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Periods of European art music
Early
Medieval   (500–1400)
Renaissance (1400–1600)
Baroque (1600–1760)
Common practice
Baroque (1600–1760)
Classical (1730–1820)
Romantic (1815–1910)
Modern and contemporary
20th-century (1900–2000)
Contemporary (1975–present)
21st-century (2000–present)

Romantic music is a musicological term referring to a particular period, theory, compositional practice, and canon in European music history, from about 1815 to 1910.

Romantic music as a movement does not refer to the expression and expansion of musical ideas established in earlier periods, such as the classical period, nor does it necessarily refer to romantic love, though that theme was prevalent in many works composed during this time period. More appropriately, romanticism describes the expansion of formal structures within a composition, making the pieces more passionate and expressive. Because of the expansion of form (those elements pertaining to form, key, instrumentation and the like) within a typical composition, it became easier to identify an artist based on the work. For example, Beethoven favored a smooth transition from the 3rd to 4th movement in his symphonies, and thus his pieces are more distinguishable.[citation needed]

The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs from 1803, when Beethoven wrote his "Eroica" Symphony, to around the end of the 19th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period.[citation needed] The Romantic period was preceded by the classical period, and was followed by the modernist period.[citation needed]

Romantic music is related to romanticism in literature, visual arts, and philosophy, though the conventional time periods used in musicology are very different from their counterparts in the other arts, which define "romantic" as running from the 1780s to the 1840s.[citation needed]The Romantic movement held that not all truth could be deduced from axioms, that there were inescapable realities in the world which could only be reached through emotion, feeling and intuition.[citation needed] Romantic music struggled to increase emotional expression and power to describe these deeper truths, while preserving or even extending the formal structures from the classical period.

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Trends of the 19th century

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Musical language

Composers of the Romantic period sought to fuse the large structural harmonic planning demonstrated by earlier masters such as Haydn, and Mozart with further chromatic innovations, in order to achieve greater fluidity and contrast, and to meet the needs of longer works. Baroque music and J. S. Bach were not part of the ideas that helped spawn romantic music because they were ignored and completely out of practice even starting before his death, at the beginning of the classical period circa 1730.[citation needed] Baroque theoretical ideas on chromaticism and counterpoint were not resurrected until 1829 when Felix Mendelssohn performed Bach's St Matthew Passion for the first time since Bach's death in 1750.[citation needed] Chromaticism grew more varied, as did dissonances and their resolution. Composers modulated to increasingly remote keys, and their music often prepared the listener less for these modulations than the music of the classical era. The properties of the diminished seventh and related chords, which facilitate modulation to many keys, were also extensively exploited. Composers such as Beethoven, and later Richard Wagner, expanded the harmonic language with previously-unused chords, or innovative chord progressions. Much has been written, for example, about Wagner's Tristan chord, found near the opening of Tristan und Isolde, and its precise harmonic function.

Some composers analogized music to poetry and its rhapsodic and narrative structures, while creating a more systematic basis for the composing and performing of concert music. Music theorists of this era codified previous practices, such as the sonata form, while composers extended them. There was an increasing focus on melodies and themes, as well as an explosion in the composition of songs. The emphasis on melody found expression in the increasingly extensive use of cyclic form, which was an important unifying device for some of the longer pieces that became common during the period.[citation needed]

The greater harmonic elusiveness and fluidity, the longer melodies, poesis as the basis of expression, and the use of literary inspirations were all present prior to this period. However, some composers of the Romantic period adopted them as the central pursuit of music itself. Composers were also influenced by technological advances, including an increase in the range and power of the piano and the improved chromatic abilities and greater projection of the instruments of the symphony orchestra.

