dives into the fascinating history and science of Beethoven’s hearing and how he overcame this devastating change in his life.

Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770 and died in Vienna in 1827. The composer noted the first signs of hearing loss when he was in his late 20s. It was in the struggle of his later years when the composer wrote some of his most powerful, world-changing music, including his Symphony No. 9, his late string quartets and the ‘Hammerklavier’ piano sonata. We’re pleased he stuck around.