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.

Beethoven "intended" to study?[edit]

"During his first 22 years in Bonn, Beethoven intended to study with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart..." what does this even mean? Did he or didn't he. This is very confusing. (talk) 18:14, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

Was Beethoven African?[edit]

Evidence that Beethoven might have been African. Kailash29792 (talk) 07:11, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

This nonsense has been discussed before, at length; see Beethoven was Black, Beethoven the Negro?, Beethoven's ancestry in the archives, and above at #Image selection. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 07:40, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Oddly enough, that opinion piece in the Kenyan Daily Nation is actually a debunking of the myth. "Evidence" indeed! --RexxS (talk) 08:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC) Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 19.54.16/ Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 19.54.16 His skin was so dark that, despite not being black, was often mistaken for being black. The rhetoric used to describe him matched up perfectly to then-contemporary description matched that used to describe the Moors completely by coincidence. Despite the following two things, his family came from Spanish-occupied Flanders (now Belgium) during the Moors’ reign over Spain without including any African genetics. Said directly, Beethoven was a black man. Specifically, his mother was a Moor, that group of Muslim Northern Africans who conquered parts of Europe–making Spain their capital–for some 800 years… — Preceding unsigned comment added by RealTruthIsComing (talkcontribs) 19:05, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Harmonic innovation[edit]

I'm no expert, but I recall reading that Beethoven was the first composer to use the ninth chord (in the Eroica). If this is true it's important and deserves mention. And in the article on the Ninth chord, which has nothing on its history.

I also recall reading that Beethoven's music was found at the time inappropriate for young ladies. Sort of musically uncouth, too radical. If this is true it should be mentioned too. deisenbe (talk) 03:38, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Infobox removal[edit]

(Yes, I know this is one of the most discussed topics in Wikipedia, but needs to be addressed) Per Wikipedia:WikiProject Composers#Biographical infoboxes, classical composers shouldn't have infoboxes, as it adds nothing to the article, and keeps consistency to all other articles on classical composers. I say just the painting by Stieler and the signature are fine. I'm not there. Message me! 17:03, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

It was addressed in discussions (see Talk:Ludwig van Beethoven/Archive 6#Infobox). and resolved, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 17:28, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
The infobox was changed a few days ago, and the List of Compositions disappeared. Is there a reason for that? Kraxler (talk) 17:40, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
@Katastasi: Wikiproject Composer doesn't make policy over infoboxes. The guidance is at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Infoboxes and states "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." Classical composers should have infoboxes to the extent that any article should, as it allows an at-a-glance overview of key facts, provides microformats and structured data for third-party users and keeps consistency to [sic] the majority of articles on Wikipedia. I say a well-designed infobox is much finer than a painting and a signature.
Nevertheless, neither your opinion nor mine determines the issue. It's done by consensus and you can read the debate above.
@Kraxler: The "sandbox" version of {{infobox person}} that I created as {{Infobox person/sandbox-LvB}} was only ever intended to be a temporary demonstration version of how we could implement a |works= parameter. In this edit, Michael Bednarek restored the proper infobox, which had the unfortunate effect of no longer displaying the "works" field. What we really need to do is to ask for {{infobox person}} to include the |works= parameter. I'll make a start on that. --RexxS (talk) 21:08, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Update: I've made a request at Template talk:Infobox person #Works parameter. All opinions welcome. --RexxS (talk) 21:45, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
As there were no objections at the template talk page, I've updated the template. Beethoven's "works" link has now re-appeared. Thanks to all who commented. --RexxS (talk) 16:49, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Name Beethoven[edit]

in the text:
In "Beethoven", "Beet" stands for beetroot while "hoven" is the plural of "hof" (a walled garden or courtyard; but in this case likely farmland).[2] Because the Dutch word van in family names is usually followed by said family's ancestral home, it's likely "Beethoven" was once a settlement. The online dictionary published by the Dutch Language Union notes that there were several mentions during the late 12th century of a settlement called Betheoue or Bettingahofa (modernized: Bettinghove) at an unknown location, but supposedly in Limburg.
Is nonsense.
1. The name van Beethoven is derived from "van Bettenhoven".
2. "hoven" is not necessarily the plural of hof.
3. Bettenhoven is indeed at an unknown location (50° 42′ 33″ N, 5° 14′ 7″ E), except for the 200 people living there. Get to Tongeren, and ask for directions.
4. Beetroot is for amateur etymologists. The name Bettenhoven is the court of Betho. Who invented this beetroot stuff? It seems to be repeated all the time. The reference in the lemma is not an authoritative text, but an amateur's website on Beethoven. An authoritative text would be e.g. a toponymical dictionary.

