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Romantic Period Music Research Papers

The music of the romantic period is unique in style and artistic design. Paper Masters has music professionals that will custom write a research paper on any aspect of romantic period music.

The artistic movement of Romanticism greatly affected the development of western music in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In particular, romantic period music was dominant in Germany, and is perhaps best encapsulated in the works of Ludwig van Beethoven. However, Beethoven is only the best known, and not the exclusive example of Romanticism in music. The following are a sample of romantic period musicians that you may want to write about in your research paper:romantic period music

  • Richard Wagner
  • Fredrick Chopin
  • Franz Liszt
  • Robert Schumann
  • Felix Mendelssohn
  • Franz Schubert
  • Giuseppe Verdi

The Romantic period emerged following the French Revolution. The main emphasis of the Romantic period was a preoccupation with nature and the desire to spiritually connect on an individual level. In Germany, literature became its earliest expression, before becoming an expression of proto-nationalism. However, technological development allowed for the invention of new mechanical valves and keys in woodwind and brass instruments, further expanding the range of sound available to composers. Romantic period music attempted to grapple with the same ideas and topics that occupied other Romantics.

Many composers sought to incorporate nationalism and nature into musical form. Moving out of the stricture of the classical period, best exampled by the works of Mozart, the Romantic sought to infuse emotion. Beethoven’s Third Symphony (Eroica) was one of the first major attempts to express deeper emotions. However, it was his Ninth Symphony, which set Schiller’s Romantic poem “Ode to Joy” to music, in which Romantic period music reached its apogee.

Romanticism appeared in literature and pictorial art before it did in music. Margaret Drabble discusses it as a literary movement, but some of her remarks are a propos of music as well, for romanticism encompassed a distinctive set of modes of feeling and thought as well as a distinctive set of aesthetic canons. She notes that the romantic spirit embraced artistic egoism, strong assertion by the artist of his own identity, pursuit of intensity and “naked emotionalism,” and that the romantic mentality believed in the dynamic nature of imagination rather than the “Reason” of the Enlightenment. This set of attributes can be applied to musicians as well as to painters and writers and, if we apply them to Beethoven, we can perhaps characterize him as having been both the last classical and the first romantic composer. And if we regard Brahms as being, in part, a continuator of Beethoven’s, which some contemporaries did, regarding Brahms’ Symphony Nr. 1 as representing the passing of the torch, the passing of that torch dealt with the more romantic aspects of Beethoven’s later works. The tormented passages in the “Heiliger Danke” movement of Beethoven’s “Lydian” String Quartet (op. 132)—program music concerning sickness and recovery--the soaring “Ode to Joy” in the Ninth Symphony (op. 125), and the dark wanderings in the “Hammerclavier” Sonata (op. 106) have at their aesthetic center a concern for the expression of intense affect, not the following of classical forms. And, if Brahms wrote formal symphonies rather that the programmatic ones that some of his contemporaries were writing, that does not make him a classical composer or a man who looked back rather than forward. We may say that romanticism was a continuum and that Brahms was at the relatively conservative end of that continuum, but that he was still a romantic nonetheless.

For Brahms occasionally spoke in thunder and the power of those utterances was quintessentially romantic. The thunder more than the form dominates in much of this music. Macdonald notes that the closing member of the Haydn Variations (op. 56a) is based on either a Baroque passacaglia or Baroque chaconne and that it fashions in a very small musical space 17 variations on a five-bar ground bass. It is thus technically masterful, but, more importantly, it is, and it was meant to be, an utterance that transcends musical logic, something immensely stirring, something meant to give a sense of grandeur, passion, and ecstasy. And it succeeds.

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