Beethoven music, especially his later works, are generally not deemed to be an ideal source of classical music for children for several reasons. Beethoven is considered by many to be the transitional composer between the Classical and Romantic Periods in Music History. To be able to understand why his music - especially his later ones, are not ideal music for light children’s listening, it is necessary to understand the periods where these Beethoven music come from.
In classical music, there are compositional structures and conventions that influence a composer’s music which, on the whole, form the collective style of the period.
Baroque Music and Bach Music
For example, the classical music between 1600 to 1750 known as the Baroque period, is characterized by steady tempo and precise rhythmic pattern. Examples of great Baroque music are Bach music, Handel Music, and Vivaldi music. Music, therefore, that promotes regularity, precision, consistent, steady but complex polyphonic texture and sound tonal and chordal progression from the Baroque Period is known to develop mathematical, logical, scientific, left-brain abilities in the child.
Classical Music and Mozart Music
The Classical Music which occurred in 1750 to 1820 or so, is characterized by light, playful melodies made with two contrasting yet interacting themes which encourages the same light, playful, happy characteristics in the child. Examples of great classical music are Mozart music.
Romantic Music and Beethoven Music
Beethoven is considered to be the transitional composer between Classical Period and Romantic Period. This means to say he is the key figure who brought about the change from Classical Music – happy and playful – to Romantic Music which is characterized by turbulent dynamics, dark tonal colors, and irregular tempos with no known prominent rhythmic pattern.
Child developmental psychologists, music educators, and musicologists believe that these may greatly affect the temperament of the developing child.
This is the reason why Beethoven music, especially his later works that no longer overlap with the Classical Period in music history, is not ideal for light children’s listening. The best Beethoven Music for such purpose are his early works such as Symphony No. 9, known as Ode to Joy, and Fur Elise.