Romantic Era Music

Music of the 19th Century

One would naturally assume that "classical" music is from the classical era. However, several of the well known classical music composers come from the Romantic era. In fact, the classical era was very short and produced only two widely known composers, Mozart and Haydn.

A few of the several recognizable composers of the Romantic era include Brahms, Tchaikovsky and, Schubert, Chopin, Wagner, and Verdi. Some of the less recognizable Composers of the Romantic Era include Strauss, Schumann, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Puccini,and Mahler.

Composers of the Romantic era continued to embrace the ideals of rhythm, melody, harmony, harmonic progression, and tuning of the classical era. What distinguished Romantic from Classical was the perception taken on these ideals. During the Classical era, the conventions were closely followed, while during the Romantic era, composers pushed borders and bent the rules to expand creativity in their symphonies, concertos, sonatas, and operas. Certain composers followed the strict rules of Classical composition more closely than others.

While they did not stray completely from the Classical structure, the Romantic composers did not let the system tie them down. The fact that composers were stretching boundaries in music reflected the objective shared by the inventors, scientists, and politicians in the society during the Romantic era.

As the Romantic era emerged, composers felt more freedom to let their personal experiences and emotion merge into their work. This transition from the Classical to the Romantic era could be explained as weighing the value of emotion of music heavier than the perfection and beauty of music.

Information organized and posted by Amy Marek, May 2005
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