Romanticism in Music

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Romanticism in Music Romantic: of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealised, sentimental, or fantastic view of reality… concerned more with feeling and emotion than with form and aesthetic qualities. The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Eighth edition, 1991. The term romantic first appeared at sometime during the latter half of the 18th Century, meaning in quite literal English, "romance-like", usually referring to the character of mythical medieval romances. The first significant jump was in literature, where writing became far more reliant on imagination and the freedom of thought and expression, in around 1750. Subsequent movements then began to follow in Music and Art, where the same kind of imagination and expression began to appear. In this essay I shall be discussing the effect that this movement had on music, the way it developed, and the impact that it had on the future development of western music. Origins of Romanticism -- a Revolt Against Classicism In many respects, and with hindsight, it seems natural that the Romantic composers and writers would take a new direction in their approach to expression, reacting against the classical and neo-classical ideas of reason and order from the previous age. It was a revolt against classicism, and against the pre-prescribed rules that defined it. The main catalyst for this change was the French Revolution in 1789, where the French monarchy and aristocracy was overthrown by a rebellion of the people and France became a republic. This, in a musical sense, had an immediate impact on French opera, with the emphasis of the stories now beginning to be drawn into the present as opposed to the ancient world, and the old hierarchy of the Gods and feudal systems. T... ... middle of paper ... ... Britain: The Romantic Age 1800-1914, Nicholas Temperley, (1981), Athlone Press London The New Oxford History of Music, OUP The Oxford History of Music, OUP The Oxford Concise Dictionary, Eighth Edition, (1991), OUP WEB RESOURCES: Emory University Website, (Dec 2000) Music History 102, (April 1999) MISU Website, by Dr. Monty Cole, (Dec 2000) WH Smiths Web Resources, http//, Excerpts taken from The Hutchingson Family Encyclopedia, (2000). ARTICLES: Taken from articles written for introductions of albums of the same name. Dvorak's Symphony no. 9, Lionel Salter, (1980) Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations and Cello Concerto in E Minor, Michael Kennedy, (1985)
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