It starts with Beethoven. Beethoven composed a piano rondo titled "Rondo alla ingharese quasi un capriccio" in G major, Op. 129 (Italian for "Rondo in the Hungarian [i.e. gypsy] style, almost a caprice"). A manuscript of the piece is pictured here with the words “alla ingharese quasi un capriccio” written in the upper left corner. However, it is better known by the title “Rage Over a Lost Penny, Vented in a Caprice” (from German: Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen, ausgetobt in einer Caprice). These words were written by Beethoven’s acquaintance Anton Schindler upon the same manuscript (sorry, no picture). The piece has been dated to between 1795 and 1798. So, what is the backstory, or origin, of the “Rage Over a Lost Penny” title? The commonly told version of the legend behind the title goes something like: “At one point Beethoven was composing his famed RONDO E CAPRICCIO, a booming and boisterous piece that exuded energy and vitality. One night a neighbor heard a loud dispute. Beethoven was in a rage, accusing a maid of stealing a gold penny. The maid ran out and was never heard from again. The neighbor then heard furniture crashing, and he could only conclude that the great Maestro was tipping over furniture, madly looking for the lost gold penny. The story spread through the neighborhood, and became part of the legend of Beethoven’s bad moods and curmudgeonly behavior.” How and by whom the German word “Groschen” got translated into “penny” is a mystery to me. How the legend then further changed “penny” to “gold penny” is yet another mystery. I don’t think the literal translation from the German “Groschen” is “penny” (correct me if I am mistaken). I don’t know German, and I don’t know if current meaning of Groschen would correspond to the meaning in 1795! And don’t forget, Beethoven was living in Austria at the time, not Germany. Are there any Gold Groschen? I thought groschen was originally a catch all name for thick silver coins. Can anyone help with figuring out what coin could have been the one that the maid lost and thus set off Beethoven at the time he was composing this fantastic and enjoyable piece? Have a listen while you ponder this dilemma… Thanks for reading and for any help you can provide?