Non-musical influences

While program music was common before the 19th century, the conflict between formal and external inspiration became an important aesthetic issue for some composers.[citation needed]

During the 1830s Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, which was presented with an extensive program text, caused many critics and academics to pick up their pens. Prominent among the detractors was François-Joseph Fétis, the head of the newly-founded Brussels Conservatory, who declared that the work was "not music." Robert Schumann defended the work, but not the program, saying that bad titles would not hurt good music, but good titles could not save a bad work. Franz Liszt was one of the prominent defenders of extra-musical inspiration.[citation needed]


This rift grew, with polemics delivered from both sides. For the supporters of "absolute" music, formal perfection rested on musical expression that obeys the schematics laid down in previous works, most notably the sonata form then being codified.[citation needed] To the adherents of program music, the rhapsodic expression of poetry or some other external text was, itself, a form. They argued that for the artist to bring his life into a work, the form must follow the narrative. Both sides used Beethoven as inspiration and justification.[citation needed] The rift was exemplified by the conflict between followers of Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner: Brahms' disciples took him to be a pinnacle of absolute music, while Wagnerites put their faith in the poetic "substance" shaping the harmonic and melodic flow of his music.[citation needed]

Examples of music inspired by literary and artistic sources include Liszt's Faust Symphony, Dante Symphony, his symphonic poems and his Annees de Pelerinage, Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony, Mahler's First Symphony (based on the novel The Titan),[citation needed] the piano cycles of Robert Schumann and the tone poems of Richard Strauss. Schubert included material from his Lieder in some of his extended works, and others, such as Liszt, transcribed opera arias and songs for solo instrumental performance.

Events and changes that happen in society such as ideas, attitudes, discoveries, inventions, and historical events always affect music (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3). For example, the Industrial Revolution was in full effect by the late eighteenth early nineteenth centuries (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3). This event had a very profound effect on music: there were major improvements in the mechanical valves, and keys that most woodwinds and brass instruments depend on (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3). The new and innovative instruments could be played with more ease and they were more reliable (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3). The new instruments often had a bigger, fuller, better-tuned sound (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3).

Another development that had an effect on music was the rise of the middle class. Composers before this period lived on the patronage of the aristocracy (Schmidt-Jones 3). Many times their audience was small, composed mostly of the upper class and individuals who were knowledgeable about music (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3). The Romantic composers, on the other hand, often wrote for public concerts and festivals, with large audiences of paying customers, who had not necessarily had any music lessons (Schmidt-Jones & Jones 2004, 3). Composers of the Romantic Era, like Elgar, showed the world that there should be "no segregation of musical tastes" (Young 1967, 525) and that the "purpose was to write music that was to be heard" (Young 1967, 527).

19th-century opera

In opera, the forms for individual numbers that had been established in classical and baroque opera were more loosely used. By the time Wagner's operas were performed, arias, choruses, recitatives and ensemble pieces often cannot easily be distinguished from each other in the continuous, through-composed music.

The decline of castrati led to the heroic leading role in many operas being ascribed to the tenor voice.[citation needed] The chorus was often given a more important role.

In France, operas such as Bizet's Carmen are typical, but towards the end of the Romantic period, verismo opera became popular, particularly in Italy. It depicted realistic, rather than historical or mythological, subjects.

Nationalism

The increasing importance of nationalism as a political force in the 19th century was mirrored in music and the other arts. Many composers expressed their nationalism by incorporating elements unique to their native cultures, such as folk song, dances, and legendary histories. In addition to these exterior elements, there was an increasing diversification of musical language, as composers used elements of rhythm, melody, and modality characteristic of their respective nations.

Many composers wrote nationalist music, especially towards the middle and end of the 19th century. Mikhail Glinka's operas, for example, are on specifically Russian subjects, while Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák both used rhythms and themes from Czech folk dances and songs. Late in the 19th century, Jean Sibelius wrote music based on the Finnish epic, the Kalevala, and his piece 'Finlandia' became a symbol of Finnish nationalism. Chopin wrote in forms like the polonaise and mazurka, that were derived from Polish folk music. Many Russian composers, for example Balakirev, Cui, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov shared the common dream to write music that was inspired by Russian folk music.

