Ludwig van Beethoven

I still have the widest fucking smile on my face, after visiting a few minutes ago, as part of my morning ritual.

If you haven’t already, and you happen to be a music enthusiast, you’re in for a big Easter egg. Apparently, today marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 245th anniversary, and the team at Google has crafted a puzzle, in honour of one of the greatest composers ever. Beethoven’s work is genius because he always took seemingly simple musical ideas and orchestrated them into lush performances (I mean, Symphony 5 – Dah Dah Dah Duhhh – was just 4 notes).

It’s not stated anywhere, what Ludwig’s exact birthdate is, but he was baptised on December 17, 1770, so I guess this is as good a day as any.

Today’s Beethoven Doodle is a game in which Beethoven is running late for a concert, and more than once, ill luck befalls him, so his pieces keep getting scattered. The player is given the task of placing the measures of music in their proper order, in time for the concert. The pieces featured, were Symphony 5 (a personal favourite), Fur Elise (the most popular one, I think), Moonlight Sonata, and Symphony 9 (Ode To Joy).


I find the Doodle especially impressive because it tastefully combines many of the tricks and tropes commonly found in game development. Near perfect synchronisation between the visual animation, and the music, as well as great uses of tension and release, amongst others. Being an amateur film/game score composer, myself, I’m terribly impressed with what Leon Hong and the rest of the team at Google have done here.

Much like in the game, Ludwig’s life was riddled with misfortune. His father, a liberal drinker, pulled him out of school at the age of ten, hoping to make a quick buck off his talents, He lost two siblings and had to assume responsibility for his family as a teenager, fell in love twice, to no avail, and lost his hearing at the peak of his career. In spite of – if not because of – all this adversity, Beethoven prevailed, and went on to lay the foundation for much of the orchestral music that came long after his demise.

Ode To Joy

Cheers, and a happy 245th birth baptism day to one of history’s greatest composers.

Image credit:

Osarumen Osamuyi Author

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