Main Periods

‘Beethoven’ music is generally divided into three main creative periods. The first, or early, period extends to about (1802), when the composer made reference to a “new manner” or “new way” in connection with his art. The second, or middle, period extends to about (1812), after the completion of his ‘Seventh’ and ‘Eighth’ symphonies. The third, or late, period emerged gradually; ‘Beethoven’ composed its pivotal work, the ‘Hammerklavier Sonata’, in (1818). ‘Beethoven’ late style is especially innovative, and his last five quartets, written between (1824) and (1826), can be regarded as marking the onset of a fourth creative period.

Although ‘Beethoven’ music of the early period is sometimes described as imitative of ‘Mozart’ and ‘Haydn’, much of it is startlingly original, especially the works for piano. His early piano sonatas often have a forceful, bold quality, which is set into relief by the searching inwardness of the slow movements. The ‘Sonata’ in C minor op. 13 (Pathétique, 1798), the most famous of these sonatas, transfers Haydn practice of employing slow introductions to his symphonies to the genre of the sonata. The title refers to a quality of pathos or suffering, which is felt especially in the brooding slow introduction and is twice recalled in later stages of the first movement. The main body of this swift, brilliant movement seems to convey willful resistance to the sense of suffering that dominates the slow introduction. At the threshold of his middle period Beethoven sought a variety of new approaches to musical form. In the ‘Sonata’ in C-sharp minor (Moonlight, 1801), he begins with a slow movement, while typical sonatas of that time began with a fast movement. The movement placid motif (repeated phrase) of broken chords is reinterpreted in the final movement as forceful figuration reaching across the entire keyboard. The sonatas of op. 31, from 1802, each open in an original fashion. The G major, op. 31 no. 1, begins with striking shifts in key, in contrast to the usual practice of remaining in the same key to “ground” the listener. The D minor, op. 31 no. 2 (Tempest), on the other hand, breaks up the opening theme into contrasting segments in different tempi, whereas customary practice called for stating the theme in its entirety at the beginning of a movement.

In the first movement of the ‘Eroica Symphony’, one of the major works from ‘Beethoven’ middle period, he again sought ways to expand upon the prevailing musical forms. At that time, composers usually organized movements in three major parts. First, the exposition introduces the musical themes of the piece. Next, the development takes these themes into other keys, often modifying or fragmenting them. Finally, the recapitulation restates the themes, grounded in the original key. Prefaced by two massive, emphatic chords, the opening theme of the ‘Eroica’ lingers on a mysterious dark moment of harmony—a gesture that is not reinterpreted until much later, at the outset of the recapitulation. After the rhythmic climax of the enormous development section—it is twice as long as the development section in any other symphony of the time—Beethoven reshapes classical norms by introducing extensive new material, which is resolved in a sort of recapitulation in the coda (concluding passage), which follows the movement’s recapitulation. The four movements of the Eroica bear the following expressive associations: struggle, death (a funeral march), rebirth (a scherzo, or rapid dancelike movement, that begins quietly), and glorification. In its narrative design, the ‘Eroica’ is connected to the ballet music of ‘Beethoven’ ‘Prometheus’, op. 43 (1801), from which he borrowed the theme for the symphony finale. This movement of the symphony expresses the exaltation of the ‘Greek’ mythological figure Prometheus in a series of variations on the ballet theme.