The main characteristics of Romantic music

  • A freedom in form and design; a more intense personal expression of emotion in which fantasy, imagination and a quest for adventure play an important part.
  • Emphasis on lyrical, songlike melodies; adventurous modulation; richer harmonies, often chromatic, with striking use of discords.
  • Denser, weightier textures with bold dramatic contrasts, exploring a wider range of pitch, dynamics and tone-colours.
  • Expansion of the orchestra, sometimes to gigantic proportions; the invention of the valve system leads to development of the brass section whose weight and power often dominate the texture.
  • Rich variety of types of piece, ranging from songs and fairly short piano pieces to huge musical canvasses with lengthy time-span structures with spectacular, dramatic, and dynamic climaxes.
  • Closer links with other arts lead to a keener interest in programme music (programme symphony, symphonic poem, concert overture).
  • Shape and unity brought to lengthy works by use of recurring themes (sometimes transformed/developed): idée fixe (Berlioz), thematic transformations (Liszt), Leitmotif (Wagner), motto theme.
  • Greater technical virtuosity – especially from pianists, violinists and flautists.
  • Nationalism: reaction against German influences in music by composers of other countries (especially Russia, Bohemia, Poland, Norway).

Chronology

Early Romantic (1800-1850)

Manuscript sketch for Piano Sonata No. 28, Movement IV, Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr und mit Entschlossenheit (Allegro), in Ludwig van Beethoven's handwriting. Composed in 1816, this is the first piano sonata from Beethoven's late romantic period.
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By the second decade of the 19th century, the shift towards new sources of musical inspiration, along with an increasing chromaticism in melody and more expressive harmony, became a palpable stylistic shift. A new generation of composers emerged in post-Napoleonic Europe, among whom were Beethoven, Ludwig Spohr, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Carl Maria von Weber and Franz Schubert.

These composers grew up amidst the dramatic expansion of public concert life during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which partly shaped their subsequent styles and expectations. Beethoven was extremely influential as among the first composers to work freelance rather than being employed full-time by a royal or ecclesiastic patron.[citation needed] The chromatic melodies of Muzio Clementi and the stirring operatic works of Rossini, Cherubini and Méhul, also had an influence.[citation needed] The setting of folk poetry and songs for voice and piano, to serve a growing market of middle-class homes where private music-making was becoming an essential part of domestic life, was also becoming an important source of income for composers.[citation needed]

Works of this group of early Romantics include the song cycles and later symphonies of Franz Schubert, and the operas of Weber, particularly Oberon, Der Freischütz and Euryanthe. Schubert's work found limited contemporary audiences, and only gradually had a wider impact. In contrast, the compositions of John Field quickly became well-known, partly because he had a gift for creating small "characteristic" piano forms and dances.[citation needed]

Early Romantic composers of a slightly later generation included Franz Liszt, Felix Mendelssohn, Frédéric Chopin, and Hector Berlioz. All were born in the 19th century, and produced works of lasting value early in their careers. Mendelssohn was particularly precocious, and wrote two string quartets, a string octet, and orchestral music before even leaving his teens. Chopin was similarly precocious, his famous Op. 10 Études being written while still a teen, although he focused on compositions for the piano. Berlioz broke new ground in his orchestration, and with his programatic symphonies Symphonie Fantastique and Harold in Italy, the latter based on Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage.

What is now labelled "Romantic Opera" became established at around this time, with a strong connection between Paris and northern Italy. The combination of French orchestral virtuosity, Italianate vocal lines and dramatic flare, along with texts drawn from increasingly popular literature, established a norm of emotional expression which continues to dominate the operatic stage.[citation needed] The work of Bellini and Donizetti was immensely popular at this time.

