Beethoven wrote his "Für Elise" for his girlfriend "Elise Röckel". The first three notes of the piece, E-D♯-E, make a little "sense" about it, as the letters of the notes somehow form the name "Elise". The L and I were eliminated because they do not represent musical notes. An E♭ is notated as "Es" in German and is pronounced as an "S", and D♯ is enharmonically equivalent to an E♭. This makes E-(L)-(I)-D♯-E, which converts to E-(L)-(I)-E♭-E, then to E-(L)-(I)-Es-E, and finally, it turns itself into E-(L)-(I)-S-E. enter image description here

Did Beethoven REALLY intend to create the "Elise" motif?

closed as off-topic by Todd Wilcox, Tim, Richard, Dom Feb 19 at 12:55

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    All pure supposition. And where did 'L' come from? It's not like Bach's 'BACH'. – Tim Feb 19 at 7:05
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it’s not related to music practice or theory as outlined in the help center. – Todd Wilcox Feb 19 at 7:31
  • But Todd, I think one might better learn e-dis-e-dis etc. when thinking of E-lise ... :) – Albrecht Hügli Feb 19 at 9:02
  • The "L" is just a letter in Elise's name. "L" and "I" are not played, as they do not represent musical notes. It's E-(L)-(I)-S-E. – Maika Sakuranomiya Feb 19 at 12:33
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    It is assumed that the piece originally had a different name; probably "Für Therese". – tommsch Feb 19 at 15:43

Kopitz presents the finding by the German organ scholar Johannes Quack [de] that the letters that spell Elise can be decoded as the first three notes of the piece. Because an E♭ is called an Es in German and is pronounced as "S", that makes E–(L)–(I)–S–E: E–(L)–(I)–E♭–E, which by enharmonic equivalents sounds the same as the written notes E–(L)–(I)–D♯–E.[10][15]


We can suppose that he

didn’t really intend

But this is opinion based.

I suppose Elise had to practice and strengthen her 4. and 5. fingers ...

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    Edited. Sorry, you are right: the es is only possible as substitution for dis ... Do you know by the way the quartet by D. Shostakovich d-es-c-h? There it is quite clear that this was his anagram, as he did tell us so. – Albrecht Hügli Feb 19 at 13:48
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    Yes. I know the DSCH. The ELISE acts similar to DSCH and BACH. – Maika Sakuranomiya Feb 19 at 13:50

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