‘Beethoven’ had originally intended to dedicate the work to ‘French’ general ‘Napoleon Bonaparte’, whom he idolized, but he angrily withdrew the dedication after learning that ‘Napoleon’ had taken the title of emperor. Beethoven other instrumental works from the period of the ‘Eroica’ also tend to expand the formal framework that he inherited from ‘Haydn’ and ‘Mozart’. The ‘Piano Sonata’ in C major op. 53 (Waldstein) and the ‘Piano Sonata’ in F minor op. 57 (Appassionata), completed in (1804) and (1805) respectively, each employ bold contrasts in harmony, and they use a broadened formal plan, in which the meditative slow movements flow directly into the final movements. The symbolism of the keys used for these sonatas shares in the expressive world of Beethoven’s opera, entitled Leonore in its original version from (1805). The grim F-minor character of the Appassionata recalls the dungeon scenes in this key from the opera, whereas the jubilant close of the ‘Waldstein’ in C major recalls the stirring C-major conclusion of the opera to the words “Hail to the day! Hail to the hour!”. The celebrated Symphony No. 5 in C minor op. 67 from (1808) is the most thematically concentrated of ‘Beethoven’ works. Variants of the four-note motif that begins this symphony drive all four movements. The dramatic turning point in the symphony—where a sense of foreboding, struggle, or mystery yields to a triumphant breakthrough—comes at the transition to the final movement, where the music is reinforced by the entrance of the trombones.

‘Beethoven’ uses here a large-scale polarity between the darker sound of C minor and the brighter, more radiant effect of C major, which is held largely in reserve until the finale. The series of gigantic masterpieces of Beethoven’s third period include the technically demanding Hammerklavier Sonata, completed in (1818), about which he correctly predicted on account of its challenges that “it will be played fifty years hence,” and the ‘Diabelli Variations’. The latter work for piano transforms a trivial waltz by ‘Viennese’ publisher ‘Anton Diabelli’ into an astonishing, seemingly endless series of pieces, each with a unique character; some are humorous or even parodies. These and other late works incorporate fugues—melodies played in succession and interwoven—that reflect ‘Beethoven’ lifelong interest in the music of ‘J. S. Bach’ (known for his keyboard work Art of the Fugue). ‘Beethoven’ second mass, the ‘Missa Solemnis’ in D major op. 123 (1823), also poses formidable technical challenges, as do his fascinating and sometimes enigmatic last quartets and the Ninth ‘Symphony’, whose most readily accessible movement is the choral finale.



The cinema of the ‘United States’, often metonymously referred to as ‘Hollywood’, has had a large effect on the film industry in general since the early ’20th century’. The dominant style of American cinema is ‘classical Hollywood cinema’, which developed from (1917) to (1960) and characterizes most films made there to this day. While ‘Frenchmen Auguste’ and ‘Louis Lumière’ are generally credited with the birth of modern cinema, ‘American cinema’ soon came to be a dominant force in the industry as it emerged. It produces the third largest number of films of any single-language national cinema, with more than 600 English-language films released on average every year. While the national cinemas of the ‘United Kingdom’ (299), Canada (206), Australia, and New Zealand also produce films in the same language, they are not considered part of the ‘Hollywood’ system. ‘Hollywood’ has also been considered a transnational cinema. ‘Classical Hollywood’ produced multiple language versions of some titles, often in Spanish or French. Contemporary ‘Hollywood’ offshores production to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

‘Hollywood’ is considered the birthplace of various genres of cinema—among them comedy, drama, action, the musical, romance, horror, science fiction, and the war epic—having set an example for other national film industries.

In (1878), Eadweard Muybridge demonstrated the power of photography to capture motion. In (1894), the world’s first commercial motion-picture exhibition was given in ‘New York City’, using ‘Thomas Edison’ ‘kinetoscope’. The ‘United States’ produced the world’s first sync-sound musical film, ‘The Jazz Singer’, in (1927), and was at the forefront of sound-film development in the following decades. Since the early ’20th century’, the US film industry has largely been based in and around the 30 Mile Zone in ‘Hollywood’, ‘Los Angeles’, ‘California’. Director ‘D.W. Griffith’ was central to the development of a film grammar. ‘Orson Welles’ ‘Citizen Kane’ (1941) is frequently cited in critics polls as the greatest film of all time.

The major film studios of ‘Hollywood’ are the primary source of the most commercially successful and most ticket selling movies in the world, such as The ‘Birth of a Nation’ (1915), ‘Gone with the Wind’ (1939), ‘The Sound of Music’ (1965), ‘The Godfather’ (1972), ‘Jaws’ (1975), ‘Star Wars’ (1977), ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982), ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993), ‘Titanic’ (1997), and ‘Avatar’ (2009). Moreover, many of ‘Hollywood’ highest-grossing movies have generated more box-office revenue and ticket sales outside the ‘United States’ than films made elsewhere. Today, ‘American’ film studios collectively generate several hundred movies every year, making the ‘United States’ one of the most prolific producers of films in the world and a leading pioneer in motion picture engineering and technology.

