Can you hear Beethoven’s heart issue in his music?

The famous composer Beethoven may have had a heart arrhythmia, and when you break down some of his music, experts say you can actually hear its rhythm. The discovery is the result of a joint effort by a medical historian, a cardiologist and a musicologist from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. SEE ALSO: Breakthrough may offer hope for people with heart damage Together, the team investigated whether or not Beethoven used his heartbeat to compose music as a substitute for sounds from the world around him. The composer was deaf while developing some of his best-known works, and experts theorize a heightened awareness of his own heartbeat was was allowed him to create music. Of course, because there was no reliable medical technology 200 years ago when Beethoven was alive, it is impossible to say with certainty what physical ailments he suffered from.  Modern researchers can only go from personal accounts and descriptions noted in old writings, and the diseases Beethoven was suspected to have range from kidney disease to abnormal bones destruction. This latest study, however, puts heart disease at the forefront of the issues Beethoven may have suffered from, at least in some experts’ opinions. According to first author Zachary D. Goldberger, several of Beethoven’s compositions match the asymmetrical patterns of irregular heartbeat, creating what he called a “musical electrocardiogram.” “We can’t prove or disprove that Beethoven had many of the diseases he’s been supposedly afflicted with because almost all of today’s diagnostic medical tests didn’t exist in the 18th century, and we are interpreting centuries-old medical descriptions into the context of what we know now,” Goldberger told MNT. “While these musical arrhythmias may simply manifest Beethoven’s genius, there is a possibility that in certain pieces his beating heart could literally be at the heart of some of the greatest masterpieces of all time.” SEE ALSO: Practicing yoga is good for your heart! Arrhythmic patterns were noticed in many of the composer’s works, but particularly among those which Beethoven himself described as extremely emotional. Experts feel this emotion felt during the music was directly related to the heart rhythm Beethoven was experiencing at the time. In the middle of the Cavatina, for example, the key changes abruptly to C-flat major. The research team explained this change, coupled with with the unbalanced rhythm found in the artist’s works, evokes a negative emotion and disorientation many people described as akin to “shortness of breath.” The American Heart Association indicates arrhythmia is used to describe any abnormal fluctuation in heart rate–too fast, too slow, or with long pauses in between. Because arrhythmia is erratic, it is not surprising that so many different sequences are found in Beethoven’s extensive works.The post Can you hear Beethoven’s heart issue in his music? appeared first on Voxxi.

Did Beethoven use his heart to composure his music? (Shutterstock)

The famous composer Beethoven may have had a heart arrhythmia, and when you break down some of his music, experts say you can actually hear its rhythm.

The discovery is the result of a joint effort by a medical historian, a cardiologist and a musicologist from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

SEE ALSO: Breakthrough may offer hope for people with heart damage

Together, the team investigated whether or not Beethoven used his heartbeat to compose music as a substitute for sounds from the world around him. The composer was deaf while developing some of his best-known works, and experts theorize a heightened awareness of his own heartbeat was was allowed him to create music.

Of course, because there was no reliable medical technology 200 years ago when Beethoven was alive, it is impossible to say with certainty what physical ailments he suffered from.  Modern researchers can only go from personal accounts and descriptions noted in old writings, and the diseases Beethoven was suspected to have range from kidney disease to abnormal bones destruction.

This latest study, however, puts heart disease at the forefront of the issues Beethoven may have suffered from, at least in some experts’ opinions. According to first author Zachary D. Goldberger, several of Beethoven’s compositions match the asymmetrical patterns of irregular heartbeat, creating what he called a “musical electrocardiogram.”

“We can’t prove or disprove that Beethoven had many of the diseases he’s been supposedly afflicted with because almost all of today’s diagnostic medical tests didn’t exist in the 18th century, and we are interpreting centuries-old medical descriptions into the context of what we know now,” Goldberger told MNT. “While these musical arrhythmias may simply manifest Beethoven’s genius, there is a possibility that in certain pieces his beating heart could literally be at the heart of some of the greatest masterpieces of all time.”

Be heart healthy
The irregular patterns of arrhythmia can be found in Beethoven’s work. (Shutterstock)

SEE ALSO: Practicing yoga is good for your heart!

Arrhythmic patterns were noticed in many of the composer’s works, but particularly among those which Beethoven himself described as extremely emotional.

Experts feel this emotion felt during the music was directly related to the heart rhythm Beethoven was experiencing at the time. In the middle of the Cavatina, for example, the key changes abruptly to C-flat major. The research team explained this change, coupled with with the unbalanced rhythm found in the artist’s works, evokes a negative emotion and disorientation many people described as akin to “shortness of breath.”

The American Heart Association indicates arrhythmia is used to describe any abnormal fluctuation in heart rate–too fast, too slow, or with long pauses in between. Because arrhythmia is erratic, it is not surprising that so many different sequences are found in Beethoven’s extensive works.

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The post Can you hear Beethoven’s heart issue in his music? appeared first on Voxxi.