Beethoven’s 5th Symphony

Ludwig Van Beethoven
5th Symphony
Composed 1804-1808
First Performance: Vienna Theatre

As a demand from the middle class for music that is accessible, recognizable, and   serious began to grow, composures began to stray away from aristocratic patrons.  The composures became more of a free-lance performer, willing to perform for any one who demanded.  The middle class had a very large demand for the organized sound of classical music.  Music was not only an intellectual pursuit, but became more understandable, and therefore developed into two forms: the sonata, and the symphony.  Beethoven’s 5th symphony included all the major elements demanded by the middle class.  Not only was symphony just pleasant to the ears, but it was also a visual performance.  Watching an entire multitude of people perform in unison, working as a team, to create a most beautiful melody must be an amazing site.  The 5th symphony follows the strict four-movement organization that makes up a symphony.  This structure was very appealing to the middle class.  For the middle class, it was almost a two for one, a performing group and a form of music.  The structure of a symphony gave the middle class something to rely on.  They could predict and appreciate music without having the musical education of the aristocratic upper class.  It allowed everyone to both enjoy and feel connected to.  The 5th symphony was once described as “the most important work of the time” (E.T.A Hoffman).


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