Fraternity Project

The memorial is a result of an early effort of ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ fraternity to erect a monument to ‘King’. ‘King’ was a member of the fraternity, initiated into the organization via ‘Sigma Chapter’ on June 22, (1952), while he was attending ‘Boston University’.

‘King’ remained involved with the fraternity after the completion of his studies, including delivering the keynote speech at the fraternity ’50th anniversary’ banquet in (1956). In (1968), after ‘King’ assassination, ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ proposed erecting a permanent memorial to ‘King’ in ‘Washington, D.C.’ The fraternity efforts gained momentum in (1986), after ‘King’ birthday was designated a national holiday. In (1996), the ‘United States Congress’ authorized the ‘Secretary of the Interior’ to permit ‘Alpha Phi Alpha’ to establish a memorial on ‘Department of Interior’ lands in the ‘District of Columbia’, giving the fraternity until November (2003) to raise $100 million and break ground.

In (1998), Congress authorized the fraternity to establish a foundation – the ‘Washington, D.C.’ ‘Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation’ – to manage the memorial fundraising and design, and approved the building of the memorial on the ‘National Mall’.

In (1999), the ‘United States Commission of Fine Arts’ [CFA] and the ‘National Capital Planning Commission’ [NCPC] approved the site location for the memorial.

American Standard

In (1913) ‘Ford’ began using standardized interchangeable parts and assembly-line techniques in his plant. Although ‘Ford’ neither originated nor was the first to employ such practices, he was chiefly responsible for their general adoption and for the consequent great expansion of ‘American’ industry and the raising of the ‘American’ standard of living.

By early (1914) this innovation, although greatly increasing productivity, had resulted in a monthly labor turnover of 40 to 60 percent in his factory, largely because of the unpleasant monotony of assembly-line work and repeated increases in the production quotas assigned to workers. ‘Ford’ met this difficulty by doubling the daily wage then standard in the industry, raising it from about $2.50 to $5. The net result was increased stability in his labor force and a substantial reduction in operating costs. These factors, coupled with the enormous increase in output made possible by new technological methods, led to an increase in company profits from $30 million in (1914) to $60 million in (1916).

In (1908) the ‘Ford’ company initiated production of the celebrated ‘Model T’. Until (1927), when the ‘Model T’ was discontinued in favor of a more up-to-date model, the company produced and sold about 15 million cars. Within the ensuing few years, however, ‘Ford’ preeminence as the largest producer and seller of automobiles in the nation was gradually lost to his competitors, largely because he was slow to adopt the practice of introducing a new model of automobile each year, which had become standard in the industry.

During the (1930) ‘Ford’ adopted the policy of the yearly changeover, but his company was unable to regain the position it had formerly held.


‘Marx Brothers’, five 20th-century ‘American’ comedians, born in ‘New York City’. The brothers were known by their professional names: ‘Chico Marx’ (born Leonard, 1891-1961), ‘Gummo Marx’ (Milton, 1892-1977), ‘Harpo Marx’ (Adolph, also known as Arthur, 1893-1964), ‘Groucho Marx’ (Julius, 1895-1977), and ‘Zeppo Marx’ (Herbert, 1901-1979).

The ‘Marx’ brothers began their careers in vaudeville as the ‘Nightingales’. Later the four oldest brothers appeared with their mother and aunt as the ‘Six Mascots’, then billed themselves as the ‘Marx Brothers’. (Zeppo, the youngest, replaced ‘Gummo’ in the act before the group became stars on ‘Broadway’ and in motion pictures). The brothers appeared in a number of film comedies noted chiefly for their zany sight gags. Such films include ‘Animal Crackers’ (1930), ‘Horse Feathers’ (1932), and ‘Duck Soup’ (1933). After ‘Zeppo’ retired in (1933), ‘Harpo’, ‘Chico’, and ‘Groucho’ appeared with great success in ‘A Night at the Opera’ (1935), ‘A Day at the Races’ (1937), and ‘Room Service’ (1938). Their last film as a team was ‘Love Happy’ (1950).

