Romantic 1825 - 1910


Claude Debussy



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The Romantic period represented a time of change. It was a time of Mark Twain novels and telegraphs. It was the time of the U.S. Civil war and a time when Alexander Grahm Bell invented the telephone. It was the time of changing from the strict structure of the Classical Period to the flowing ideas, emotions and impressions of composers and artists

The Romantic period , because individual expression was so important to composers, the types of pieces had a great deal of variety. No longer were there restrictions on the length of a piece or what instruments could be used. Richard Wagner (VOG-ner) wrote operas that lasted 6 hours! Beethoven's Ninth Symphony used an oversized orchestra, a full choir as well as vocal soloists.
Instruments - During the Romantic Period most of the band instruments came into being as we know them today. The invention of valves for brass instruments totally changed the abilities of the French horn, Baritone horn, Trumpet and Tuba. There were new key systems for woodwind instruments theat make the instruments much easier to play.

Orchestral Music - There were three types of orchestral music developed during the Romantic Period.

The Romantic Symphony is an expanded version of the Classicaln Symphony. Many of them were Program Music (music that paints an picture or tells a story).
Tone Poems grew out of Romanitc Symphonies. Tone Peoms are ONE movement works that tell a story. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is an exampleof a Tone Poem.
Concert Overtures grew out of overtures. Usually Overtures began operas which set the mood of the opera for the audience. During this period composers began writing Concert Overtures which were not attached to an opera
Nationalistic Music was a new trend to use native folk songs from the composers country in their music. Before the Romantic Period composers borrowed styles from Germany, France, and Italy. Russia was the leader of Nationalistic Music and the Russian Five (Alexander Borodin, Modeste Mussorgsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Cesar Cui and Mily Balkerirev) were amoung the leaders of the Nationalistic Movement.