We don't think of Beethoven as someone who has something to teach us, but rather as someone whose works we have to learn for the sake of knowing them.  The closer I get to his work the more I think that he was actually showing us how to hear, that is, how we actually hear.
It works like this: A newly invented instrument, that is, newly invented during his lifetime, was exposing the range of what happened within any given pitch as well as between pitches generated by different kinds of instruments, that is the clash between different acoustical systems.  
The new invention, the piano.
This would account for the many works he wrote with and for that instrument, solo and with others.
The trouble started when musicians, taking the piano for granted, no longer responded to this remarkable source of insight and treated Beethoven's works as they exist on paper, not in the ear.

 


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