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The Romantic Era 1820-1900
The end of the 1700s was a turbulent time that
brought many changes to the world. People wanted
to be in charge of their own lives and did not want
kings and queens telling them what to do.
Romantic Era Inventions
The Romantic Era was also characterized by the
Industrial Revolution, a time when manufacturing
became mechanized and people left farm life to
work and live in cities where manufacturing plants
were located. Scientific and mechanical
achievements were made in the development of
railroads, steamboats, the telegraph, telephone,
photography and sound recordings.
Joseph Niépce was a French inventor, most
noted as one of the inventors of
photography. He is most notable for
producing the first photographs, dating to the
1820s. As revolutionary as his invention was,
he is little known even today.
Composers began breaking the rules of
music at the end of the Classical period.
They went even farther in the Romantic
period, using this freedom to express their
ideas and emotions. Their music is very
dramatic and personal.
Romantic composers were often inspired by poetry, art, folk
legends, stories, nature and their own imaginations.
Ludwig von Beethoven loved to walk in the country and his
6th symphony is known as the “Pastoral” Symphony. It
describes a brook, a thunderstorm and shepherds in the
country. Richard Strauss who lived at the end of the
Romantic period, wrote An Alpine Symphony about a day
he spend walking the mountains when he was a boy.
The music of the past greatly interested Romantic
composer, Felix Mendelssohn. In particular he loved the
prelude and fugues of J.S. Bach who had died 60 years
before. Mendelssohn organized and conducted a
performed a concert of Bach’s music and people
rediscovered what a great composer he was.
A very important invention came in 1815 with
invention of the valve. Valves are cylinders
or pistons that move to alter the length of the
tube that air passes through inside a brass
Flutes and clarinets were made easier to play
with a new system of keys. This new system
of keys also used on the saxophone, which
was patented in 1846.
Romantic Clothing
After 1825 the decade saw sleeves billow to huge
proportions by 1833. They came to typify the look we now
associate with the costume of the Romantic Era.
Romantic Hairstyles
Women's hair between 1825 an 1845 was elaborate and ingenious. The most
modish hair fashion was the 'Apollo Knot', a striking style tending to lean to one
side. Another lesser style was the 'Madonna' coiffure with the centre parted and
built up with ringlets at crown and sides.
Romantic Era Homes
1780 - 1840: Federal and Adam House Styles
Picture Dictionary of American Colonial House Styles: Federal and Adam Styles