Was Mozart Deaf?

Mar 16 · 5 min read

Mozart is possibly the most famous composer of classical music. There are a lot of rumors and theories about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Sometimes people ask me, was Mozart deaf?

No, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was not deaf. He died at the age of 35 years old with his hearing intact. You might be thinking of Ludwig van Beethoven, a famous composer who went deaf.

Who Was Mozart?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer, instrumentalist and music teacher. He was born in Salzburg Austria and he was the youngest child of Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart. From a very young age Mozart showed great musical Talent. He toured Europe with his parents for several years performing for royal and aristocratic people.

Back when Mozart was alive most talented musicians worked for very wealthy people. They were called the aristocracy. Mozart's parents realize they could make Mozart famous if they took him around and had him perform for all the aristocrats. He was very popular among the wealthy in Europe because he was so extraordinarily talented. This was the beginning of Mozart's Fame. Check out this scene from the movie Amadeus to see a dramatization of Mozart’s talent:

Mozart then traveled to Paris as a young man and established himself as a composer. A composer is someone who writes music. After that he returned to Salzburg where he briefly was employed in the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg. In this world he would have been writing music and Performing music for the Archbishop. This would have been a really great job back then for a musician. Most musicians were competing to get a job like this, it meant steady income and inability to be creative.

All musicians want to be creative and love to write music. I teach music lessons in Beaverton and I encourage all my students to compose original music! Mozart was restless and aware of his genius and thought Salzburg was too small for his talent. He then moved to Vienna where he met some success. Vienna was a very popular city amongst composers. It would be like moving to New York nowadays.


Why Is Mozart Famous?

Mozart was famous because he was extremely talented. He was also extremely talented at a very young age. It is rare for young children to show such musical ability. But by age 5 Mozart was already composing his own music. This is not normal behavior for a child.

Mozart also had an extremely high output of compositions. Very few artists write a huge amount of Music. Mozart wrote 600 pieces of music by the time he was 35 years old. This is an extremely large output and not typical of most musicians. It's very rare for artists to create so much. Some famous composers only wrote a handful of symphonies, because it is so difficult to write them and they take so long. This is another reason why Mozart was famous. People were in awe of how much music he could write.


Mozart vs Beethoven

As far as deaf composers you're probably thinking of Beethoven. He ended up going deaf later in life and wrote his Ninth Symphony being mostly deaf. It's amazing to think that one of his greatest works he never actually heard outside of his own head. It's very impressive that he was able to write a symphony without being able to hear very well. He cut the legs off his piano and sat on the floor so he could feel the vibrations.

Mozart wrote music during the “classical period” of classical music. Beethoven started composing during the “classical period” and transitioned into the romantic period. Either two different styles of music and you can hear the differences if you listen to them. Most people find romantic music much more emotional.

I love listening to Beethoven. It's such incredible music. It can really take you away to another place and you can get lost in the music. I've seen many of Beethoven’s Symphonies performed in Symphony Hall in Boston. This is a music venue that some people say has the best acoustics in the whole world. It was so amazing to hear different Symphonies performed there. Have you even wondered, was classical music for the rich? Check out this article to learn more:

I've also heard Mozart perform there as well and that is an incredible experience also. Mozart's music is so mathematical and precise it's very amazing. It can get a little tiring to listen to in my opinion though. I find sometimes it lacks emotion and that's why I prefer to listen to Beethoven. But you can't deny Mozart's influence in establishing certain trends in western music. His output was simply amazing; he truly was a genius. He wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for goodness sake everyone knows that. It doesn't seem that impressive but it's lasted for hundreds of years. This is one way to tell if something is important or not, how long it lasts.

That's a good way of showing Mozart's influence on Western classical music. He laid the groundwork for a lot of aspects of western music. Much like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star lays the groundwork for most people's understanding of Music. They first hear that song when they are a little baby and it starts to orient them towards Western cadences.

Sometimes when you listen to read old things they seem very simple. You must remember that everything is built upon stuff that happened in the past and the people in the past were discovering these sounds or ideas. So what sounded simple to us was actually groundbreaking in its time. This is why Mozart is amazing because he broke a lot of ground. What we take for granted today he had to create hundreds of years ago. It takes a true visionary to create new ideas out of nothing.

Especially in such a short period of time. Mozart wasn't alive for that long. 35 years old is not very old especially considering you wrote 600 pieces of music. That's over 200 pieces of music a year. That's almost a piece every other day. Can you imagine writing that much music? I would get a headache.

If you have any free time today you should go and check out some of Mozart's music. He most likely will recognize a lot of it because it is played often. You might not even know but you've heard Mozart before. I recently heard one of his operas used in a TV commercial. So go on to Spotify and check out some Mozart and see what you think.


Thank you so much for reading this article. I really enjoy writing about all things to do with music. It means a lot to me that you would finish this article all the way to the end. If you're interested in other topics feel free to check out the other articles on this website. It really brings me a lot of joy to write these articles. I will be writing more in the future so make sure to check the website often if you enjoy topics such as this. I'm very passionate about music and music education. It's important that this information is not lost and is passed on to future generations. With Arts funding being cut and schools I worry about music education. Thank you so much for everything!

Nellie Hughes
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