You remember Beethoven (aka “Ludwig Van Beethoven”), right? He’s the guy that practically invented “Classical Music” way back in the day—beginning around the time George Washington became the first U.S. President. And we still listen to his stuff today. A least I do, sometimes.
Unfortunately, about the time that Washington was stepping down and John Adams was taking over as the head of our country, Beethoven’s hearing began to fail. History tells us that he could not hear the audience applaud at the conclusion of the premier of his Ninth Symphony. And by 1814 he was almost totally deaf.
As you see from this 1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, Beethoven had quite a head of hair. While that might have made him attractive to the ladies of Vienna, a lock of it snipped before or after his death would prove to be of musical interest in the 21st century. The DNA sequence obtained from that snippet of Beethoven’s hair was used by composer Stuart Mitchell of Scotland to create this musical piece:
But if the maestro could hear Mitchell’s composition played, would he jump for joy? And did Roll Over Beethoven written by Chuck Berry send the immortal composer spinning about for the rest of eternity? Well, you decide for yourself. Here’s Berry singing his “ode” to Ludwig:
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