Comparing Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 And The Beatles

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Final Paper
The two pieces I have chosen to compare are Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and The Beatles' “Eleanor Rigby”. The lyrics of “Eleanor Rigby” tell the story of two lonely individuals who are unable to find connection or meaning in the world around them, despite living in a large city. Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” was composed to reflect his own issues with deafness as well as societal issues of his time period. Despite belonging to different eras and genres, The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” both show a common artistic intention to create themes of despair and loneliness. Through their compositional strategies, both artists were successful in conveying their emotional impact.
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is …show more content…

Throughout the piece, it alternates between loud and soft passages. Beethoven’s use of dynamic contrast is clearly shown in the transition from the third to the fourth movement. Beethoven brings the volume down to that of a whisper just before moving into the loud triumphant theme of the fourth movement. Beethoven’s use of minor keys, which are often associated with feelings of loneliness and melancholy, helped convey Beethoven’s intended emotions (Hahn). The first movement is in C minor, which Beethoven often used to create this sense of struggle and adversity. The minor key use is also seen in the opening “fate motive” which creates a sense of unease and anticipation for the listener. Beethoven was highly successful in achieving his intended emotional impact with “Symphony No. 5”, as the music evokes a range of intense emotions from loneliness to triumph. Amidst the chaos of the Napoleonic Wars and his own personal struggles with deafness, Beethoven used these experiences to create the emotionally charged composition, “Symphony No. 5”. Beethoven had an interesting relationship with Napoleon. He originally wrote his third symphony for him, titled “Sinfonia Intitolata …show more content…

It was very uncommon to have a classical string ensemble in rock at this time, and yet the Beatles took the risk of implementing it, consisting of four violins, two violas, and two cellos. The strings create a somber tone, complementing the lyrics and enhancing the emotional impact of the song. There are the two characters Eleanor Rigby and Father McKenzie, who are both disconnected from the world around them. The Beatles used their lyrics to paint a picture of a desolate and empty existence, where even death doesn’t offer comfort. The lyrics “Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been” paint this woman who shows up after a wedding to pick up the rice that was thrown on a happy couple. Paul McCartney said with respect to those lyrics “This idea of someone picking up rice after a wedding took it in that poignant direction, into a ‘lonely people’ direction.” The song was released in 1966 when many could resonate with the meaning. The Vietnam War was active, and many women lost their husbands, leaving them alone. The Beatles' use of lyrics, instrumentation, and the arrangement of the vocals help develop the mood and emotion of the piece. Lyrics like “Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear No one comes

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