Talk:Ludwig van Beethoven

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April 27, 2005 Peer review Reviewed
Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive This article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of April 25, 2007.

Semi-protected edit request on 4 August 2014[edit]

Under Memorial, first paragraph, last sentence:

Current text reads, "His name appears in gilded lettering above the stage of Symphony Hall, Boston, as it was the only one on which all the board members could agree when commemorating composers in the architecture." A citation is needed.

Found the citation but the text needs to be changed to reflect the source's information. Perhaps: Beethoven's name was inscribed on one of the plaques that trim the stage and balconies of Symphony Hall at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While the other plagues were left blank, it was believed that Beethoven's popularity would not change.

Shortbread516 (talk) 04:22, 5 August 2014 (UTC)Shortbread516

Image selection[edit]

I'm confused as to why the only images included here are of a white Beethoven. He was described as dark-skinned by almost everyone who made note of his appearance, including Frederick Hertz, Emil Ludwig, And Alexander Thayer in his Life of Beethoven. If this is news, perhaps a small informative subsection on heritage might be included, detailing his mother's Moorish lineage.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

These claims seem apocryphal at best. -- (talk) 22:57, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 3 November 2014[edit] (talk) 19:20, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 19:28, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Unacceptable notice[edit]

This sort of expropriation of power is unacceptable: After lengthy consideration at the Wikipedia Composers project, it has been determined that infoboxes are not appropriate for composer articles. Before adding an infobox, please review the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infobox debates.

Wikipedia Composers does not decide blanket policy for articles within their scope. The policy concerning infoboxes is clear and reinforced by a recent ArbCom case: "The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article. Whether to include an infobox, which infobox to include, and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article." - see WP:INFOBOXUSE. A new user has just had their good-faith addition of an infobox reverted with the edit summary "Revert to revision 635074684 dated 2014-11-23 08:04:44 by Moonraker: -infobox – see talk page archives and inline comment" which is tantamount to biting an inexperienced editor. By all means refer them to previous discussions in the talk page archives, but the onus is on the reverter to link to them if they want them to carry weight with new editors. To do otherwise is simple bullying and has no place in our project. --RexxS (talk) 14:27, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Nonetheless, it won't be getting an infobox, however the news is broken. Johnbod (talk) 16:34, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
I have no problem with a consensus that any particular article should not have an infobox. I do have a problem with a small, self-appointed group dictating their personal preference as if it were policy and biting inexperienced editors. I would hope you could support those sentiments, John. --RexxS (talk) 17:00, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Reverting edits on a high-profile article is not biting or bullying – it's part of WP:BRD. Restoring the contested edit before discussing it might be called disruptive. Calling an editor who has edited for almost 3 years "inexperienced" seems presumptive. The onus to justify changes is always on the editor making changes. The archives are easily searchable and show that there is no consensus for an infobox. Then there is Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infoboxes RfC and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infobox debates which were easily discoverable until the inline comment was removed. If an infobox is to be added to this article, changed consensus needs to be demonstrated. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:19, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Reverting edits with a mendacious edit summary is is both biting and bullying, especially when it is done thoughtlessly to an inexperienced editor. The editor in question, User:Harsh4101991 has a grand total of 338 edits to date including 7 in the last year. Expecting such a user to be familiar with old debates - and basing your entire reason for reversion on that assumption - is beyond reasonable. The onus falls squarely on you to demonstrate that a consensus exists, "determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article.", per policy.
Only a site-wide RfC can change our policy, not a four-year old discussion that came to no conclusion whatsoever on the question "To what extent can WikiProjects expect non-members to follow the former's preference regarding these?". It is ridiculous to suggest that the page has any bearing whatsoever on Harsh4101991's edits. Please read the other page you quote, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infobox debates, a collection of debates held more than six years ago. Then please try to explain how ploughing through those tired generalisations and personal opinions could possibly help any editor new to the topic to reach any conclusion about whether an infobox would improve this article, or not. When you can't do that, then try to find the debate in this article's archives that demonstrates the "consensus among the editors at each individual article" that policy requires. Afterwards, don't bother apologising to me - it's Harsh4101991 that you owe that to. --RexxS (talk) 17:09, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Bravo. It appears the reign of the anti-Infobox bullies has finally come to an end. Jusdafax 09:30, 21 December 2014 (UTC)


