The 19th Century Virtuoso

Category: 19th Century, Music, Piano
Last Updated: 23 Mar 2023
Pages: 4 Views: 671

A virtuoso is a musician who is technically skilled on an instrument. Virtuosic musicians are known to be specialized in their instrument, perform in front of large audiences, and show off to their audiences. They typically travel far and wide with the intent of dazzling audiences all over the world with their extended techniques on an instrument. Fast notes and special effects can be heard in virtuosic music. The goal of all virtuosos is to achieve fame and fortune.

Performing in front of upper-class audiences and the fact that virtuosic performers composed their own music typically helped them achieve this goal. Fans of virtuosic musicians valued the excitement in watching their spectacular performances, whereas those who were not fans had negative connotations of these kinds of musicians and believed that their music sounded empty. The height of the virtuoso began in the nineteenth-century with musicians such as Niccolo Paganini and Franz Liszt. Franz Liszt perfected the idea of the ideal nineteenth-century virtuoso performer.

As a virtuosic pianist essay writer law, he used his learned technicality and grandiose way of performing to amaze audiences with his professionalism on the piano. His exciting performances started a grand uproar that lead to the rise of an intense fan frenzy known as Lisztomania during the mid-nineteenth-century custom essay writing service. One of Liszt’s most famous pieces, La campanella, gained an abundant amount of attention by his crazed fans. His collaboration of fast notes and specialized dynamics makes up the foundation of the virtuosity within this piece.

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The piece is quite long and Liszt’s performance of the piece is not easy to imitate, making it very unique and extraordinary. He also incorporates his incomparable expertise into the virtuosic piece by showing off his ability to sustain playing lengthy techniques and special effects on the piano. Liszt is known to be very expressive and lively when he plays the piano. Edward Lodewijk “Eddie” Van Halen is the only modern day musician that comes to mind when it comes to one who fits the description of a virtuoso. Van Halen is a Dutch instrumentalist widely known for his exemplary skills on the guitar.

He began his career as the lead guitarist, keyboardist, and one of the founders of the band Van Halen. With the use of his hands and an electric guitar, the Dutch-American musician completely redefined the tapping technique and gave it an original and legendary style. The guitarist gained a tremendous recognition for his technical skills when Rolling Stone magazine listed him as number 8 out of the 100 Greatest Guitarists back in 2011. Eddie Van Halen is undeniably one of the most influential rock musicians of the 20th century.

Eddie Van Halen’s name took the spotlight when he took a turn for the better and became original. The start of his band’s career consisted of solely playing covers to rock songs by other bands. After realizing that doing so was not bringing the band any success, Eddie Van Halen decided to take his guitar playing to another level and developed a talent of his own. He reinvented the tapping technique. Tapping is an old technique on the guitar that initially incorporated the use of one’s left hand and a pick to repeatedly pick at the neck of the guitar.

Van Halen revolutionized tapping when he introduced his exceptional “finger-tapping” to rock music. He added the use of his right hand into tapping in order to reach higher notes. As he continually improved the tapping technique, Van Halen invented extra styles and skills to show off his learned technicality on the guitar. Eddie Van Halen’s musical training began at a very young age with the classical piano. Since introduced to the guitar, he has remained frequently practicing his skills and techniques on the preferred instrument.

He went on to expanding his talents by writing songs for the band he co-founded. Once his band, Van Halen, was signed to Warner Bros. Records, he was able to travel to far places to perform on stages outside of those in small town clubs. For the past 35 years, the famous guitarist has impressed large audiences with his revolutionary two-handed techniques and styles on the stringed instrument. Like most nineteenth-century virtuosos, Van Halen’s highly accomplished and distinguished technical ability greatly displays his virtuosic musicianship.

Virtuosic musicians of the nineteenth-century performed classical music, whereas Eddie Van Halen performed rock music. Rock music is a heavy form of popular music intended to appeal to the many. The romantic and easy-listening forms of classical music do not appeal to everyone. Van Halen’s form of music is usually performed on outdoor stages and is not as formal as performances of classical music. Classical music is performed in indoor concert halls and its audiences normally consist of well-mannered and calm people, unlike those of modern rock concerts.

Eddie Van Halen’s virtuosity is best represented in his famous guitar solo played for Michael Jackson’s hit song “Beat It. ” The collaboration of these two artists was unheard of at first, but once the song caught the attention of worldwide audiences, it was easy to see that Van Halen had outdone himself. His elongated finger-tapping phrases and tapping harmonics on the electric guitar during that unforgettable solo earned him his fame in popular music. Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo for “Beat It” is undoubtedly one of the greatest rock solos of all time.


  1. http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=JfyI5VkyPVU

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The 19th Century Virtuoso. (2017, Feb 09). Retrieved from

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