Classical Composer Term Paper

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music composer Wolfgang Mozart and his life and death. The writer concentrates on the theories that have been put together regarding what may have killed the composer, including bad pork, bad heart and a jealous peer. There wee 12 sources used to complete this paper.

One of the greatest composers in history was composer Wolfgang Mozart. He put together musical marriages that were unheard of in his time and today are still considered genius. Mozart was a man of many traits and was well-known for his quirky personality especially at the end of his life. His death has been shrouded in mystery for many years and theorists still work to try and draw s conclusive picture about what may have happened to the man in his final days. Before one can begin to understand the various theories surrounding his death one must have a grasp on who the man was (Mozart (

Mozart, who was named after his grandfather spent his life as a composer. It is said that he began his illustrious career at the tender age of three when he learned to play the keyboard. By the age of five he started composing, which by any standards in any era, is considered prodigy and genius. By his teen years he was traveling the world and had added several other instruments to his repertoire (Mozart ( ability to play many instruments served him well when he composed his symphonic stories because he could hear with his own ear before asking someone else to accompany him and play it. He became a concert master in 1772 and continued his skyrocket climb to worldwide fame. He tried in vain however to get a court position, even using his mother's influence and traveling with her, until his mother's death in 1778 at which time Mozart gave up his quest and concentrated again on his music full time (Mozart ( Salzburg he was appointed a court organist. Mozart had arguments and tension with the archbishop and resigned his position as court organist 1781. Throughout all of these ventures he continued to compose and become more famous throughout the world for his musical genius abilities. He died in 1791 and since his death there have been many theories as to what he died from. Theories abound from bad heart, to bad pork to murder by a jealous peer. As the medical and scientific community improve technology different theories are being debated and tested. Putting the cause of his death to rest seems to be an important goal in the music field though the actual truth of the matter may never be known for sure. One thing that is frequently discussed is that his death tied closely with his final great work, The Requiem. Many believe he was composing his own death and that theory pervades today (Mozart (

There have been many theories about what killed the famous composer but one of the newest and most interesting theories is the theory about pork cutlets (Theory pp A18). It has been said that he died of rheumatic fever, pneumonia, murder and syphilis, but this new idea points to a bad pig (Theory pp A18). He died at the age of 35, which was not completely alien during that era but was till considered young, especially for someone with the resources to seek and receive the finest medical care that was available. Even at the time however, medical science was archaic at best and there was no method for testing to find organisms and bacteria's in the blood stream. This complicates the mysterious style death in any case because one could be poisoned or they could die of food poisoning and the truth would never be known. Today's advanced medical technology could have easily discovered the cause of his death and scientists have worked to retrace his final days as best as they can and try and piece together a cause of death (Theory pp A18). This theory blames the commonly known organism trichinosis (Theory pp A18). This illness is usually brought about because the victim eats a piece of bad pork. Today there are many precautions taken both in the food industry and the home when it comes to the safety of meat, but during Mozart's lifetime there were fewer facts known which meant fewer precautions when it came to the handling of meat.

Because records indicate that his symptoms included typical trichinosis it is a firmly argued theory. The symptoms that he died with included a rash, a high fever, sore joints and limbs as well as swelling of those limbs. While those symptoms can be found in any number of disorders or diseases they are also indicative of trichinosis and it is said that Mozart ate pork shortly before he took ill and died.

Mozart died 15 days after he became ill. His doctors offered only a vague cause of death, "severe military fever," and no autopsy was performed (Theory pp A18). "

Due to widespread rumors, a lack of records and Mozart's hasty burial (in an unmarked grave the following day, attended only by a gravedigger), speculation has given rise to as many wild and dubious theories as the JFK assassination (New Evidence Shows Mozart Was Killed by a Pig (, Herr Mozart's wife, said that in his last days the composer believed that he had been poisoned." This does not discount the theory that it was a bad piece of pork as it was possible to poison someone by feeding them bad pork.

Kill pp 00)The main crux of the theory of bad pork comes from the symptoms combined with a letter he wrote to his wife shortly before his death. "What do I smell?... Pork cutlets! Che gusto. I eat to your health, " said his letter of Oct. 7(New Evidence Shows Mozart Was Killed by a Pig (" Because the organism was not recognized for another fifty years it is possible according to theorists that he died form it and nobody knew because there was no knowledge of his existence.

Another theory about the death of the great composer was that Mozart died of a bad heart caused by rheumatic fever.

Mozart was probably the victim of an acute case of rheumatic fever, " said Dr. Faith T. Fitzgerald, an internist and professor of medicine at the University of California, Davis." Again, the ability to determine a cause of death was limited at the time he died and the only thing scientists can do now is to speculate based on recorded thoughts and ideas and the ability of current science (Manning pp).

Today rheumatic fever is rare but in the composer's life it was a common ailment (Sleuth, 2000). He died during a historically noted epidemic of the illness around Europe and scientist believe this is what killed the music genius. Because it is known that Mozart had the disease several times as a child it does not surprise the advocates of this theory that scientists have opened the possibility of the disease damaging his heart and then later in his life being the cause of his death. This theory sounds plausible based on the rash and the fever for rheumatic fever and the swollen limbs which point to a commonly known byproduct of heart failure. Another clue to the theory of heart failure caused by rheumatic fever is the fact hat he gave away his canary away (Sleuth, 2000). He had loved that canary because of the natural music that it made and he could no longer stand the sound of it singing. Being irritable is a classic symptom of the disease according to medical science today.

Perhaps the most interesting theory about Mozart's death is the theory of murder (Blame pp). Scientists have taken a long time to piece this theory together because of the public's desire that his death be attributed to something less common that an illness. Many people make those that they admire into heroes and as such they have a hard time accepting ordinary or mundane causes of death. Scientist and music experts have worked to test the theory of murder since the death of Mozart, and have decided it is a real and possible cause of his demise. Fans of the man accused of the murder, Antonio Salieri, disregard the theory and insist their beloved composer would not do it and had no need, as he was a great in his own right. The theorists who do believe in the murder theory however, say otherwise. They allege that Salieri was so jealous and enraged by the wonder and beauty of Mozart's Requiem that he decide to kill the man and stop the competition which he believed he would never win as part of (Blame pp).

The accusation that Mozart was killed by this rival has been forever imprinted on the music filed following a movie and a play that recreate the theory of murder by a jealous peer (Price pp…

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