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Did you know that Nietzsche was also a music composer?

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Nietzsche – Piano Music – Da geht ein Bach

Despite finding most of his influence in philosophy and philology, Nietzsche also composed several works for voice, piano and violin. Surprised? Fear not: Nietzsche’s compositions might come as a revelation to even the most clued-up classical music geeks.

Nietzsche’s involvement in music began in 1858 at the prestigious Pforta school in Naumburg, Germany, when he started to work on musical compositions.

He was also introduced to the music and writing of Richard Wagner, who introduced the philosopher to the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt after they met in 1868. Surrounded by great 19th century composers, it was easy to see how Nietzsche’s love for music could be nurtured.

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Despite his love for music, the polymath’s compositions were heavily criticised – even by his friend Wagner. The story goes that in 1871, Nietzsche sent a birthday gift of a piano composition to Wagner’s wife, Cosima. When Cosima played the piece in public, Wagner left before the end, and one of the guests found him rolling around on the floor, laughing, shortly after.

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