According to Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers#Biographical infoboxes, shouldn't the deletion of this article's infobox be considered? I'm not there. Message me! 15:51, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

No. That page merely reflects the preferences of a small group and Wikiprojects don't decide site-wide policy. The actual guidance is at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Infoboxes #Using infoboxes in articles: "The use of infoboxes is neither required nor prohibited for any article. Whether to include an infobox, which infobox to include, and which parts of the infobox to use, is determined through discussion and consensus among the editors at each individual article." You should, of course, feel free to start a discussion to see if any consensus can be reached. HTH --RexxS (talk) 23:44, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying the page should be changed by Wikiprojects, but it's customary not to include infoboxes in pages about classical composers, and in order to reach consistency, editors of this page could consider deleting the infobox. I'm not there. Message me! 15:23, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
With over 2.5 million infoboxes in 4.5 million articles (which includes stubs, lists, dab pages, etc. that we would not expect to have an infobox), it's customary to include infoboxes in any well-developed article. In fact, over 75% of Featured Articles have an infobox. There's nothing special about classical composers that precludes having an infobox. For consistency with the rest of the encyclopedia, editors of the other composer biographies should consider adding an infobox to them. --RexxS (talk) 16:26, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
"Neither required nor prohibited" - so there's no need to try to bully people who don't want them into changing their mind. Happy Christmas! Johnbod (talk) 16:38, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
"Neither required nor prohibited" also means that nobody should try to bully editors who do want them into changing their mind. It's perfectly symmetrical in the abstract. I'll cheerfully debate any real arguments, though - as long as you don't think that reasoned debate means bullying, of course. Merry Xmas to you too, John! --RexxS (talk) 16:47, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
I think that adding an infobox to this article simply because the majority of articles on WP have them is very loose justification for including one. I agree that neither side should feel bullied, which is why a discussion and consensus should be formed first before either adding or removing an infobox. (Careful in that snow RexxS; I believe the next stop is London town! Shovels and sand at the ready, chez Cassianto! ) CassiantoTalk 13:32, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Cass - Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year! You're absolutely right that adding an infobox here just because a majority of other articles have them is a very weak reason - and I hope you'll agree that removing it just because a majority of composer bios don't have one is equally weak. There are absolutely genuine reasons why a particular article should not have an infobox: aesthetics or the difficulty of summarising nuanced information are the most obvious. And there are genuine reasons why an infobox enhances an article, but they are more generic, of course. What is needed here is an informed discussion about what value an infobox would bring to the article on 'Ludwig van Beethoven' and what disadvantages it would confer. I've looked in the archives, but could only find these:
neither of which are particularly illuminating. Nevertheless, if you know of some that I've missed, they might be useful to point to when a new editor adds/removes or suggests addition/removal of an infobox. We should try to be kind to people who take an interest and (as you've probably noticed) I do get annoyed when fresh voices are dismissed with "because we've already made a blanket decision for all these articles". We'll never increase our editor pool until we take time to properly address other editors' views and concerns. In the meantime, I'll take care in the snow and I hope you will too! Cheers --RexxS (talk) 14:38, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Infobox - In my view the article is better with an infobox. Jusdafax 01:21, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose infobox – In my view the article is not better with an infobox. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:55, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Question regarding views: what would a reader say who never heard the name Beethoven before? Perhaps: I like to see at a glance that it is a composer who worked around 1800, located at places such as Bonn (now Germany) and Vienna (now Austria), + an easy access to a list of his works without having to search in the article? (about as suggested 7 August 2013, and yes, we know baptism date but are not sure about birth date, - parameters can be improved). --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:33, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Answer: Why should we assume that readers of the English-language Wikipedia are so much thicker than those of the German one? Vide de:Ludwig van Beethoven. Or the Italian at it:Ludwig van Beethoven? Or even the Simple English Wikipedia: simple:Ludwig van Beethoven? