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Helen, Laureen, Courtney
 A time of strong contradictions between:
Capitalism and Socialism
Freedom and Oppression
Logic and Emotion
Science and Faith
 The expression of emotion and the evocation of
imagination was a primary goal
→ Virtuosity, individualism, and nationalism
 The Industrial Revolution gave rise to a wealthy,
capitalistic middle class
→ Decline in the power and influence of the court
 Music was addressed to the masses as never before
 The development of the music business was an important influenc
e
→ Music critic interpreted the composer to the public,
and set standards for musical taste
 Romanticism is personal and filled with contrasting concepts of
music
 There are contradictions in style among groups of composers
→ There were idealists/absolutists who insisted
that music must exist without extramusical
associations
→ There were also increasing number of composers
experimenting with music that told stories
(imitated sounds of nature, illustrated scenes)
 There was a contrast between nationalism and
internationalism
→ Composers evoked patriotic feelings by using
folklore, folk songs, and dances. Nationalism
became famous in Russia, Poland, and Bohemia.
→ Some composers avoided nationalism in music
in search for an universal musical language.
 Common goal of composers in this era was based on the
premise that a feeling of musical tension is necessary to
achieve a corresponding intensification of emotional resp
onse.
 Women found more opportunities for musical expression, espe
cially as performers, but social and cultural barriers still limite
d their participation as composers
→ Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was the first significant
female composer in America and one of the leading
composers of the "New England School."
→ Gaelic Symphony (1896) and Piano Concerto (1899)
→ Amy March Cheney Beach German pianist, composer
of Lieder and chamber music.
→ Sister of Felix Mendelssohn
→ Oratorium nach den ,Bildern der Bibel,
Gartenlieder (Garden Songs, 1846)
 Men composers still played central roles in
developing Romantic music and modern orchestration.
→ Hector Berlioz: a French composer, conductor, and
writer on music.
→ overtures Waverley , Rob Roy ,Le roi Lear; and
program symphonies Symphonie fantastique, Harold
en Italie (Harold in Italy), Romeo et Juliette
→ Georges Bizet: French opera composer.
→ opera Carmen. An example of his music: Carmen Suite
No. 1, III: Aragonaise.
→ Johannes Brahms, and Frederic Chopin
 Vocal styles underwent a revolutionary change
during the nineteenth century Romantic era.
 During Romantic Era, art song became its own
special category of vocal music - separate from folk son
g, operatic aria, and popular song. It was very lyrical.
 Oratorios – semi important
 Choral music – semi important
 Art Song – most important
 The nineteenth century saw the development of many
different musical styles, so it is difficult to describe
the Romantic style. But as in all the periods we are
studying, certain elements stand out
→ Dynamic range is wider, and there is a larger range
of sound.
→ There is a greater variety of instruments,
including improved or newly-invented wind
instruments.
→ Melodies are longer, more dramatic and emotional.
 The piano became the most popular instrument
→ Played by one person - very individual
expression
→ Short piano miniatures and symphonic works
 Chamber music became less and less popular
 Old instruments were improved and new
instruments were invented
→ Tuba, saxophone, and celesta
 Orchestra grew in size and variety of color
→ English horn, clarinet, more brass and
percussion was added
 Less emphasis on form
 More emphasis on texture and color (orchestration
 Subjectivity is important to both composers and
performers
 Chromaticism
 Wide contrasts in dynamics and tempos
 Composers explored the limits of the major-minor
harmonic system
 Program music became important
 Almost completely vertical structure
 Composers were not only freer musically; they were
freer as individuals.
 Many were celebrities, like today's rock stars.
 Some were quite wealthy.
→ Some could earn income through the sale of printed
copies of his music, tour as a conductor throughout
Europe and North America, produce performances
of his music or operas.
→ Others were supported by wealthy patrons and a
few were supported by their governments.
 Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14-Idée fixe by Hector Berlioz (3)
→ Hector Berlioz turned his orchestra into a vast playground of
sounds in his Symphonie fantastique. In this programmatic
symphony, Berlioz uses a musical theme to represent the woman
loved by an artist who has attempted suicide by opium, only to
fall into a drugged dream state. In each movement this idée fixe
(as he called it) appears in different forms that mirror his vision of
the woman. In the first movement, the theme is abstract and ideal
as is his vision of the woman.
 "Jeux de vagues" from La Mer by Claude Debussy (4)
→ In this excerpt, Debussy uses the merest suggestion of melody
and an ever-changing palette of orchestral colors to portray "the
play of the waves."
 Symphony No. 1 in C minor-Fourth (8)
Movement by Johannes Brahms
→ This melody, one of the themes of the final
movement, is typical of Brahms' graceful
allegro themes. The singable quality of it
immediately attracts the listener, and at
the same time, its musical quality makes it
suitable as the foundation of a works as large
as a symphony.
 http://www.wwnorton.com/college/music/enj10/com
plete/content/unit/romantic.htm?chap=57#2