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An introduction to the history of the romantic period of music

Introduction[ edit ] The Romantic era spans from 1820 A. It can be characterized by the individuality of style, where there is an emphasis of self-expression and individuality in compositional style. The music is generally very programmatic, where the instrumental music depicts a story, idea or a poem - e.

The programmatic style can also be seen in the titles, which are usually very descriptive. Nationalism becomes important during this era, where composers created music using folk song, history and dances of their homelands.

There is a variety of mood, atmosphere and tone color. The orchestra expanded due to the growing size of concert halls and opera houses, causing an increase in the power of the brass section. The woodwind section takes on new tone colors, with the addition of the contrabassoon, bass clarinet, piccolo and the cor anglais. There are huge technological improvements in musical instruments which made them more musically flexible and accurate.

All instruments were required to play with more virtuosity. Harmony[ edit ] In Romanticism, a broader harmonic vocabulary was used, such as chromatic harmonies, adding color to the music.

  • Romantic music can be divided into early and late, with a boundary of ca;
  • Harmony[ edit ] In Romanticism, a broader harmonic vocabulary was used, such as chromatic harmonies, adding color to the music.

Dissonant, unstable chords where also used more freely. Delayed resolution of dissonances gave an increased feeling of angst. Extensive modulation was now used much more than previously in the Classical era.

  • The range of pitch is expanded;
  • Up until the Romantic period, orchestral music was dominated by absolute music, namely the symphony and concerto;
  • He departs substantially from established conventions, both in form and in style;
  • Composers writing for public performance, on the other hand, retained professional autonomy, allowing experimentation to flourish like never before.

Because of this extensive modulation, there is less tonal gravity the centration around one common key. Dynamics And Rhythm[ edit ] Romantic music uses a wide range of dynamics from fff fortississimo: The range of pitch is expanded. Forms[ edit ] Composers wrote musical miniatures as well as monumental pieces. Some genres are carried over from classicism, but are more greatly exploited, such as sonatas and symphonies.

Romantic Music

Additionally, a few new forms are invented. It is standardly a composition for solo voice and piano. The piano accompaniment is an integral element in the piece, and serves as an interpretive partner to the voice, rather than a simplistic accompaniment. Poetry and music are thus intimately fused. The song composers interpret the poems, translating their mood and atmosphere into music.

Most songs have a piano introduction and in many cases a postlude. Types of Art Songs: Strophic - The same music is used for each stanza. Like a hymn in structure. Through-composed - New music is used for each stanza. Allows music to reflect changing moods in the poem. Song Cycles - Contains several art songs, grouped into a set. Often unified by a single story line.

His first phase was between 1770 — 1802, during which his music was strongly influenced by Mozart and Haydn. He wrote his first two piano concertos, first two symphonies, string quartets Op. His second phase was between 1802 — 1815. During this stage he was going deaf. He greatly expanded upon existing forms, and infused his music with heroic expression.

His third phase was from 1815 — 1827. Now he was totally deaf, leaving him completely isolated from society. He departs substantially from established conventions, both in form and in style.

His works include the 9th symphony, the Missa Solemnis, and the late piano sonatas and string quartets. Beethoven believed that there was a moral force behind music. He revised and refined his work repeatedly.

He used classical forms and techniques but gave them new power and intensity, creating a bridge between Classicism and Romanticism. His works convey tension and excitement through syncopations and dissonances. Entailing many contrasts in mood, tiny rhythmic ideas are repeated over and over to create momentum. There is an enormous range of expression in his work: He used extremities of pitch far more.

He unified the movements of his symphonies, sonatas and string quartets. Often one movement leads directly into another with out a pause attacca. There are also thematic inter-relationships between movements. Many of his movements use sonata form, but the development sections and the coda are greatly expanded. He uses the scherzo rather than the minuet for the 3rd movements of his pieces.

His Scherzos have rapid movements with rhythmic drive. His most famous works are his 9 symphonies, which were conceived for large orchestras. In some of them he adds piccolos, trombones and contrabassoon. All instruments play difficult music, and the odd-numbered symphonies are more forceful, whereas the even-numbered symphonies are very calm and lyrical.