Beethoven's earliest known patrilineal ancestor was Cornelius van Beethoven (died 1716),
To be "unknown" is sad news for Cornelius' father, Mark (Boortmeerbeek 1601), for Mark's father Hendrik (1572, Boortmeerbeek before June 1652), his father Aert (Arnold) (Kampenhout ca 1535-1609), Mark (1510), Jan (Kampenhout 1485)... Sloppy research. I found this list in [1]

Riyadi (talk) 12:07, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Would it be unreasonable to expect you to provide some reliable sources? Alakzi (talk) 13:11, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Whatever might eventuate from reliable sources about the lineage, the nonsense about the name's etymology, recently added by User:Prinsgezinde, should be removed. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 13:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
That's correct, the name's etymology may be discussed at a name or dab page on "Beethoven", not at any page of any bearer of the name. It's out of scope here. Kraxler (talk) 14:01, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Don't just randomly remove sourced info you find unlikely.
1. [citation needed] Simple resemblance does by no means equal correlation.
2. [importance?]
3. Again, the correlation is unverified.
4. We may have to consider the possibility of the name's etymology not being as creative as Bettincourt's.
What authority does that geneology site have? It's synthesis of info anyhow. This refers to his earliest forefather, of which the name was known, to identify as van Beethoven.
As for attacks on source credibility: Dominique Prevot, the founder of, is chairman of the ABF - Association Beethoven France et Francophonie since 2002, and a history professor.
It barely took up a small piece of the biography section on his early life. Nice for some to know. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 23:14, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
The factual accuracy or their controversial aspects are irrelevant, it's out of scope here. In encyclopedias we do not usually discuss the etymology of names at their bearers' articles, but at an article on the name. That's not so difficult to understand or is it? Kraxler (talk) 23:58, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Kraxler: Enough with The pot calling the kettle black-either abstain from making pithy comments like these or quit bringing up the issue of civility to those who don't agree with your editorial assessments. As admin, you should set the example, not abuse the privilege. SnowdenFan (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:51, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I'm not an admin, but I certainly strive to be an example of civility and helpfulness. Kraxler (talk) 04:03, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, nice for many to know. So which is the page where surname etymology is presented? And why not a note here saying "For an explanation of the origin of the surname van Beethoven, see x"? (talk) 14:21, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
We've got no page better than this one, unless somebody would be so inclined as to start a Beethoven family article. Alakzi (talk) 14:49, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
"Other Beethovens exist". (talk) 15:22, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
While I appreciate brevity, that is perhaps too brief a response. Alakzi (talk) 15:30, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Feel free to create an anthroponymy page Beethoven (surname), splitting off the surnamed people section from Beethoven (disambiguation). But, don't forget to add sources at the etymology section. Kraxler (talk) 18:29, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't believe that a surname article is necessary. The only Beethovens are the Beethovens, and the origin and etymology of their surname would best be addressed in an article about the Beethoven family, provided there's some literature out there on the topic of their genealogy; if not, Wiktionary beckons. Alakzi (talk) 18:35, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
That's another possibility, create Beethoven family with family tree. I think that's an interesting topic. Kraxler (talk) 04:03, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Just to come back to references: here is a toponymic dictionary, digitised from a serious reference. It says
Bettenhoven, Bettincourt (arr. Borgworm): ‘de boerderij van de Bettingen, de lieden van Betto<Berhto’. Note that we're not short of people disseminating this funny "beetroot" theory (beetroots are cultivars developed in the XVIIIth century). Ridiculous etymologies are called "goropisms".Riyadi (talk) 09:35, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
There's no mention of Beethoven on that page. Alakzi (talk) 09:39, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, that page explains that "Bettenhoven" (or "Bettincourt") denotes people from the hamlet of Bettingen. As User:Riyadi points out, beetroot as we know it is a recent development. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:07, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
What Alakzi meant was: we see "Bettenhoven" and "Bettincourt", but "Beethoven" is not there. Could all of you get some source that has the etymology of "Beethoven" (literally)? I'm really curious now. Kraxler (talk) 16:07, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
According to Cooper (2000), "[Beethoven's] name suggests that [his family] lived at one time at or near a beet farm, although this etymology has been questioned." I've not been able to find any other RSs, though I've got limited access to journals. Alakzi (talk) 16:26, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
From "Miscellanea: [Beethoven's Name]", 1988, The Beethoven Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 23.: "In German, following the sense of the Flemish origin of the name and its probable meaning 'beet yard,' the first syllable is considered to be 'Beet' and hyphenation is accordingly: 'Beet-hoven.'" So, nothing new there. Alakzi (talk) 16:39, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

This may not be a published reference, but in it a genealogist has been skimming records and fill databases with his findings. The change from Bettenhoven to Beethoven and Bethoven happened after 1485. Amateur etymology is a real plague. Look what some did to Arnold. The process is the same: cut a word in two and then translate the two halves. Beet-hoven, Schwarze-negger, Kis-singer, Washing-ton. Riyadi (talk) 18:34, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 10 October 2015[edit]

Please ADD Beethovens AFRICAN ancestry because the TRUTH deserves recognition. -Specifically, his mother was a Moor, that group of Muslim Northern Africans who conquered parts of Europe–making Spain their capital–for some 800 years. RealTruthIsComing (talk) 19:27, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: These are not WP:RS, and this is not new ground you're breaking. Take a look through the talk page archives. Cannolis (talk) 19:41, 10 October 2015 (UTC)
He looks black but that's me looking at old paintings, not a reliable source. Babe Ruth also looks black but no reliable sources mention it, so it isn't in Babe's Wikipedia article. And it's clearly why the Nazis tried to deny his Flemish roots. But that's just common sense not a reliable source. Popish Plot (talk) 20:09, 23 October 2015 (UTC)