Google searchers on December 17 were treated to a celebration of the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven in his 245th year. The Google doodle — and interactive puzzle — honoring Beethoven, whose symphonies are among mankind’s immortal achievements, was created by Leon Hong collaborating with artist Nate Swinehart and engineers Jonathan Shneier and Jordan Thompson. It’s a great reminder from high tech wizards that high culture endures. Players of the Beethoven puzzle help him piece together his familiar compositions, after the fictional Beethoven mixes up the sheet music on his way to a concert. He gets by with a little help from his friends.
It’s a fun and intriguing little brain exercise. But rolling over Beethoven in this format just isn’t quite as much fun as the Beatles had doing it (see below.) There have been many cannon shots across the bow to announce that a new age is dawning, but few have been more joyous than Chuck Berry’s 1957 hit “Roll Over Beethoven” which not only proposes turning the old man over in his grave, but advises he “tell Tchaikovsky the news” too. Technology like Google’s is changing our culture very swiftly, but sometimes — just sometimes — it still seems a little dull compared rock and roll. Look at those people dance.