Deaf Composers?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Kenneth D. Friedrich, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. I brought this question to a composers forum and they thought I was crazy. Are there or have there ever been noted composers who were born deaf? The music would definitely be divinely or mentally inspired. No outside influence or awareness of what modern historians expect of today's writing style. I would be curious to listen to such a product.

    Ken F.
  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    you're crazy!! :wink:

    Can't say I can think of any at the moment, although there's been a few have gone deaf and continued composing... none that were born deaf ever came up while I was doing my a level...
  3. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

    I believe Stockhausen was born deaf.

    Well, I assume that from listening to his music :wink:
  4. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    Woohoohoo! :lol:
    Mr Sparke has claws holding his quills!
    Who would've thought it?

    Geezer wasn't deaf though was he?
    I thought it was just Stockhausen Syndrome?
  5. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Wasn't Sibelius born deaf or blind or something? Couldn't play the piano either.
  6. Nope, not deaf. Just heard a recording of an interview back in 1962. Besides, to be deaf and have that rolling in the head would make me go insane as well. Just don't hear that avante garde stuff.

    Mr. Sparke, you'd be amazed at how many of the college kids who wish to emulate this style in the name of innovation and 'progress'. Are we sure we're not the outsiders in this age? But that's a whole other thread.

    Ken F.
  7. Anglo Music Press

    Anglo Music Press Active Member

  8. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    That's what they tell you! It's actually because it's easier to write rubbish than proper music. :D :D
  9. What's rubbish? What's proper music? I get a bad feeling the answer coming.

    Ken F.
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it be more relevant/interesting/fun to speculate on the possibility of noted adjudicators having been born deaf? :wink:

    [Ouch! :shock: (doesn't snatch back wrists quite quickly enough to avoid sharp slap from Mods.......)]

    Sorry; too predictable - someone had to do it!

  11. BVD Press

    BVD Press New Member

    Not born deaf, but Beethoven became deaf.
  12. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Tut tut. Karlheinz always speaks very highly of you! :lol:


    P.S. I like Trans a lot but Aus Dem Seiben Tagen leaves me cold.
  13. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe it's because it's a week piece :wink:

    Although not a great fan of Stockhausen, from my albeit limited knowledge of his oeuvre, I was quite impressed by "Gruppen", as presented in the Simon Rattle TV series.
  14. Not a lot of composers are born deaf, but there are a few who have become deaf - Beethoven being the famous example

    Blindness is one that has plagued a few composers too - Rodrigo was blind from birth, J.S.Bach went blind in his old age and there are a few others (can't remember any more off the top of my head)

    The contempory composer, Helmut Oehring's parents are both deaf and his first language was sign language!
  15. jobriant

    jobriant Member

    Not deafness, but worse?

    Bedrich Smetana wasn't deaf, but he suffered what must have been, for a musician and composer, an equal curse -- tinnitis. (Didi I spell that right?)

    At a point in his life, he began hearing a constant, high-pitched tone -- he said it was an A-Flat. It eventually drove him to madness, if I remember correctly.
  16. I would be interested to hear about Evelyn Glennie. She lost her hearing at a young age and is a composer of percussion music. Is she popular in the UK?

    Ken F.
  17. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    And a remarkable performer, too!
  18. drummerboy

    drummerboy Member

    She isn't completely deaf, can't remember the proper term, but similar to someone with very limited vision who can see a slightly and uses a white stick etc.
    She's generally not known for her composition skills (I've only ever heard some of her arrangements and 'A Little Prayer'), and I'd say she's popular in the UK!
  19. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Doesn't that mean the opposite i.e. "profoundly deaf" = "totally without hearing"?

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