Essay ponders role of Beethoven’s heart in his music

Jan 16, 2015

Did an arrhythmia influence the works of Beethoven?
Credit Flickr - Eric E Castro

An essay that recently appeared in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine asks the question, was Beethoven literally composing "from the heart"? Could some of Beethoven’s rhythmic inspiration come from the arrhythmia of his own heart?

The essay’s co-authors include a University of Michigan musicologist, a cardiologist at the University of Washington, and Dr. Joel Howell.  He’s a professor of Internal Medicine at the U of M Medical School and member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

Current State's Melissa Benmark talks with Dr. Howell about the origin of this theory.