Schulz's Beethoven: Schroeder's Muse
page 115 of 156

Charles Schulz
Peanuts •  12/16/1964

Schroeder's Beethoven birthday party has evolved from listening to the entire Ninth Symphony to singing the famous Ode to Joy melody. A fascinating interaction happens between Schroeder and the guest at the door between the second and third panels. After hearing the guest respond that he or she doesn't know the melody, Schroeder responds with a "!" How can anyone not know one of the most famous melodies of all of Classical music? The melody first appears in the last movement of the symphony. The orchestra plays it first, then the baritone soloist sings it with words, and finally the choir sings it after the soloist has taught it to them and to the other soloists. The text is Beethoven's own re-arrangement of the famous poem "To Joy" by Schiller, which had inspired Beethoven when he was a teenager.