The Heartfelt Music of Ludwig van Beethoven


Musicologists, historians, and physicians have speculated that Beethoven experienced cardiac arrhythmias, and that they manifest in specific compositions. Based on what is known about Beethoven’s medical issues, this seems a reasonable assumption to make. This essay strengthens the hypothesis that Beethoven suffered from cardiac arrhythmias by placing Beethoven’s music in its historical context, and by identifying several compositions that may reflect Beethoven’s experience of an arrhythmia.