Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author


HAPPY 243RD BIRTHDAY LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN! | Beethoven with CakeIn honor of the day I offer up a few Beethoven jokes.

Beethoven himself loved a good joke. According to his pals, no one laughed louder at Beethoven’s jokes than Beethoven himself, who would throw his head back and howl with inappropriately loud laughter. (We are told that Beethoven’s friends invariably laughed along, not because the jokes were funny but because they got such a kick out of Beethoven’s own reaction to them.)

The available repertoire of Beethoven jokes is, unfortunately, rather poverty stricken. Out of sheer stubbornness I refuse to relate any joke that concludes with the line, “Oh, that’s just Beethoven decomposing.” Neither will you find any of the various jokes that conclude with the line, “the bassists were loaded in the bottom of the 9th” or “Arnold Schwarzenegger never performs Beethoven because he claims ‘I’ll be Bach’”. Finally, we will not repeat any of the “what’s on the piano stool?/Beethoven’s last movement” jokes here; HEY, I’m trying to maintain a modicum of taste in this blog, okay?

Here we go.

Having just crossed the road, why did Beethoven kill the chicken?
It kept saying ‘Bach, Bach, Bach’.

Why couldn’t Beethoven find his composition teacher?
Because he was Haydn.

A very old conductor was about to perform his final concert. An audience member in the front row beckoned to a violinist and asked, ‘What’s the old man conducting tonight?’ The violinist answered ‘I don’t know what he is conducting but we’re playing Beethoven’s Fifth.’

(I know, this is more a conductor joke than a Beethoven joke, but like I said, halfway decent Beethoven jokes are few and far between, so we must take what we can get.)

What was Beethoven favorite fruit?
Ba – na – na – na!
(Think about it.)

Yes, pretty stupid. But I do believe that Beethoven himself would have liked them, yes I do! Meanwhile, should you be so inclined, I would ask that you offer up a Beethoven story of your own.


  1. Dear Schuppi who is fat as chorizo,
    Keeps “fiddling” the theme of my trio.
    While making love to his bride,
    She suffocates in stride,
    Screaming “finish allegro con brio!”

  2. in heaven beethoven and bach are arguing who is the better composer
    bach: my wiki page is longer
    beethoven: I conducted a symphony deff
    bach: at least there isn’t a movie about a dog with my name.
    beethoven: so.
    bach: well your chickens think I’m a better composer because they only say my name
    beethoven: you may have won this time, but i’ll be BACH!!!!!!

    (it’s ok if you don’t get this it is pretty bad.)