The Romantic Movement

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In an attempt to analyze music in the Romantic Movement we will look at the following areas: the effects of the Industrial Revolution in music and instruments, the rise on the middle class and its effect on music, interest in nationalism and exoticism, the romantic style and expression in music and the role of men and women in music of the nineteen century society.


The dawning of the nineteen century brought with it a change in the political and social climate, the world was ready to usher in a new era of artistic thought. This new awareness was called “Romanticism” and saw its height during the Industrial Revolution. At this time, the Romantic era centered on the ideas of emotion, fantasy and hope. The end of the French Revolution became an important force in propelling a new train of thought. For the first time people were now regarded as individuals, oppression was sympathized and the banner of equality was flying high.

Out of the ashes of aristocracy rose a new respect and appreciation for simplicity, native culture and nature. After years of domination, the general public was now ready to absorb themselves in expressive freedom. The influence of romanticism helped them to escape the harsh realities of life

Musicians of this time took their cues from the world of literature that was leaning toward the fanciful and exotic. Poetry and literature of the early nineteen century was filled with strong emotion and this was hard to produce in a musical form. Improvement to musical instruments allowed composers to express these feelings with new techniques.

A fresh artist began to emerge from this new society. As a whole, the bourgeoisie class was indiffere...

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...lic was introduced to a new sound and embraced it heartily. Industry provided us with new instruments and much of the improvements that we utilize today. The people of this time really did make great strides toward equality of performers and performance music and opened up opportunity for some of the most prominent musicians in history. It is with gratitude that we should look to these pioneers especially the women that paved the way through adversity and opposition for current female composers.

Works Cited

Machlis, Joseph & Forney, Kristine. The Enjoyment of Music. New York. W.W. Norton & Co Inc: 1998

Raeburn, Michael & Kendall, Alan. Heritage of Music Vol II. New York. Oxford University Press: 1990

Strunk, Oliver. The Romantic Era. New York. W.W. Norton & Co Inc: 1950

Blume. Friedrich. Classic and Romantic Music. New York. W.W. Norton & Co Inc: 1970.
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