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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD

I) INTRODUCTION
The Romantic Style was a new movement that came about as a rebellion
against the reason and rationality of the Classical Period. The main elements of
Romanticism, which lasted from about 1820 to 1900, were:

Freedom of expression, emotion, imagination and


individualism: desire to express their emotions and feelings, even sufferings,
in less restrictive ways than in the Classical Period.
No restrictions on the length of a piece and on the instruments
used. A Romantic symphony could take as long as two hours. Examples:
Some operas of Richard Wagner that last six hours, or the Beethovens Ninth
Symphony that requires and over sized orchestra, a full choir and vocal soloists.
Programmatic music: Each piece of music had a specific story, idea
or scene that the composer wanted to portray through music. An extra musical
text or story was often provided as part of an introduction to a musical work.
Often, the inspiration behind a composition was sparked off by a painting, a
book or a poem.
Romantic music often showed the struggle between the individual
man versus all of nature (a fascination with fantasy and nature).
Much of the music of the time was very nationalistic, which mean it
was strongly identified with a specific nation: folk songs, legends and stories
from a countrys were used in Romantic works.
Dealing with far-off and exotic lands and the distant past;
dreams, night and moonlight; rivers, lakes and forests; nature and the seasons;
the joy and pain of love (especially young love); legends and fairy-tales;
mystery, magic and the supernatural.
Melodies, whether tender or passionate, become more lyrical and son-
like with swifter, more adventurous modulations. Harmonies become richer
and intensely emotional with a more powerful use of discords, binging in
chromatic notes from outside the key.
Romantic music offers a rich variety of types of composition
ranging from works requiring just one or a few performers, such as piano
pieces, songs (lieder) and chamber music to spectacular musical canvasses
involving a huge number of performers, such as the operas or the lengthy
orchestral works.
Composers no longer worked exclusively for the aristocracy. Most music of the
Romantic Period was written for the middle class by middle-class composers. In
addition to being paid for their music, composers usually worked on the side as
teachers, conductors, music critics, or soloists. They felt strongly that they
should compose music that satisfied their own desires and needs as people and
individuals.

Unscramble the words below by using the clues at the right


about musicians, artists and techniques of the Romantic
Period.
a) Tcsrmanmoii _____________________ Style or art lasting from
about 1820 to 1900

b) Itnoeom ____________________ .., imagination and


individualism were stressed in both music and art.

c) Teaurn _____________________ There was a fascination with


fantasy and ..

d) Mtpmgorairca ____________________ .. Music


attempted to relate a story, idea, or scene through the music.

e) Nltaasointcii _____________________
music was strongly identified with a specific nation.

f) Csldiedsalm _____________________ Music of the Romantic Period


was written for the . ..

g) Hyynsmop ______________________ A Romantic ..


could be two hours long.

h) Elrusggt ______________________ Romantic music often showed


the .. between man and nature.

i) Sfonloskg ______________________ Legends, .


, and stories from a countrys history were used in Romantic
works.
j) Ctoeix ______________________ Art and music dealing with
lands were popular during the Romantic Period.