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Romanticism in music

This paper is a study of the romantic movement in music, which was at its height in European composition between approximately 1820 and 1890. A reaction to the emphasis of classicism on form, order, and rationality, romanticism explored passion, flamboyance, and individuality. From Ludwig van Beethoven's late compositions to the enormous scale of Richard Wagner's epic operas, romanticism represents the movement of music into the modern world. It nurtured development of the final stage of many of the elements that continue to define modern music, including an almost infinite variety of forms and lengths of composition, the importance of the conductor in performance, and the power of the individual artist's vision. Many of these changes were the result of artistic experimentation, both in form and content, by composers during this time period. Some changes were also the result of the altered place of composers in society, as they moved from being recipients of the support of wealthy patrons to being freelance artists seeking to support their art through a variety of independent methods.

Henri Peyre defines romanticism in general as "implying a predominance of passion over reason, the lure of the extraordinary, dissatisfaction with the present, and delight in suffering" (1977, p. 1). Romanticism was a direct reaction against the formalism of the classical movement. Romantics emphasized feeling and emotion, while romantic composers experimented freely with established musical forms. This created music that had a much stronger individual voice than had previously been the norm. Kenneth Levy observes:

When we hear an unfamiliar work by Haydn or Mozart, we may recognize it as a Classical work, but we are less likely to guess who wrote it . . . When we hear an unfamiliar work by Brahms or Tchaikovsky, however, we can often identify it right away, not just as a romantic work, but as the work of its particular creator, because...

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Romanticism in music. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 22:51, May 24, 2020, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1692541.html