Beethoven’s Tempi

I’m an avid podcast listener, and one of my favorites is WNYC’s Radiolab. The show features in-depth explorations of topics in science and culture and is marked by a unique, light-hearted production style.

Recently, while driving on some New Hampshire backroads to visit some relatives, I heard an episode about Beethoven that called into question what his final intended tempo markings for his nine symphonies actually were. Could Beethoven have intentionally altered the his tempos later in life to keep performers on their toes for hundreds of years to come?

The episode is a refreshing look at music that many of us think that we have nothing left to learn about. I highly recommend giving it a listen.


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