The 80-page score is a transcription for two pianos of the Grosse Fuge, originally written as the final movement of the String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 130. Written in brown and black ink with extensive corrections in pencil and red ink, it is expected to provide scholars with insights into Beethoven's composition process and the evolution of the work.
The manuscript was discovered in July in the archives of the Palmer Theological Seminary outside Philadelphia. Its whereabouts had been unknown since it was last auctioned in 1890.
Pre-sale estimates had placed its price between Ô£1 million and Ô£1.5 million. "It is not a record, but it is an excellent price," a spokesperson for Sotheby's said.