Presentation on theme: "Music History. The Romantic Era (1820 - 1900) The term Romantic refers to the music being expressive and emotional (rather than referring specifically."— Presentation transcript:
The Romantic Era (1820 - 1900) The term Romantic refers to the music being expressive and emotional (rather than referring specifically to love). Patronage declined and successful composers became famous – the equivalent of pop stars in their day. Most of the musical developments were creative rather than technical.
Musical Characteristics Ensembles increased in scale. – The orchestra increased in size adding more instruments and numbers of players. – Chamber music was less popular. There are few string quartets, etc. Programme music rose in importance. Harmonies became more dissonant and chromatic. Composers increasingly ignored the formal structures phrasing typical of the classical era.
The Virtuoso Performer The performer (rather than the composer) became the star of many pieces. The virtuoso performer would amaze their audience with their technical ability on their instrument (most often piano or violin). Many composers wrote virtuosic pieces often for particular performers.
Instrumental Music The piano developed technically and became much more like the powerful and expressive instrument we know today. Solo Piano Music: – Etudes – studies showing off a performer’s technical ability – Character Pieces – short programmatic works – Variations – virtuoso pieces based on a theme a variation form – Stylised Dances – based on popular dances forms such as the waltz, mazurka, polka and gallop
Instrumental Music (continued) Orchestral Music: – Symphony – less formal and less restrictive than the Classical symphony. – Concerto – similar to the Classical concerto. The violin and piano were the preferred solo instruments. – Symphonic Poem – Single movement programmatic work. – Concert Overture – Similar to the Symphonic Poem but more formal and less programmatic. – Symphonic Suite – Programmatic works in several movements. – Dances – similar to the stylised dances for solo piano.
The Romantic Orchestra The percussion section increased in size and number of instruments. The woodwind and brass sections increased in numbers and several new instruments were added. The number of string players was increased to balance the larger woodwind and brass sections. The harp was added to the string section. Instruments were often directed to use more unusual techniques (such as pizzicato and flutter tonguing
Programme Music Unlike the absolute music of the classical era Romantic music often reflected a narrative or extra-musical idea. This meant that composers would often abandon the formal structures that were popular in the classical era. The Symphonic Poem (or Tone Poem) is a single movement orchestral work that incorporates an extra-musical element. Composers would often put several of these pieces together for a larger scale work.
Vocal Music Art Song (Lieder) – Song Cycles Opera Voices (either as soloists or choruses) were often incorporated into orchestral pieces.
Song Cycles Song cycles were collections of songs, arranged for solo voice and piano, that had a common theme or narrative. They were intended, on the whole, to be performed in sequence. The term lieder is sometimes used to refer to the songs in a song cycle.
Opera Opera took on board many of the trends of the Romantic Era: – The distinctive structures of songs, recitative, aria and chorus, gradually broke down and merged together. – The harmony became more chromatic. – The number and variety of instruments in the orchestra increased.
Nationalism Many romantic composers began to incorporate features from their home country into their music. These may have been: – Folk Stories (as the narrative in opera or programme music) – Rhythms and Themes from folk music
Romantic Composers Franz Peter Schubert (1797 – 1828) Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886) Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)
Summary Music became more expressive. Harmony became more dissonant and chromatic. The orchestra increased the number and variety of instruments. Absolute Music gives way to Programme Music. Very little chamber music – mostly orchestral or solo music. Music led by lyrical (song like)
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