Observations placeholder

Beethoven - Für Elise

Identifier

001908

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

He may have been deaf, but he could still listen to the music in his head

 

A description of the experience

Manic Depression and Creativity – D Jablow Hershman and Dr Julian Lieb

When an ordinary manic has flights of ideas, he is deluged with thoughts that have little to do with each other, and each one distracts him from the preceding one.  For the manic who is talented, trained and obsessed with his work, it is quite different.  His ideas may come in the same rush and plenitude, but when he is working, the ideas are focused on his project and one thought develops from the preceding one, creating an organic whole.  The result is not always perfection and may require extensive revision.  Beethoven did a lot of such labour.  He never lacked ideas when he was manic.  'They come to me uninvited' he said 'out in Nature's open, in the woods, during my promenades, in the silence of the night, at the earliest dawn'.  What he could not use at once, he stored in his notebooks for later development.

Like many artists, he had flights of creative ideas in the middle of the night and thus inspired could not go back to sleep until he had written them down.  Beethoven's mania could occur at any time.  Sometimes the mood struck when he was being sociable, as witnesses have indicated, and then his flights of ideas were not in the form of fragments of music.  'At such moments …. the wealth of ideas which escaped his mouth appeared truly astonishing' an observer says.  The flights of ideas and rapid fire speech of a manic who is intelligent and educated can be dazzling.  Samuel Johnson left that impression on people as did the poets Coleridge and Delmore Schwartz

Beethoven - Für Elise

 

The source of the experience

Beethoven

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References