The day I played Beethoven’s piano


I WAS just 13 on the sunny afternoon I played Beethoven’s piano.

The battered old grand piano in one of Beethoven’s many Viennese apartments was separated by a thin rope — hardly a barrier to a young music fan. And the security guards were in another room.

I jumped the rope and placed hands on the keys that had been touched by one of humanity’s great geniuses. I managed the first couple of bars of the Moonlight Sonata — about 20 notes — before a very large German security guard grabbed me and threw me out of the house.

Briefly playing that old, out-of-tune instrument was a profound and potent experience; a vague but instinctive connection with some sort of spiritual power.

Since childhood, I’ve felt “connected” in some inexplicable way to Beethoven’s music. I know there are many others who feel the same way.

Beethoven himself said music was “the language of God”. And he was merely dictating the notes from his creator. He said music was a higher revelation than wisdom or philosophy — a mediator between spiritual and sensual life.

All great art — not just great music — has the ability to touch us on the deepest parts of ourselves. It is powerful.


5 thoughts on “The day I played Beethoven’s piano

  1. Is this your story Bryan? Wonderful. Beethoven is my favourite.

    I agree that art of all types, expresses what words often can’t. For me it’s dance. Dance hears the message in music and gives us the visual.

    Now I’m going to attempt to add a clip lol I hope it’s the one I want.

    From one of my favourite shows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.

    Love gone wrong..


  2. Oh for the courage of youth! As a musician I can only imagine the thrill of placing my fingers where Beethoven placed his and hearing the music he heard from that piano! Gotta say I’m more than a little jealous of your experience, my friend!


  3. Thank you for sharing this, i love it when people write about the power and connection of music. music is a powerful thing and its my passion. I sing and play the piano. Im amazed with Beethoven story, not just because of his music but because after he became deaf, he still was able to play. im hard of hearing and being able to sing and play the piano like beethoven would be a task i would love to be able to do.


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