Saturday, April 15, 2017


Vincent P. de Luise M.D.

Mozart in 1770, with the Order of the Golden Spur
Anonymous oil copy of the lost 1770 original

In Mozart's Misericordias Domini, KV 222, at the 1:05 mark, you can hear the "Ode to Joy" melody, i.e., Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." It appears several times in Mozart's composition.

How can this be?

Mozart wrote the Misericordias in 1775, over 40 years before Beethoven started composing his ninth symphony, the Choral (Beethoven began his ninth symphony in 1817 and took seven years to finish it, in 1824).

Did Beethoven copy Mozart?

Beethoven in 1819
by Joseph Karl Stieler

It is highly unlikely. There is no evidence that Beethoven ever heard the Misericordias, or ever saw the autograph.

A similar example is with Beethoven's "Eroica" symphony theme. Mozart had penned a similar melody thirty seven years early in the overture to his opera, "Bastien und Bastienne" KV 50, in 1768. Bastien was performed only once in Mozart's lifetime, and not published until well into the 1800s. Again, it is highly unlikely for Beethoven to have seen the manuscript or to have heard a performance.

These serendipitous motivic events are what I have termed, "Convergent Musical Evolution." These melodies are simple and direct, diatonic, with no chromatics and with small intervals between notes; two geniuses independently conjuring and crafting eternal and universal melodies.


Ars longa !


@ 2017 Vincent P. de Luise M.D.

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