Ode to Joy
"Ode to Joy" is an ode
Ode is a type of lyrical verse. A classic ode is structured in three major parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Different forms such as the homostrophic ode and the irregular ode also exist...

 written in 1785
1785 in literature
-Events:* January 1 - First publication of the Daily Universal Register * Thomas Warton becomes Poet Laureate* The first steam powered cotton spinner was made by Matthew Bolton and James Watt....

 by the German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

, enthusiastically celebrating the brotherhood and unity of all mankind. Despite the lasting popularity of the ode, Schiller himself regarded it as a failure later in his life, going so far as calling it "detached from reality" and "of value maybe for us two, but not for the world, nor for the art of poetry" in a letter to his long-time friend and patron Körner (whose friendship had originally inspired him to write the ode) that he wrote in the year 1800.

The ode is best known for its musical setting in D major
D major
D major is a major scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. Its key signature consists of two sharps. Its relative minor is B minor and its parallel minor is D minor....

 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

 in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 (completed in 1824), a choral symphony
Choral symphony
A choral symphony is a musical composition for orchestra, choir, sometimes with solo vocalists, which in its internal workings and overall musical architecture adheres broadly to symphonic musical form. The term "choral symphony" in this context was coined by Hector Berlioz when describing his...

 for orchestra, four solo voices and choir.

The Beethoven setting was adopted as the Anthem of Europe
Anthem of Europe
"Ode to Joy" is the anthem of the European Union and the Council of Europe; both of which refer to it as the European Anthem due to the Council's intention that it represents Europe as a whole, rather than any organisation...

 by the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 in 1972 and the then European Community—since 1993 the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

—in 1985; the tune was also used in the anthem of Rhodesia
Rise O Voices of Rhodesia
Rise O Voices of Rhodesia was adopted as the national anthem of Rhodesia in 1974, during the years of international isolation that followed its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom in 1965. The tune was that of the "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Symphony No...

. It has been used in a number of other contexts: notably in Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

's 1971 film A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange (film)
A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 film adaptation of Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel of the same name. It was written, directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick...

, a Muppet
The Muppets
The Muppets are a group of puppet characters created by Jim Henson starting in 1954–55. Although the term is often used to refer to any puppet that resembles the distinctive style of The Muppet Show, the term is both an informal name and legal trademark owned by the Walt Disney Company in reference...

 viral video starring Beaker
Beaker (Muppet)
Beaker is a Muppet character from The Muppet Show. He is the shy, long-suffering assistant of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and is likewise named for a piece of laboratory equipment, although his shape more closely resembles an Erlenmeyer flask....

, and in the Die Hard film franchise, In 1996, It became the theme song for Triple H
Triple H
Paul Michael Levesque is an American professional wrestler, professional wrestling authority figure, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent and actor, better known by his ring name Triple H, an abbreviation of the ring name, Hunter Hearst Helmsley...

 in the World Wrestling Federation until early 1998.
It is also the basic melody for the song "A Song of Joy" by Miguel Ríos, and "Road To Joy" by Bright Eyes.

Other musical settings of the poem include:
  • Christian Gottfried Körner
    Christian Gottfried Körner
    Christian Gottfried Körner was a German jurist. His home was a literary and musical salon, and he was a friend of Friedrich Schiller.-Biography:...

  • Carl Friedrich Zelter
    Carl Friedrich Zelter
    Carl Friedrich Zelter was a German composer, conductor and teacher of music.Zelter became friendly with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and his works include settings of Goethe's poems...

     (1792), for choir and accompaniment, later on rewritten for different instrumentations.
  • Johann Friedrich Reichardt
    Johann Friedrich Reichardt
    Johann Friedrich Reichardt was a German composer, writer and music critic.-Early life:Reichardt was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, to lutenist and Stadtmusiker Johann Reichardt . Johann Friedrich began his musical training, in violin, keyboard, and lute, as a child...

  • Ludwig-Wilhelm Tepper de Ferguson (1796)
  • Johann Friedrich Hugo von Dalberg
    Dalberg is the name of an ancient and distinguished German noble family, derived from the hamlet and castle of Dalberg or Dalburg near Kreuznach in Rhineland-Palatinate...

  • Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (1803)
  • Franz Schubert
    Franz Schubert
    Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

    's song "An die Freude" D 189 (1815), for voice and piano
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский ; often "Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky" in English. His names are also transliterated "Piotr" or "Petr"; "Ilitsch", "Il'ich" or "Illyich"; and "Tschaikowski", "Tschaikowsky", "Chajkovskij"...

     (1865), for solo singers, choir and orchestra in a Russian translation
  • "Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
    Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
    Seid umschlungen, Millionen! , opus 443, is a waltz composed by Johann Strauss II. It was first performed at the Great Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna in March 1892. The title of the waltz was borrowed from Friedrich Schiller's Ode an die Freude . The composition was dedicated to Strauss' close...

    " (1892), waltz by Johann Strauss II
  • Z. Randall Stroope (2002), for choir and four-hand piano

External links

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