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:50, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Another Answer: Simple English Wikipedia is based on this Wikipedia and you wouldn't expect it to have something extra. And other language wikis generally don't take precedence over this one. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:25, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Yet another answer: Michael's reasoning would lead to the supposition that the English readers are much brighter than those of the other language Wikipedias which have infoboxes for Beethoven, including: Africans; Arabic; Belarussian; Bulgarian; Catalan; Chinese; Danish; Dutch; Hebrew; Hungarian; Japanese; Latin; Marathi; Polish; Portuguese; Punjabi; Romanian; Russian; Scotts; and Welsh. I find that frankly insulting and it shows the hollowness of his argument. --RexxS (talk) 19:27, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Infobox - The whole opposition to Infoboxes is insubstantial, unencyclopedic, and unwikipedic. The infobox gives the article a more professional look and it sums up the essential info for people who do quick searches. ♆ CUSH ♆ 16:26, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support infobox - you know me, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 18:07, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose infobox to be clear. Has anybody here ever actually edited the articlwe otherwise, or are we all drive-bys? Johnbod (talk) 19:49, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
How is that relevant? This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, which means it is focused on presenting a subject for READERS of articles, not to boost the ego of editors. You do not OWN any article, no matter how many edits you have made. ♆ CUSH ♆ 21:40, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
Nonetheless the encyclopedia should not be the hostage of those running around with their own little hobby-horses, and making no other contributions. Johnbod (talk) 21:10, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I am immune to your holier-than-thou attitude. ♆ CUSH ♆ 21:31, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support infobox: This is just round 10,000 of the infobox wars. Any biographical article benefits from an infobox that gives the casual viewer basic information and it can also draw the reader further into the article. Montanabw(talk) 17:04, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
...and well-known counter-arguments bla bla bla. Johnbod (talk) 21:10, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
You talking to yourself again, Johnbod? Montanabw(talk) 20:58, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820
Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820
Born Ludwig van Beethoven
Baptised 17 December 1770
Died 26 March 1827(1827-03-26)
Occupation Composer and pianist
  • Support Infobox "I like to see at a glance that it is a composer who worked around 1800, located at places such as Bonn (now Germany) and Vienna (now Austria), + an easy access to a list of his works without having to search in the article". — Ched :  ?  16:45, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
All of that information is in the very short lead, and apart from his dates none of it was in the infobox when there was one, nor should it be in any infobox. Johnbod (talk) 18:15, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
John, that's fine if you prefer reading the article. As for myself, I like the infobox style of presenting information in many (if not most) of the wiki articles I look at. Quite often my time is limited, and I prefer the summary. Sometimes the infobox even encourages me to read further in the article. That's just my personal opinion, to each his own in my view. Best, — Ched :  ?  19:05, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
If you try to summarize the whole article the infoboxes become as long and hard to navigate as large numbers are - for cities, ships etc. You said you wanted information that in fact would not be in a composer infobox, and is and was neatly summarized in para 2 of the lead. Johnbod (talk) 21:07, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, that is the eternal problem with these classical music articles, the owners of the project seem to feel that the great unwashed - meaning you, me, and anyone who isn't a hardore aficionado (even if I did study piano for about six years and voice for three) really shouldn't even do a drive-by reading, if people cannot read the entire article, then apparently the project owners don't want anyone to try to glean basic information. Montanabw(talk) 20:58, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, of course, you're right. That must be it ZZZZZZZZZZZ Johnbod (talk) 21:07, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose needless visual clutter that steals space from meaningful illustrations. --Ghirla-трёп- 07:12, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
    • steals space from meaningful illustrations - Huh? An infobox in this article would use the existing illustration and whitespace where there is currently nothing. --AussieLegend () 12:56, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Indeed. I wonder of some peole have any idea what we are even discussing. I put in one version of the infobox here. It's not long, it keeps the image, it covers the basics, it would be expanded, but doesn't have to be. Montanabw(talk) 05:50, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
