A service of Cincinnati Public Radio  

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Music that Imitates Inanimate Objects

The beginning of the second movement of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony imitates a metronome -- a mechanical device that ticks steadily to help musician keep to the beat of the music. Other composers wrote music that ticks, or that imitates other inanimate objects -- including a doll and a typewriter.

Music heard in this episode:
Beethoven: Symphony #8
Haydn: Symphony #101 “Clock”
Kodály: Háry János
Prokofiev: Cinderella
Anderson: Syncopated Clock
Anderson: Typewriter
Offenbach: Tales of Hoffman

Other shows this month about Ludwig van Beethoven:
About Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven the Pianist
Beethoven's Symphonies
Music that Imitates Inanimate Objects

Download this month's activity sheet

About Ludwig van Beethoven
12/16/1770 - 3/26/1827
Born in Germany

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. His father, who was a singer, was his first teacher. After a while, even though he was still only a boy, Ludwig became a traveling performer, and soon, he was supporting his family.

In his early twenties, Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he spent the rest of his life. Beethoven was one of the first composers to make a living without being employed by the church or a member of the nobility. At first, he was known as a brilliant pianist. But when he was around 30 years old, Beethoven started going deaf. Even though he could no longer hear well enough to play the piano, Beethoven composed some of his best music after he was deaf!

Beethoven is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived. He may be most famous for his nine symphonies, but he also wrote many other kinds of music: chamber and choral music, piano music and string quartets, and an opera.

See other composers born in Germany


This Week's Quiz:

1. In Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, the machine that is being imitated is a





2.One of the favorite objects that composers like to imitate is a

railroad train


mechanical toy


3. The composer of The Syncopated Clock is

Aaron Copland

Leonard Bernstein

Charles Ives

Leroy Anderson

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 8

Composed in 1812
Performed by Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia
Bela Drahos, conductor

Talk to us
We love to hear your comments on Classics for Kids.

Get the Classics for Kids Volume 1 & 2 CD set for your family

Home | This Week's Show | Past Shows | Composers | Games | Music | More | For Grownups
On the Radio | Events | Links | Contact Us
Teachers | Parents | About Classics for Kids | Privacy Policy
©2017, Cincinnati Public Radio, Inc.