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.

POV or censorship?[edit]

On 9 June 2016, User:Softlavender removed "some other recent ill-conceived or unexplained changes", most notably a reference

  • Klapproth, John E (2016): The Immortal Beloved Compendium. Everything About the Only Woman Beethoven Ever Loved – And Many He Didn't. CreateSpace: North Charleston.

This up-to-date book is without doubt the most comprehensive work about one of the most burning questions of Beethoven biography - as one reputed Bethoven scholar put it: "a book sorely needed".John E Klapproth (talk) 00:04, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

It's also a self-published source; do you have any evidence it meets WP:SPS? You might also want to have a read through WP:COI. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:54, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 October 2016[edit]


stating the year of his Baptism rather than his Birth in the main box on the right is a Radically religious attempt at taking over what should be a intellectual site. is this the end of Wiki ?\

174.65.105.131 (talk) 01:06, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Please phrase your request as a "please change X to Y" or "please add/remove X".
(Oh, and you did read past the infobox to the place in the article where it says we don't know what his birthdate is, but we do know when he was baptized. Right?) Magic♪piano 02:00, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Date of birth or date of baptism?[edit]

Currently, the first sentence of the article/lead provides Beethoven's dates of baptism and death, which is absurd. People don't look at the start of an encyclopedia biographic entry for a date of baptism. They look for a date of birth. The current practice wouldn't be entirely senseless if scholars were all over the map on Beethoven's birth, but there is broad scholarly consensus on his birth. The whole baptism vs. birth issue, therefore, should be relegated to a footnote here and to subsequent discussion later in the article, as is largely the case already. It makes no sense to provide a date of baptism in lieu of a date of birth at this point in the main text of the lead. Antinoos69 (talk) 08:04, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Well, we don't have incontrovertible proof of his date of birth. General agreement does not equal proof.  But we do have proof of his baptism date, and that's the closest date to his birth that we know with certainty.  The footnote tells readers all they need to know about the 16th, but it is still an uncertain date.  --  Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:28, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
You appear to be laboring under a misimpression. There is generally no such thing in scholarship as "incontrovertible proof." That's for mathematics and formal logic. In the humanities, one generally deals with relative degrees of probability. There is a very broad scholarly consensus going way back that Beethoven was born on Dec. 16, 1770. As readers are interested in his date of birth at this point in the article, that very broad scholarly consensus suffices many times over, with the note and subsequent discussion later in the article. It is nauseatingly precious, at best, to be discussing date of baptism due to some amateurish and misguided conception of "incontrovertible proof" that is largely alien to the humanities. Were we to take your "incontrovertible proof" to our articles on, say, ancient social history, well, we wouldn't be left with any articles on the subject. Antinoos69 (talk) 09:38, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
You appear to be labouring under the misapprehension that LvB is part of ancient social history (SCNR). There is no doubt about the date of birth for many of his contemporaries or even predecessors; there is for Beethoven. As for "consensus": if EB doesn't give a DoB, WP shouldn't either. I recommend reading this talk page's archives for past discussions of this topic, which resulted in the current version. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 10:28, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
You apparently missed my distinction between this "encyclopedia biographic entry" and "our [other] articles on, say, ancient social history." As for "doubt" and epistemology more generally, see my next comment below. It is shameful what EB does with the date of birth. Needless to say, many other sources, including tertiary ones, include the DOB, sometimes without even mentioning the baptism issue. Antinoos69 (talk) 16:52, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
The distinction I perhaps should have made is that we have documentary evidence of his baptism but only anecdotal evidence of his birth.  What we KNOW is: (a) he was baptised on 17 December, and (b) 16 December is the main candidate of discussion re his date of birth.  What we DO NOT KNOW is when he was actually born.  All the "scholarly consensus" in the world does not change that.  --  Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:36, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Again, your epistemology needs serious work. We don't actually "KNOW" that Beethoven was baptized on Dec. 17, 1770. What we "KNOW" is that scholars reference a record of some sort of his baptism with the purported date. The existence and accuracy of that record are quite separate matters, both logically and epistemologically. I was in a car accident a few years ago. The police report gives the wrong date for it. Fortunately, I didn't have to depend on that date for any purpose. We don't actually "KNOW" when anyone whose birth we didn't witness was born. All we can have here, as generally in the humanities, is scholarship. On Wikipedia, we don't engage in original research, so scholarly consensus, when it exists, is all that matters. Antinoos69 (talk) 16:52, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
The New Grove gives "baptized Dec. 17", no birth date. Opus33 (talk) 17:02, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Your comment has nothing to do with the scholarly consensus on Beethoven's date of birth. Antinoos69 (talk) 17:10, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
A recent (2014) biography by Jan Swafford says, "The date of the composer's birth, a day or so before his name day, is lost to ... history." See [1]. Opus33 (talk) 17:21, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
See my comments below. Antinoos69 (talk) 13:52, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Is it perhaps telling that Antinoos69 has not yet cited any sources for the claimed scholarly consensus?  If there are so many, s/he should have no trouble reeling off a list of them. Magic♪piano 19:35, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Why would I provide sources for an assertion already in the article, with sources? See the "Background and early life" section, second paragraph, with notes 7 and 8, summarized in note 1. Btw, my moniker accurately reflects my gender. Antinoos69 (talk) 13:52, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Here is some stuff I've found by searching. I'm rearranging a bit to fit everything in one place.