I wonder is some people have ever looked at an article with an infobox using a mobile device. On my phone, the box steals space big time. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:30, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't steal space, it just appears first, summarising the key points of the article in a convenient form. What steals the space is the ridiculously small screen. If that's a hassle, use a PC or even a tablet. --AussieLegend () 09:01, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
30% of views are on mobile devices, and growing. It is not for us to tell readers what devices they should use. The idea that an infobox summarizes "the key points of the article in a convenient form" is true for some kinds of article but manifestly untrue for others, like composers, indeed most biographies. For that a properly written first lead para is far better. Johnbod (talk) 12:53, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
It's not about telling people what to device to use, it's about countering and argument about "stealing" spacethat isn't credible. {{Infobox person}} does summarise the main points about a person, it's the other templates that fail to adequately summarise. The composer infobox is one such example. --AussieLegend () 13:25, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Its not an either or situation. A lead paragraph begins the summary of an article. An infobox summarizes key points and is not meant to be an entire summary of the article but a view at a glance. Info boxes and summaries serve different purposes so we can't argue legitimately replacing one with the other. (Littleolive oil (talk) 13:32, 1 January 2015 (UTC))
If the infobox is meant to provide "a view at a glance", that idea fails on my phone, using the Wikipedia moble app, because it's shown after the first paragraph. In the case of a really long infobox, e.g. Albert Einstein, the box then presents, after the 1st paragraph, a major stumbling block to reading the rest of the article. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 14:21, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Is that an argument for deleting all infoboxes from all articles? Of is there a specific problem with musicians? Or with this musician? Or just long infoboxes? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:25, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
There are some types of articles that suit infoboxes very well, because there are standard bits of information that do include the key facts. For many other types, including musicians and in fact most biographies except sports people and perhaps monarchs and modern politians, they often don't work well at all. They also tend to get far too long, especially in some kinds or articles, which is a different issue. Johnbod (talk) 14:41, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
What does that have to do with phones? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:43, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
That's complete clap-trap, John. Almost all articles suit infoboxes very well, because almost all articles contain those standard bits of information that you want the reader to go hunting for. Just about every biography, for example, contains simple facts like date and place of birth (and death for non-BLPs) which immediately give a context in time and place to the subject's life. The same goes for information like their occupation or what they were known for in many cases. You also conveniently ignore the advantage of having those "standard bits of information" in a standard format which makes them available to third-party tools. If we're ever going to be able to have a smart encyclopedia, where we can ask questions like "Which composers were born between 1750 and 1850?", you are going to have to stop regurgitating unfounded anti-infobox spin and give up that luddite opposition to progress. --RexxS (talk) 15:35, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, progress! We already have persondata for the most basic facts, and Wikidata. In fact infoboxes are not standardized at all - they are not designed as database entry forms and are generally not at all good in that role, if only because of a complete lack of standard vocabularies (but also many other reasons). Some of us are still trying to create an encyclopedia of reasonable quality, and have not abandoned that aim to pursue The Great Database of Everything. Happy New Year! Johnbod (talk) 19:23, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Johnbod, you raise issues problem not solveable here. The infoboxes are not standardized- yet- in part because every time someone like Andy suggests that we don't need different designs for, (as an example) every mass transit system in the world, someone starts screaming about the template they own. Ditto mobile devices, not solveable here. This stuff may point to a need to fix the WP software so infoboxes appear properly on phones. To me, music lends itself particularly well to an infobox to summarize key points. Frankly, I would think that phones ought to display an infobox FIRST and then the narrative. All of this is a work in progress, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Montanabw(talk) 03:02, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 December 2014[edit]

After a failed attempt in 1811 to perform his own Piano Concerto No. 5 (the "Emperor"), which was premiered by his student Carl Czerny, he never performed in public again until he conducted Ninth Symphony in 1824.

Above sentence under Loss of Hearing needs a "the" preceding "Ninth Symphony".

VBachani (talk) 09:26, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:36, 26 December 2014 (UTC)