Symphony No. 3, Op. 55 by Ludwig von Beethoven "Eroica"

Movement 1


Ludwig van Beethoven wrote Symphony no. 3 between 1803-1804, initially dedicating the work to Napoleon Bonaparte. At the time Bonaparte's anti-monarchical ideals embodied the growing nationalism and belief in the rights of common people, a quality that Beethoven admired. He withdrew that admiration when Bonaparte proclaimed himself Emperor of the French, preferring instead the subtitle, "Eroica," meaning heoric. In 1806 the published subtitle read, "Heoric Symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man." 

Reflection Questions

  1. In what way does the melody suggest heroism? 
  2. Consider the development of the melody throughout the first moment. How does this work tell a story?
  3. How does Beethoven paint a picture through the music he composes? 

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