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Romantic Era Study Guide
 “Romantic” means – individual expression, emotion
o Classical vs. Romantic
 Classical: elegant, clear, and formal
 Romantic: original, evocative, expressive
 Nationalism: pride in one’s country, unique “sound” for
country’s music.
o The “common folk” are the “truest embodiment of
 Folk Music
o French Revolution sparked nationalism around the
 Every middle class household had a piano
o Piano Music:
 Clara Schumann: composer and pianist
 Frederic Chopin – composer and pianist
 Wrote “etudes” or “studies” for piano
 Character Piece: Program Music for solo
 Fanny Mendelssohn : Piano Cycles
o Germany: Lied(er) – short song for voice and piano
 Robert Schumann
 Schubert (Der Erlkonig/Elf-king)
 Song Cycle – collection of songs unified by a
 Death of Beethoven sparked the Romantic Era
 Women now got famous as performers, but were still not
quite as well-respected as composers.
o Music to tell a story WITHOUT WORDS.
 Program Symphony
 Hector Berlioz’s “Symphony Fantastique”
 Multiple Movements
 Symphonic Poem
 Only one movement
 Smetana: Moldau (river)
o Music for instruments that is just music, with no
o Johannes Brahms: Symphonies (mostly 4 movements)
 American Music
o Shape-Notes: a so-called “easy” to read notation
system, particularly used in church music
o Parlor Songs – short songs for singers, and usually
piano. Parlor = “living rooms”
 Stephen Foster – I Dream of Jeannie with the
Light Brown Hair, Camptown Races, Oh
Susannah, Beautiful Dreamer
o Minstrel Shows: featured white actors portraying
black characters in blackface makeup
o Opera
 Opera Seria (serious) Opera Buffa (comedic)
 Singspiel – singing and speaking
 Giuseppe Verdi – Italian “bel canto” operas
 “Bel Canto” means “beautiful singing”
 Example: Rigoletto
 Germany – Richard Wagner –
 Gesamtkunstwerk – “complete music
o The Ring of the Niebelung
 Leitmotifs – themes for a character or idea
 Exoticism in Opera
 “Carmen” from a French Composer, about a
Spanish Gypsy
 Turandot and Madama Butterfly – about
Japanese characters, but written in Italy