Each brother had readily identifiable characteristics. For example, ‘Groucho’ had a caustic wit and usually appeared with a cigar and mustache; ‘Chico’ spoke in an ‘Italian’ accent and played the piano; ‘Harpo’ communicated in pantomime and played the harp.

After the brothers ceased making films, ‘Groucho’ continued his entertainment career as master of ceremonies of the television series ‘You Bet Your Life’. He wrote the autobiographical ‘Groucho and Me’ (1959) and ‘Memoirs of a Mangy Lover’ (1964). ‘Harpo’ published his autobiography, ‘Harpo Speaks’, in (1961). The brothers inspired the musical ‘Minnie Boys’ (1970), which was coauthored by ‘Groucho’ son ‘Arthur’.

Eagle ’69

‘Apollo 11’ was the first lunar-landing mission. Launched on July 16 (1969), the crew of ‘Neil A. Armstrong’, ‘Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.’, and ‘Michael Allen Collins’ flew the spacecraft ‘Columbia’ (CSM) and ‘Eagle’ (LM). On July 20 (1969), ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Aldrin’ landed the ‘Eagle’ at the relatively flat and unobstructed Tranquillity site on the ‘Moon’, while ‘Collins’ remained in the ‘CSM’.

The ‘LM’ spent 21 hours 36 minutes on the lunar surface, and the crew spent 2 hours 31 minutes outside the ‘LM’ in a local area excursion on foot to a distance of approximately 50 m (160 ft) from Tranquillity Base. ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Aldrin’ evaluated the capability of working on the lunar surface, established a small scientific station, and collected 22 kg (49 lb) of lunar rocks and soil.

Using the descent stage of the ‘LM’ as a launching platform, the ascent stage of the ‘LM’ took off from the ‘Moon’ surface to rendezvous and dock with the ‘CSM’. The spacecraft departed lunar orbit over two days after arrival. This eight-day mission landed and was recovered safely in the ‘Pacific Ocean’. As a precautionary measure, the astronauts were quarantined for 14 days.

Mac 1984

In (1977) ‘Apple’ introduced the ‘Apple II’, a personal computer able to generate color graphics, with its own keyboard, power supply, and eight slots for peripheral devices, which gave users wide possibilities for add-on devices and software programs.

‘Apple’ established its corporate headquarters in ‘Cupertino’ in (1978). The ‘Apple III’ computer, introduced in (1980), sold poorly because of hardware problems and a high price. With ‘Apple II’ sales soaring, in (1982) ‘Apple’ became the first personal-computer company to record annual sales of $1 billion.

In (1983) ‘Apple’ introduced the ‘Lisa’, a personal computer designed for business use that incorporated a handheld mouse to select commands and control an on-screen cursor. The ‘Lisa’ was followed in (1984) by the ‘Macintosh’ personal computer, based on the 68000 microprocessor manufactured by ‘Motorola’. Like the ‘Lisa’, the ‘Macintosh’, also known as the ‘Mac’, incorporated a graphical user interface, which made the computer easy to operate for the novice user.

‘Apple’ entered the office market with the introduction of its ‘LaserWriter’ printer in (1985) and ‘Macintosh Plus’ computer in (1986), a combination that launched the desktop publishing revolution.

Although the company prospered in the early (1980), ‘Wozniak’ left ‘Apple’ in (1985) to start a company of his own. That same year disappointing sales and internal wrangling led to restructuring, the company’s first layoffs, and ‘Jobs’ departure from the company. ‘John Sculley’, whom ‘Jobs’ had hired in (1983) as ‘Apple’ president and chief executive officer, replaced ‘Jobs’ as chairman of the company’s board of directors.