Master composer and Romantic artist Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote possibly the most famous four notes of all time: the beginning of his Fifth Symphony (three short beats followed by a long one). Perhaps the unsettling sound of Fate knocking at the door?
"Music is the mediator between the spiritual and sensual life," he said of his great gift.
Born on this day in Bonn, Germany, Beethoven learned to play the piano when he was four and by 12 he was an organist at court, publishing music and supporting his family. He was eccentric and devoted to composing, waking up early in the morning to write and carrying bulging notebooks of music with him at all times.
In a cruel twist of Fate, he began to gradually grow deaf in his twenties. He overcame despair with the divine resolute to write while he could. He focused all his energy on his compositions, writing masterpieces despite his handicap.
"Tones sound and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes," he described passionately. "What I have in my heart and soul, must find a way out. That is the reason for music."
Creativity is good company.