But by the age of 44, he was almost totally deaf and unable to hear voices or so many of the sounds … It's said that Beethoven was never the same again after this incident, because he had confronted his deafness for the first time. But for much of his career he was unable to listen to what he had written. The effect of his gradual descent into deafness upon his music corresponded to the three generally accepted periods of his career (early, middle, and late) in revealing ways. Beethoven would have seen from Ries's face that there was beautiful music playing, but he couldn't hear it. The one thing everyone knows – or thinks they know – about Ludwig van Beethoven is that he composed some of music’s greatest masterpieces while completely deaf. Ludwig van Beethoven’s music includes some of the most memorable, profound, and beautiful compositions of all time. What can be agreed is that in spite of Beethoven’s terrible condition he continued to compose extraordinary music including the Symphonies 2 -9, Piano Concertos four and five; the ‘Moonlight’ Piano Sonata to name but a few. Beethoven could apparently still hear some speech and music until 1812. The work during these final and increasingly silent years of Beethoven’s life do not descend into self-pity and gloomy despair.