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The Romantic Era in Music and Its Impact

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The Romantic Era was a time in music when there was tons of change throughout the 1850s until the 1920s in the theory and compositional practice of music. Many composers made their work with freedom, experimentation, and creativity more than the composers of older times. There were many composers that originated out of this era, some like Robert Schumann, Franz Schubert, Frédéric Chopin, and Richard Wagner. Because of inspiration, many Romantic composers found inspiration in visual arts, poetry, drama and literature, and to nature itself. Being influenced by this led composers to show more emotion in their music. The changes in the sound of music came in the form of major use of dissonance and the extended use of chromatics. Doe Romantic era compositions contained classical era roots, the musical instruments that were being used in the Romantic era were changed and brass and woodwind instruments were being made with more quality of sound, and even in the way they were played. Many Romantic era composers used their music to show appreciation in there country by putting in unique tones and melodys to mimic the native cultures they belong to, such as folk songs, dances, and legendary histories. The composer Mikhail Glinka is an example of someone that wrote operas specifically on Russian topics.

Countless operas derived from the Romantic era and are prevalent today. Composers like Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. These Operas were very dominant in italy at the time but these operas differed from those of the classical era due to the form and pieces that were being changed by having the tenors given the lead in operas and by giving the chorus a much more important lead than before. The composer Gioachino Rossini was one of the first composers to initiate an opera in the Romantic era. His first piece was “La Cambiale di Matrimonio”. This was a comedy based opera that was the first of its kind and was written in the early 1800s. Countless composers imitated Rossini including Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Giuseppe Verdi. These composers change the landscape and the way operas were being written and even performed. These changes were seen and made evident in Giuseppe Verdi’s first major opera, Nabucco, which the public found amusing and interesting because of the great choruses. Verdi continued to show nationalism in his operas, Va Pensiero, which was made to give meaning to the struggles for Italian independence and Verdi was expressing that hopefully he would unify Italy. At the end of the Romantic era, opera became a combination of countless art forms including the theatre, dance and orchestra music.

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In conclusion the romantic era gave birth to many new forms of music and composers. Many of these composers had works that at the time were not popular but as time went by it got bigger in fame and recognition. Composers like Verdi helped catapult music at the time into a place where it would impact many in emotional and psychological ways. Many of the forms that were used to make music are still prevalent in todays society and will forever be around.


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