expressed when romantic composers deliberately created music with a specific national identity, using the folk songs, dances, legends, and history of their homelands.

composers drew on colorful materials from foreign lands


program music
instrumental music associated with a story, poem, idea, or scene.
explanatory comments that explain the non music element
chromatic harmony
uses chords containing tones not found in the prevailing major or minor scale
the slight holding back or pressing forward of tempo
thematic transformation
when a melody returns in a later movement or section of a romantic work, its character maybe transformed by changes in dynamics, orchestration or rhythm
art song
a composition for solo voice and piano
mood is summed up at the end by a piano section
strophic form
repeating the same music for each stanza of the poem
through-composed form
writing new music for each stanza
modified strophic form
two of the three stanzas are set to the same music
song cycle

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romantic art songs are sometimes grouped in a set

may be unified by a storyline that runs through the poems or by musical ideas


night piece

slow, lyrical, intimate composition for piano

a study piece designed to help a performer master specific technical difficulties
a piece in triple meter, originated as a stately processional dance for the Polish nobility
absolute music

non program music

form similar to program music

program symphony

a composition in several movements

a symphony with a program.

each mvmt has a descriptive title

concert overture

has one movement, usually in sonata form

modeled after the opera overture, one mvmnt composition that establishes the mood of an opera.

symphonic poem (tone poem)

a one movement composition

take many traditional forms, sonata form, rondo, or theme and variations, as well as irregular forms.

incidental music

music that is intended to be performed before and during a play

sets mood for certain scenes

idee fixe

used to represent the beloved

a single melody

coined by Berlioz

appears in all 5 movements of Symphonie fantastique

pentatonic scales
five notes
a short musical idea associated with a person, an object, or a thought in the drama
Major political and social event of the period
Industrial Revolution



Nocturne in E-flat Major, op 9 No 2
Violin Concerto in E minor, 1st mvt
Symphnoie fantastique, 4th mvt




Symphony No. 9 1st movement


Third Symphony 1st mvt
Love Scene from Die Walkure
Franz Schubert

Earliest master of the romantic art

born in Vienna

wrote symphonies, string quartets, chamber music for piano and strings, piano sonatas, operatic compositions

many deal with nature

comparable in power and emotion to those of Beethoven.


Die Forelle



Robert Schumann

born in germony

piano virtuoso

devloped serious finger problems and one finger was permanently crippled.

marrid his piano teacher’s daughter, Clara Wieck

composed many art songs, first ten years published only piano songs.

wrote four sympnoes


Clara Wieck Schumann

leading concert pianists of the nineteenth century

trained by her father

married Robert Schumann

considered herself primarily a performing artist, composed little.

Liebst du um Schonbeit

Frederic Chopin

poet of the piano

only great composer who wrote almost exclusively for piano

brought up in Warsaw

his playing focused on beautiful tone, rhythmic flexibility, atmospheric use of the pedal, and poetic subtleties of dynamics

only 30 public performances

wrote few works, but all are notable, most are short

liked to express his love of poland, evoked variety of moods, always elegant and graceful, used rubato.

Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op 9 No 2

Etude in C Minor, Op 10 No 12

Polonaise in A Flat Major, Op 53

Franz Liszt

very hands and young.

greatest pianist of his time

became court conductor for the grand duke in Weimar at 36.

some consider his music vulgar and bombastic.

used rapid fruns and daring leaps

created the symphonic poem

Transcendental Etude No 10 in F Minor

Felix Mendelssohn

deeply rooted in classical tradition

music evokes emotion but avoids extremes. 

have rapid movement, lightness, and transparent archestral texture

Wrote music in all forms except opera

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor, Op 64

Hector Berlioz

french romantic composer

fell in love with shakespeare and a shakespearean actress, whom he pursued and wrote about

music includes abrubt contrasts between high and low

dnamics fluctuate continually and tempo changes many times

created tone colors never before heard

used long elodies

most of his works are for orchestras

Symphonie Fantastique


most famous russian composer

influenced a lot by russian folk song, also by french, italian, and german

Romeo and Juliet, Overture-Fantasy


founder of Czech national music

steeped in the folk songs, legends of his native Bohemia, and dances

musical nationalism

compositions were scorned by those who opposed nationalism or modernity

became completely deaf

The Moldau

Antonin Dvorak

followed Smetana as leading composer of Czech national music.

infused his symphonies and chamber music with Bohemian folk song and dance

encouraged american composrs to write nationalistic music and begin their own music

Symphony No 9 in E Minor

Johannes Brahms

breathed new life into classical forms, German

played for the Schumanns and impressed them.

became very involved with Clara Schumann

created music in all forms except opera

four symphonies, two convertos

music embraces rango of moods

outstanding in his ability to make intricate polyphonic texture sound natural and spontaneous

music is rhythmically exciting

liked rich, dark, tone colors.

favored mellow instruments like viola, clarinet and french horn.

Symphony No 3 in F Major, Op90

Ein Deutches Requiem


most popular of all opera composers, italian

ardent nationalist, symbolized a free and united italy

composed for a mass public whose main entertainment was opera

mature workds are serious and end unhappily

later in life his style became less conventional and more flecible and had more musical continuity.

his last three operas are his greatest.




created some of the best loved operas, italian

had a mervelous sense of theater

his melodies ahve short, easily remembered phrases, very emotional

minimized difference between aria and recitative, like verdi.

La Boheme

Richard Wagner


german, wrote operas

felt an opera house was a temple where the sepctator was to be overwhelmed

characters are usaully large than life

wrote his own librettos

called his works music dramas

continuous musical flow in each act

shifted msucial center of gravity from voice to orchestra in opera

loved to exploit the brass

used leitmotifs

used chromatic and disonant harmonies, used rapid key shifts.

Die Walkure (The Valkyrie)


Gustav Mahler

the last great austrian romantic composer

opened new realms of orchestral sound

won fame as a conductor, struggled to be recognized as a composer

music is often programmatic and reflects constant search for the meaning of life

used voices in four of his symphonies.

used unconventuonal instruments.

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer)

forms of the romantic period:
symphony, sonata, string quartet, concerto, opera, art song, character piece, concert overture, symphonic/tone poem, incidental music