Ludwig van Beethoven was born in a small city in Germany in 1770 and started playing the piano when he was very small—so small he had to stand on the piano bench to reach the keys. When his father heard him play, he knew right away that he would be a big star.
Part 1: Meet Mr. Big
Get to know Classical music's biggest star
Part 2: Listening to Beethoven's 5th Symphony
The riff heard ‘round the world
Part 3: Listening to Beethoven's 6th Symphony
Painting Pictures with Music
Part 4: Listening to Beethoven's 9th Symphony
Ode to Joy
Meet Beethoven, study the science behind the instrument, and discover how classical music is anything but boring
Get inside the mind of a composer-- from a popular song, to a Broadway musical, to a symphony, how does a composer write music?
You might see some of these instruments when you come to the Kennedy Center, watch a performance by your school band, or at any other concert you attend! Click the slides to learn more about some of the most-frequently spotted instruments in each family.
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