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Ludwig van Beethoven on Critics

What I learned from Ludwig van Beethoven about Critics

Welcome to Make Daily! This email contains an idea, reflection, and a simple action you can take on your work today.

Idea 💡

“A true artist is expected to be all that is noble-minded, and this is not altogether a mistake; on the other hand, however, in what a mean way are critics allowed to pounce upon us.”Ludwig van Beethoven

Reflection 🤔

If you create anything online, critics are waiting to attack.

It could be an acquaintance from high-school, a random shit-poster, or some anonymous troll. Their comments can make you feel small and question your abilities. And at their worst, they can even make you give up entirely.

So how can you deflect what critics say about you?

Action ✅

3 ways of Dealing with critics:

  • Threat Response
  • Qualified Feedback
  • Perception

Threat Response

Your bravery threatens them. Since they’re too afraid to try themselves, they attack those that do.

Misery loves company... especially on the internet.

Qualified Feedback

There is a difference between getting trolled and receiving feedback.

If there is something positive you can learn from the comment, then it’s valuable to remember. Qualify the feedback to make sure it’s worth keeping around. If not, throw it in the dumpster.


The fear of what others might say prevents us from trying at all.

Don’t fall for the trap. Celebrate the day you get your first troll. If someone leaves a shitty comment on your work, that means you’re doing something right.

Deeper Dive 🌊

Did you know that Beethoven’s famous ‘9 symphonies’ (arguably the most famous composition in history) was slammed by critics when it was first created? Here’s a piece called The Critics Vs Beethoven by composer Brandon Nelson detailing it’s early response:

“Today, we think of Ludwig van Beethoven’s nine symphonies as masterpieces.  But this mentality was not as widespread when these works were first performed nearly 200 years ago.  Indeed, the critics of the time generally panned Beethoven’s symphonies, sometimes rather harshly.

Beethoven composed his First Symphony in 1800 and premiered it the same year on April 2nd.  Criticism of this symphony was quite unfavorable on its first performances.  Leading critics of the time, including Joseph Preindl, the Abbé Stadler, and Dionys Weber, were quite upset by the fact that the introduction to the first movement began with what was then considered a “discord.”   Another critic described the work as “a caricature of Haydn pushed to absurdity.”

Some years later, however, the reviewers had reversed their position on this work and even Carl Maria von Weber, one of the severest critics of Beethoven’s symphonies, spoke highly of it.”

About the creator 👤

Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. Beethoven remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music; his works rank amongst the most performed of the classical music repertoire and span the transition from the Classical period to the Romantic era in classical music. (Via Wikipedia)

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