Romantic Music Essay

Words: 2001
Pages: 9


Franz Schubert

Der Erlkönig

The Romantic Era

The romantic period in music extended from about 1820 to 1900. Among the most significant musicians were Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Clara Wieck Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Hector Berlioz, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Antonin Dvorak, Johannes Brahms, Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Richard Wagner and Gustav Mahler. The length of this list – and some important composers have been omitted from it – testifies to the richness and variety of romantic music and to its continuing impact on today’s concert and operatic repertoire.

Composers of
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Emotions and images in the text take on an added dimension from the keyboard commentary. Arpeggios in the piano might suggest the splashing of oars or the motion of a mill wheel. Chords in a low register might depict darkness or a lover’s torment. The mood is often set by a brief piano introduction and summed up at the end by a piano section called a postlude.

Strophic and Through-Composed Form

When a poem has several stanzas, the musical setting must accommodate their total emotional impact. Composers can use strophic form, repeating the same music for each stanza of the poem. Strophic form makes a song easy to remember and is used in almost all folk songs.

Composers may also use through-composed form, writing new music for each stanza. Through-composed form allows music to reflect a poem’s changing moods.

Composer: Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828) was an Austrian composer. In a short lifespan of less than 32 years, Schubert was a prolific composer, writing some 600 songs, ten symphonies, liturgical music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades immediately after his death. Composers Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms, discovered and championed his works through the remainder of the century. Today,