  • The New Grove gives "baptized Dec. 17", no birth date.
  • A recent (2014) biography by Jan Swafford says, "The date of the composer's birth, a day or so before his name day, is lost to ... history." See [2].
  • I also found a scholarly article advocating for the 16th. Theodore Albrecht and Elaine Schwensen (1989) "More than just Peanuts:  Evidence for December 16th as Beethoven's birthday". Beethoven Journal 3:49. (online but pay access). The authors discuss a variety of evidence, but base their case on a letter from Beethoven's teacher Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, dated December 15, 1796. It begins: "My dear Beethoven!  I wish you all the best on your name-day tomorrow." This would be crystal clear if Albrechtsberger had written "birthday" instead of "name-day" (which normally meant baptism date). The authors assert that Albrechtsberger really meant "birthday", but of course this is contentious. They fault the New Grove for not taking this evidence, first published in 1921, into account. Opus33 (talk) 19:38, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Your first source, if it neither provides nor addresses Beethoven's date of birth, is utterly irrelevant as to what that date is. Your second source is misrepresented. If you search for "December 16," you will find one described as "probably his twenty-fifth birthday." See what internet fishing gets you? Once you've read this source in its entirety, then you can get back to us regarding what it has to offer on this matter. Your third source, if described correctly, clearly supports the article's date of birth. See the article's "Background and early life" section, second paragraph, with notes 7 and 8, summarized in note 1. I don't see what you're trying to accomplish or argue here. Are you disputing the current article's description of the scholarly consensus on Beethoven's date of birth? Do you want that description stricken or changed? 
My point is that the scholarly consensus on Beethoven's date of birth, as already stated later in the article, should appear in the first sentence of the lead/article and in the infobox, where readers expect to find it. Antinoos69 (talk) 13:52, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
My postings weren't meant for you, they were for the sensible editors. Opus33 (talk) 17:15, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
It is unwise for those who don't understand or simply ignore statements, facts, and questions put before them, and who don't bother even to read the sources they present, to speak of "sensible editors," a group for which you are clearly unsuited. I will repeat myself. 
 See the article's "Background and early life" section, second paragraph, with notes 7 and 8, summarized in note 1. I don't see what you're trying to accomplish or argue here. Are you disputing the current article's description of the scholarly consensus on Beethoven's date of birth? Do you want that description stricken or changed? My point is that the scholarly consensus on Beethoven's date of birth, as already stated later in the article, should appear in the first sentence of the lead/article and in the infobox, where readers expect to find it. Antinoos69 (talk) 13:39, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

I went back and checked the sources actually cited in the article.

  • The current version of our article says "most scholars accept 16 December 1770 as Beethoven's date of birth," and cites Maynard Solomon's biography ([3]) in support of this. But what Solomon actually says is (p. 10): "Ludwig was baptized on December 17th, 1770, and therefore was probably born on December 15 or 16."
  • The article also cites Thayer's well-known biography (p. 53 of Vol. 1: [4]). Thayer quotes the baptismal record, with 17 December, and adds, "The custom obtaining at the time in the Catholic Rhine country not to postpone the baptism beyond 24 hours after the birth of the child, it is in the highest degree probable that Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770." This seems like a good argument against December 15 (assuming his undocumented claim about baptism practices can be supported), but says nothing about the 17th. Again, I cannot see the citation as genuinely supporting the claim made in the main text. Opus33 (talk) 01:23, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Here is an author I think is a really careful scholar, David Wyn Jones, in his Life of Beethoven (1998):

  • "Beethoven's precise birthdate is unclear. He was baptized on 17 December 1770 and since it was the custom to baptize children as soon as practicable after birth, typically the same day or the day afterwards, his birthdate was either 16 December or 17 December." This can be read at [5].

Semi-protected edit request on 21 December 2016[edit]

Hello,

Some of the details from the autopsy are incorrect:

"It also revealed considerable dilation of the auditory and other related nerves."

The arteries around the auditory nerves were dilated, but the nerves themselves were shriveled and much attenuated, according to the source cited.

Thanks,

Michael 41.82.48.130 (talk) 08:40, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format.  B E C K Y S A Y L E 03:57, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Beethoven's Death[edit]

Beethoven had died March 28,1827 at what many believe about 3:00pm. He had a large and elegant funeral, about 20,000 people showed up to honor his death. To preserve order there, the aid of the military was needed. It is believed the cause of his death was liver disease.Thayer, Alexander Wheelock; Hugo Riemann. Krehbiel, Henry Edward, ed. "The Life of Ludwig Van Beethoven". 3 (Second Printing). New York: The Beethoven Association: 308 – 312.  More than one of |author1= and |last1= specified (help); </ref>ref>

Pastamonster35 (talk) 20:04, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 March 2017[edit]

Please add:

The leading cause of death still remains lead poisoning however. M.H. Stevens and his team have concluded that high levels of lead deep in the bone sampled from Beethoven's skull, suggest repeated exposure over a long period of time rather than limited exposure prior to the time of death. Among other evidence, the finding of shrunken cochlear nerves at his autopsy is consistent with axonal degeneration due to heavy metals such as lead. Chronic low-level lead exposure causes a slowly progressive hearing loss with sensory and autonomic findings, rather than the classic wrist drop due to motor neuropathy from sub-acute poisoning. Beethoven's physicians thought that he had alcohol dependence. He particularly liked wine that happened to be tainted with lead, therefore Beethoven's chronic consumption of wine tainted with lead is a better explanation of his hearing loss than other causes. [1]

at the end of the paragraph on his "Illness and Death" GoClimbEverest (talk) 22:08, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Stevens, M.H. "Lead and the deafness of Ludwig Van Beethoven". Laryngoscope. 123:date=November 2013: 2854–2858. doi:10.1002/lary.24120. 
Is that a verbatim quote from the source? Maybe that journal needs an article?Martinevans123 (talk) 22:29, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
That would be, and is, much better suited at Death of Ludwig van Beethoven. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 02:26, 23 March 2017 (UTC)