Lecture 19 

Beethoven part 2

Beethoven’s music sets in motion the machinery of awe, of fear, of terror, of pain,

and awakens that infinite yearning which is the essence of romanticism.

—E. T. A. Hoffmann


Beethoven, part 2 

We continue our examination of Beethoven with the third and fourth movements of his Fifth Symphony. to demonstrate that his music is not all of the heroic character that many of us ascribe to him, we will also listen to a few examples of his lyrical and humorous sides.


Topics covered:

  • the scherzo takes the place of the minuet in the sonata cycle
  • Beethoven's Fifth seen as a struggle and ultimately a triumph in the face of adversity
  • movement 4: darkness vanquished
  • the lyrical side of Beethoven
  • Beethoven's humor
  • conclusions



  • feel the progression in the symphony from dark to light
  • understand the context of this symphony in relation to Beethoven's life and his coming to terms with his deafness
  • hear the lyrical and humorous elements in his music



  • watch lecture 19 (in multiple parts for quicker download)
  • review previous chapters, as necessary
  • read textbook, Chapter 20
  • As you are reading your textbook, go through the Listening Exercises in textbook sequence, listening to the examples provided.
  • regarding developing listening skills: you should be in the habit of developing your listening skills early in the game - the assignments will get more complex through the semester and you may find yourself unable to keep up. As simple as these early assignments may seem to some of you, they will help to keep you on the right track, and help you develop the skills required for a greater appreciation in listening to music, including the music that you listen to for your own enjoyment. Of course, those objectives are in total sync with the success you hope to have in this class. Remember that your ability to recognize the music on your CDs will be tested and will, of course, impact your grade.   


Audio / Video lecture

  • click lecture segments below in sequence 
  • presented in several segments to reduce download time 
  • total lecture time: approx. one hour 15 minutes (all segments included) 
  • can be downloaded for portable media players by right clicking each segment link and choosing save option. (note: older Macs and Mac notebooks with single-button mice: control-click) 


Lecture 19.1 

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Movement III

Lecture 19.2 
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Movement IV, part 1
Lecture 19.3 
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Movement IV, part 2
Lecture 19.4 
Beethoven's lyrical style
Lecture 19.5 
Beethoven's humor and conclusions