Virtuoso concerts (or "recitals," as they were called by Franz Liszt) became immensely popular. This phenomenon was pioneered by Niccolò Paganini, the famous violin virtuoso.[citation needed] The virtuoso piano recital became particularly popular, and often included improvisations on popular themes, and the performance of shorter compositions as well as longer works such as the sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart. One of the most prominent exponents of Beethoven was Clara Wieck, who later married Robert Schumann. The increase in travel, facilitated by rail and later by steamship, created international audiences for touring piano virtuosi such as Liszt, Chopin and Thalberg. Concerts and recitals were promoted as significant events. Such was also the case with other instruments than the piano such as the harp. The best illustration can be found with the popular and eccentric French composer and harpist Nicolas Bochsa who travelled most of his life giving hundreds of harp "recitals" and concerts.[citation needed]

During the late 1830s and 1840s, music of Romantic expression became generally accepted, even expected.[citation needed] The music of Robert Schumann, Giacomo Meyerbeer and the young Giuseppe Verdi continued the trends. "Romanticism" was not, however, the only, or even the dominant, style of music making at the time. A post-classical style exemplified by the Paris Conservatoire,[citation needed] as well as court music, still dominated concert programs. This began to change with the rise of performing institutions, along the lines of the Philharmonic Society of London founded in 1813. Such institutions often promoted regular concert seasons, a trend promoted by Felix Mendelssohn among others. Listening to music came to be accepted as a life-enhancing, almost religious, experience. The public's engagement in the music of the time contrasted with the less formal manners of concerts in the classical period, where music had often been promoted as a background diversion.[citation needed]

Also in the 1830s and 1840s Richard Wagner produced his first successful operas. He argued for a radically expanded conception of "musical drama." A man who described himself as a revolutionary, and who was in constant trouble with creditors and the authorities, he began gathering around him a body of like-minded musicians, including Franz Liszt, who dedicated themselves to making the "Music of the Future."

Literary Romanticism ended in 1848, with the revolutions of that year marking a turning point in the mood of Europe. With the rise of realism, as well as the deaths of Paganini, Mendelssohn and Schumann, and Liszt's retirement from public performance, perceptions altered of where the cutting edge in music and art lay.[citation needed]

Late Romantic Era (1850-1900)

As the 19th century moved into its second half, many social, political and economic changes set in motion in the post-Napoleonic period became entrenched. Railways and the electric telegraph bound the European world ever closer together. The nationalism that had been an important strain of early 19th century Romantic music became formalized by political and linguistic means. Literature for the middle classes became the publishing norm, including the rise of the novel as the primary literary form.[citation needed]

In the previous 50 years numerous innovations in instrumentation, including the double escapement piano action, the valved wind instrument, and the chin rest for violins and violas, were no longer novelties but requirements.[citation needed] The dramatic increase in musical education brought a still wider sophisticated audience, and many composers took advantage of the greater regularity of concert life, and the greater financial and technical resources available. These changes brought an expansion in the sheer number of symphonies, concertos and "tone poems" which were composed, and the number of performances in the opera seasons in Paris, London and Italy. The establishment of conservatories and universities also created centers where musicians could forge stable teaching careers, rather than relying on their own entrepreneurship.[citation needed]

During this period, some composers created styles and forms associated with their national folk cultures. The notion that there were "German" and "Italian" styles had long been established in writing on music, but the late 19th century saw the rise of a nationalist Russian style (Glinka, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Borodin), and also Czech, Finnish and French nationalist styles of composition. Some composers were expressly nationalistic in their objectives, seeking to rediscover their country's national identity in the face of occupation or oppression, as did for example the Bohemians Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák, and the Finn Jean Sibelius.

See also

Sources

  • Schmidt-Jones, Catherine, and Russell Jones. 2004. Introduction to Music Theory. [Houston, TX]: Connexions Project. ISBN 1411650301
  • Young, Percy Marshall. 1967. A History of British Music. London: Benn.

Further reading

  • Cavalletti, Carlo. 2000. Chopin and Romantic Music, translated by Anna Maria Salmeri Pherson. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series. (Hardcover) ISBN 0764151363 ; ISBN 978-0764151361
  • Plantinga, Leon. 1984. Romantic Music: A History of Musical Style in Nineteenth-Century Europe. A Norton Introduction to Music History. New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0393951960 ; ISBN 978-0393951967
  • Samson, Jim. 2001. "Romanticism". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From Wikiquote

Music is an art form that involves sounds and silence. Music may be used for artistic or aesthetic, communicative, entertainment, or ceremonial purposes. The definition of what constitutes music varies according to culture and social context.

