Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Flashes from the Past: A Person with Powerful Auditory Imagery

Who was this? His formal education ended at elementary school and he was illiterate in math. A life long friend described him as "awkward and helpless; his uncouth movements were often destitute of grace. He seldom took anything into his hands without dropping and breaking it. No piece of furniure was safe with him. he frequently knocked his ink-pot into his pianoforte."

This was Ludwig van Beethoven, a master of auditory imagery who composed the Ninth Symphony when completely deaf. About his composing he wrote: "I carry my thoughts about with me for a long time...before writing them down...once I have grasped a theme. I shall not forget it even years my grows, I hear and see the image in front of me from every angle...and only the labor of writing it down remains...I turn my ideas into tones that resound, roar, and rage until at last they stand before me in the form of notes."

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