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Was Beethoven a Freemason?

Posted by Philip 
Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 01:02AM
Time for some more healthy polemic, Forum members! So, this time drawing heavily on Solomon, he writes that there are many pointers to B's 'involvement' in Freemasonary (whilst not going so far as to claim that B was a signed-up Lodge member), viz :
a) his early involvement in the Lesegesellschaft in his Bonn years (possibly a hidden masonic order);
b) Karl Holz's assertion that "Beethoven was a Freemason, but not active in later years";
c) Paul Nettl's belief that B was the "incarnation of Masonic ethics and philosophy ..";
d) B's frequenting of the beer-house 'Zum Rosenstock', a presumed meeting place of clandestine freemasons;
e) his teacher Christian Gottlob Neefe belonged to the Order of Illuminati;
f) Many of his friends and close acquaintances were masons : Ries (father), Wegeler et al ...;
g) that many of B's patrons (Lichnowsky, van Swieten, Erdödy et al) were active in Masonic circles ...

... and so on. There are many more details and examples in this fascinating Solomon essay. And could there be a masonic message in Schiller's Ode to Joy?

You may well argue that what does all this have to do with the music, in formal terms. Quite a lot, it would seem. For a tempting starter, why is the key of E-flat major so prevalent in B's music? According to Somomon this is the key of music used in masonic rituals. That the masonic connection (world-view, politics, ethics and so on) would have some bearing on how B perceived the function of music. All such points can help throw light on his music and therefore needs serious consideration.

Over to you, ladies and gentlemen.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 02:37AM
Philip Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
There are many more details and examples in this fascinating Solomon essay.

Which essay is this, Philip, as it has escaped my attention for some reason.


> You may well argue that what does all this have to
> do with the music, in formal terms. Quite a lot,
> it would seem. For a tempting starter, why is the
> key of E-flat major so prevalent in B's music?
> According to Somomon this is the key of music used
> in masonic rituals.

E flat is mentioned only because of its three flats.
A simple look at masonic music, e.g. Mozart's -including Die Zauberflöte-, shows that there is not a "masonic" key prevalent.
within this way of approaching "masonic musical" thinking A major should be a masonic key as well (three sharps). which it isn't either.

There are Masonic signals etcetera in abundance in the Zauberflöte, e.g. the rhytm of the opening chords of the overture, just to mention one example.

But Tatatataaa is definitely non-masonic.


That the masonic connection
> (world-view, politics, ethics and so on) would
> have some bearing on how B perceived the function
> of music.


Music doesn't possess a "special place" in the Masonic rituals. Only where a lodge is phycially a large chamber or room some music is helpful when during a ritual candidates have to walk around a lot relatively speaking.
"Masonic thinking" was in the age of Enlightenment prevalent in the upper (Nobility) and middle (lower Nobility and wealthy tradesmen) classes of society in Austria (and the United States!). Even Emperor Joseph II confessed himself to it (not a Mason), as e.g. did George Washington (who was one).

If there were something like "Masonic thinking" within B's works, then he wouldn't have discussed his ideas with women, as they cannot be Masons (althought there are past and present exeamples of "Sisterhood").
Nevertheless he did, and in doing so showing that his ideas are rooted in general ideas circulating in society in those revolutionary days.


All such points can help throw light on
> his music and therefore needs serious
> consideration.

Being a Mason myself I can assure you that B's music doesn't contain much -if any- evidence that he himself was a member of one of the Brotherhoods

Which ofcourse definitely does NOT exclude the possibillity that B WAS a Mason

I'm afraid this one is a waste of time, but I like healthy polemics ;-)))

>
> Over to you, ladies and gentlemen.
>


Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 02:38AM
years back in another board.... someone found something of beethoven being an Mason in the da vinci code book. I don't think he wasn't a mason.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 10:10AM
I agree completely with JB in this matter. I don't see where this can lead to anything of substance. It's common knowledge that Beethoven was greatly influenced by the ideals of the Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment. So what else is new? That there might be hidden masonic messages in his scores does, indeed, smack of a "Da Vinci Code" approach to his music. Was there possibly a Knight Templar lurking somewhere under his piano?
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 05:13PM
Duplicate.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2007 05:14PM by Maurice Colgan.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 05:13PM
Count Leo Tolstoy joined the Masons for a short time. A Very short time.

A brother- in- law's parents were involved in the cult? My sister Rita often attended "ladies Evenings". But all that was back in the UK IN the 1960s.