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Sourced

  • All aspects of musical practice may be disengaged, and privileged, in order to give birth to new forms of variation: variations on the relationships between the composer and the performer, between the conductor and the performer, between the performers, between the performer and the listener, variations upon gestures, variations on silence that end in a mute music that is still music because it preserves still something of the musical totality of the tradition...all elements belonging to the total musical fact may be seperated and taken as a strategic variable of musical production. This autonomization serves as true musical experimentation: little by little, the individual variables that make up a total musical fact are brought to light. Any particular music then appears as one that has made a choice among these variables, and that has privileged a certain number of them. Under these conditions, musical analysis would have to begin by recognizing the strategic variables characteristic of a given musical system: musical invention and musical analysis lend each other mutual aid.
    • Jean Molino quoted in Nattiez, Jean-Jacques, Abbate, Carolyn (translator) (1987 (original), 1990 (translation)). Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music. pp. 42–43. ISBN 0691027145.  
  • Being in a band is really great when you're 20. When you're 30, it's kind of 'Spinal Tap,' and when you're 40, it's just pathetic.
  • The emphasis of study upon a particular aspect of music is in itself ideological because it contains implications about the music's value.
    • Green, Lucy (1999). "Ideology". Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. ISBN 0631212639.  
  • If we compel the composer to write in terms of what the listener is able to hear, we flirt with the danger of freezing the evolution of musical language, whose progressive development comes about through transgressions of a given era's perceptual habits."
    • Nattiez, Jean-Jacques, Abbate, Carolyn (translator) (1987 (original), 1990 (translation)). Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music. ISBN 0691027145.  
  • In order for music to free itself, it will have to pass over to the other side -— there where territories tremble, where the structures collapse, where the ethoses get mixed up, where a powerful song of the earth is unleashed, the great ritornelles that transmutes all the airs it carries away and makes return.
  • It appears to me that the subject of music, from Machaut to Boulez, has always been its construction. Melodies of 12-tone rows just don't happen. They must be constructed. … To demonstrate any formal idea in music, whether structure or stricture, is a matter of construction, in which the methodology is the controlling metaphor of the composition... Only by 'unfixing' the elements traditionally used to construct a piece of music could the sounds exist in themselves—not as symbols, or memories which were memories of other music to begin with.
    • Morton Feldman, quoted in Kostelanetz, Richard (editor) and Joseph Darby (editor). Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music. ISBN 0028645812.  
  • Most people have music in the center of their lives. I believe my work sheds light on how music affects us and why it is so influential.
  • Music has no subject beyond the combinations of notes we hear, for music speaks not only by means of sounds, it speaks nothing but sound.
  • One day I said to myself that it would be better to get rid of all that—melody, rhythm, harmony, etc. This was not a negative thought and did not mean that it was necessary to avoid them, but rather that, while doing something else, they would appear spontaneously. We had to liberate ourselves from the direct and peremptory consequence of intention and effect, because the intention would always be our own and would be circumscribed, when so many other forces are evidently in action in the final effect.
    • Christian Wolff, quoted in Kostelanetz, Richard (editor) and Joseph Darby (editor). Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music. ISBN 0028645812.  
  • Our musical alphabet is poor and illogical. Music, which should pulsate with life, needs new means of expression, and science alone can infuse it with youthful vigor. Why, Italian Futurists, have you slavishly reproduced only what is commonplace and boring in the bustle of our daily lives. I dream of instruments obedient to my thought and which with their contribution of a whole new world of unsuspected sounds, will lend themselves to the exigencies of my inner rhythm.
    • Edgard Varese, quoted in Kostelanetz, Richard (editor) and Joseph Darby (editor). Classic Essays on Twentieth-Century Music. ISBN 0028645812.  
  • The term 'chromatic' is understood by musicians to refer to music which includes tones which are not members of the prevailing scale, and also as a word descriptive of those individually non-diatonic tones.
    • Shir-Cliff, J (1965). Chromatic Harmony. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 0029286301.  
  • We can no longer maintain any distinction between music and discourse about music, between the supposed object of analysis and the terms of analysis.
    • Horner, Bruce (1999). "Discourse". Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. ISBN 0631212639.  
  • We must ask whether a cross-cultural musical universal is to be found in the music itself (either its structure or function) or the way in which music is made. By 'music-making,' I intend not only actual performance but also how music is heard, understood, even learned.
    • Dane Harwood (1976:522). "Universals in Music: A Perspective from Cognitive Psychology", Ethnomusicology 20, no. 3:521-33
  • We're blues people. And blues never lets tragedy have the last word.
  • Music is an extraordinary locksmith; it is so competent that it can open our soul's door even with closed eyes!
  • Orsino: If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken and so die.
  • "We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer."
  • "Music" includes sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats.