He incorporated fugues extensively in his later works. However, Beethoven scratched out its dedication to Napoleon when he found out the general had invaded Austria. Nicknamed the Eroica Symphony, it was the longest symphony ever composed at the time of its premiere.

The first four-note motif is used extensively in first and third movements. The third movement theme reappears in the finale. The last two movements are connected by a bridge. This contrasting element that he retained by employing the motif in all four movements of Symphony no. Paganini 1782 - 1840 [ edit ] Weber 1786 - 1826 [ edit ] Rossini 1792 - 1868 [ edit ] Though his career as an operatic composer only spanned two decades, Gioacchino Rossini was one of the most significant operatic composers in Italy in the first half of the 19th century.

Along with Bellini and Donizetti, Rossini was among the last of bel canto composers. After this Rossini wrote no further operas and very little else until his death in 1868, but he left a profound impact on many composers in both Italy and France.

Donizetti 1797 - 1848 [ edit ] Mendelssohn 1809 - 1847 [ edit ] Schumann 1810 — 1856 [ edit ] Robert Schumann was a very conservative composer, whose works are very autobiographical and programmatic in nature. Schubert 1797 — 1828 [ edit ] Schubert was a Viennese composer and child prodigy. His output consists of over 600 songs, nine Symphonies, eight completed operas, six masses, and an abundance of piano music, string quartets and other chamber works.

His songs embrace a wide spectrum of moods, and his melodies range from simple folk-like tunes to complex lines. He makes use of very rich harmonies and rich accompaniments. The Poem is in dialog throughout. The story is about a father riding through a storm on horse-back with his sick child in his arms.

The boy has visions of the Erl King — a symbol of death. A through-composed setting is used to capture the tension and excitement of the poem. The piano part has a triplet motion, describing the galloping of the horse.

The motif in the bass symbolizes the Erl King an introduction to the history of the romantic period of music death. Schubert makes one singer portray several characters. The an introduction to the history of the romantic period of music of the piece is its closing recitative, announcing the father's discovery on reaching home of his son dead in his arms. The Symphony[ edit ] During the Romantic era, two groups of Symphony composers arose.

Berlioz 1803 — 1869 [ edit ] Berlioz was a French composer, whose work contains abrupt contrasts in dynamics and tempo changes. He assembled hundreds of musicians in his orchestras to achieve an enormous range of power. He made use of unusual orchestral effects such as col legno, and the combination of bells and brasses. His melodies are long, irregular and asymmetrical.

  • I384 The development of the orchestra was paralleled by that of the piano;
  • His works include the 9th symphony, the Missa Solemnis, and the late piano sonatas and string quartets;
  • He makes constant changes of tempo and mood in his pieces;
  • Donizetti 1797 - 1848 [ edit ] Mendelssohn 1809 - 1847 [ edit ] Schumann 1810 — 1856 [ edit ] Robert Schumann was a very conservative composer, whose works are very autobiographical and programmatic in nature.

All his works are for orchestra or for orchestra with chorus and vocal soloist, and have a literary program and are dramatic and use new forms. Symphnonie Fantastique, 1830 Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique 1830 is a five movement programmatic symphony. The theme changes in character throughout the symphony. He makes use of a large and colorful orchestra consisting of bells, harps, timpani, piccolo, cor anglais, etc… He has the heaviest orchestration in the last two movements which depict the fantastic and the diabolical.

Western Music History/Romantic Music

A waltz, using ternary form and including the harps. Starts with muted strings. Bells are used, tubas and bassoons intone the Dies Irae, symbolizing eternal damnation. There are contrasting Pizzicato in the strings. The movements ends with a figure in the lower strings.

There is a huge crescendo at the end, culminating in a musical nightmare. Brahms 1833 — 1897 [ edit ] Brahms was a German composer, influenced by Schumann to a small extent. He created masterpieces in all forms except opera. His output includes four symphonies, two piano concertos, one violin concerto, short piano pieces, many songs over 200 and a large number of choral pieces.

Strongly influenced by Bach, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, his music embraces a wide range of moods and uses intricate and dense polyphonic textures.

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