University of Michigan Health System Summary: Could it be that when Ludwig van Beethoven composed some of the greatest masterpieces of all time that he was quite literally following his heart? Authors of an essay that appears in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine analyzed several of Beethoven's compositions for can diabetes cause heart palpitations of a heart condition some have speculated he had.
The rhythms of certain parts of renowned works, researchers say, may in fact reflect the irregular rhythms of Beethoven's own heart caused by cardiac arrhythmia.
We think we hear some of those same patterns in his music. This is especially apparent in the world of arts and music, which reflects so much of people's innermost experiences," Howell adds. The essay's lead author is Zachary D. Goldberger, M. Steven Whiting, Ph. Sudden, unexpected changes in pace and keys in Beethoven's music appear to match such asymmetrical patterns. Take for example the final movement "Cavatina" in Beethoven's String Quartet in B-flat Major, Opusan emotionally-charged piece that Beethoven said always made him weep.
In the middle of the quartet, the key suddenly changes to C-flat major, involving an unbalanced rhythm that evokes dark emotion, disorientation and what has even been described as a "shortness of breath.
Researchers identified arrhythmic patterns in other pieces as well. They studied the Piano Sonata in A-flat major, Opus -- the central sonata in a group of three that comprise Beethoven's final contributions to the genre -- and the opening of the "Les Adieux" Sonata sonata opus 81a, in E-flat major written during the French attack on Vienna in Beethoven has been linked with a litany of mysterious health problems including inflammatory bowel disease, Paget's disease abnormal bone destructionliver disease, alcohol abuse, and kidney disease.
His most often described ailment was deafness, which the authors say could have heightened his other senses and made him even more aware of his heartbeat. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Journal Reference: Zachary D. Goldberger, Steven M. Whiting, Joel D. The Heartfelt Music of Ludwig van Beethoven.