Lodges have rather a poor image here in Ireland. :-)

Now James Mason and Perry Mason were more my cup of tea, stood on one foot trousers rolled up :-)

Beethoven's beautiful music lodges itself in my brain, where it is hugged!

[irelandtoo.blogspot.com]
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 07:16PM
Angel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> years back in another board.... someone found
> something of beethoven being an Mason in the da
> vinci code book. I don't think he wasn't a mason.

In my view, the Da Vinci Code is riddled with all sorts of inaccuracies from beginning to end, so I didn't give much credence to the claim that Beethoven was a Mason.

Adelaide
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 07:51PM
JB says the thread is a waste of time. Frits agrees with JB. Frits makes flippant comments, JB dismisses the subject. No gentlemen (assuming you are such), the debate is not over, despite your postings. Who are you to say so? Mr Colgan informs us of how the music is lodged in his brain. Best place for it, Mr Colgan. I, for one, appreciate any attempt to throw light on Beethoven's music. Let the guy (I mean 'Philip') develop his thread. Other people on this forum have opinions too.
Please continue, Philip, though I would be interested to read how you think this may have bearing on the music.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 08:32PM
Sauron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> JB says the thread is a waste of time. Frits
> agrees with JB. Frits makes flippant comments, JB
> dismisses the subject. No gentlemen (assuming you
> are such), the debate is not over, despite your
> postings. Who are you to say so? Mr Colgan informs
> us of how the music is lodged in his brain. Best
> place for it, Mr Colgan. I, for one, appreciate
> any attempt to throw light on Beethoven's music.
> Let the guy (I mean 'Philip') develop his thread.
> Other people on this forum have opinions too.
> Please continue, Philip, though I would be
> interested to read how you think this may have
> bearing on the music.

No thread that has a musical tie in to LVBeethoven's compositions/thought processes is a waste of time in this forum-

It is a fact that what is revealed on one thread may also provide understanding to something else in another thread....

For instance: An author (someone on this board is going to answer this question correctly, I jus know it) once stated that in regards to another subject, the eternally beloved one: if we knew more about her and who she was/is, we would know much, much more about him.

So, I agree with Sauron, guys and gals:

Please continue....

PhoenixIsRising




Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 08:47PM
Phoenix is Rising : yes, any connection to Beethoven is worth pursuing. Philip?
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 08:49PM
Sauron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Phoenix is Rising : yes, any connection to
> Beethoven is worth pursuing. Philip?

yes, Philip (who likes to pursue good food): cough it up, pal :-)))))))


Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 09:26PM
Nah Phoenix, I'm still chewing it over.
Sauron : I appreciate your comments, but I can defend my position quite happily alone. No offense meant. I'll get back to this thread later.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 09:53PM
Sauron, why do you address me as "Mr Colgan", he was my father :-) I am Maurice around here, I hope so anyway.

It's my nature to be wary of theories. But I do enjoy the ebb and flow of thought and humour around here.

Digesting Philips posts has become quite a pleasure. I can almost taste his Masonic pie.

Yes every facet of the Beethoven story should see sunlight shone upon it. What reflections we may get yet?
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 10:10PM
Masonic pie indeed! You sure know how to get me going (or snarfing/drooling) MC. To be serious for a moment, I will get back to you on this thread.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 10:39PM
JB Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
"Which essay is this, Philip, as it has escaped my attention for some reason".

You surprise me, JB. For your information, the original essay reference is :
"The Masonic Thread" and "The Masonic Imagination" under the title "Beethoven, Freemasonary, and the Tagebuch of 1812-1818," Beethoven Forum 8 (2000).
Frits, take note too, if you consider this thread to be pointless. Perhaps Solomon is half-educated, to compliment him slightly. LOL, yes?
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 10:53PM
I agree with all of you: Any connection to Beethoven is worth pursuing. I like healthy polemics ;-)))


Which essay did you refer to Philip, as it has escaped my attention for some reason.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2007 11:02PM by JB.
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 11:12PM
JB : the original essay reference is :
"The Masonic Thread" and "The Masonic Imagination" under the title "Beethoven, Freemasonary, and the Tagebuch of 1812-1818," Beethoven Forum 8 (2000).
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 11:15PM
thank you Philip. Oops: that's on my shelves.... :-(((
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 11:19PM
Naughty boy, you are JB! Slapped wrists for you then!!
Re: Was Beethoven a Freemason?
July 23, 2007 11:22PM
Autch.
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