Unsourced

  • "After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
  • "But then there's a moment like tonight, a profound and transcendent experience, the feeling as if a door has opened, and it's all because of that instrument, that incredible, magical instrument."
    • from the TV show Northern Exposure (episode 5x13, Mite Makes Right)
  • "Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune."
  • "For those of you seeking immortality, forget politics. Support the arts instead."
    • Dr. Ruth Griffioen
  • "I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
  • "I look at it this way, if the guitarist jumps ship, and we can't replace him, i'll point my gun at my drummer, and he'll point his at me, we'll count to three and end this madness."
    • Toast
  • "If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music."
  • "If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience."
  • "In the beginning there was Jack, and Jack had a groove. And from this groove came the grooves of all grooves. And while one day visciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldly declared: "Let there be house!" And housemusic was born. I am you see, I am the creator, and this is my house, and in my house there is only housemusic. But I am not so selfish, because once you're into my house it then becomes our house and our housemusic. And you see, no one man owns house, because housemusic is a universal language spoken and understood by all. You see, house is a feeling, that no one can understand really, unless you're deep into the vibe of house. House is an uncontrolable desire to jack your body. And as I told you before: This is our house and our housemusic. In every house, you understand, there is a keeper and in this house the keeper is Jack. Now, some of you might wonder "Who is Jack and what is it that Jack does?" Jack is the one who gives you the power to jack your body. Jack is the one who gives you the power to do the snake. Jack is the one who gives you the key to the wiggly worm. Jack is the one who learns you how to walk your body. Jack is the one that can bring nations and nations of all jackers together under one house. You may be black, you may be white, you may be Jew or Gentile... It dont make a difference in our house. And this is fresh."
    • Larry Heard (Mr Fingers)
  • "Music is the chalk to the blackboard of life. Without it, everything is a blank slate."
    • Lexi Carter
  • "Playing the blues is like having to be black twice - Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed."
    • B.B. King
  • "There is only one better thing than music - live music."
    • Jacek Bukowski
  • "The immoral profession of musical criticism must be abolished."
  • "…I think, fundamentally, music is something inherently people love and need and relate to, and a lot of what's out right now feels like McDonalds. It's quick-fix. You kind of have a stomachache afterwards."
  • "I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music."
  • "It seems like people get afraid of a certain music if they can't pigeonhole it to their satisfaction...Good music is good music, and that should be enough for anybody."
  • The most important thing to me as a songwriter is the breath. The most important thing I could say to somebody is, "Sometimes I just breathe you in."
  • Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.
  • Musicians are the architects of heaven.
    • Bobby McFerrin
  • Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners, she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.
  • Music is a laudable medium of soothening the hearts of people.
    • M.S. Subbulakshmi
  • Music is essentially useless, as life is: but both have an ideal extension which lends utility to its conditions.
  • Music is everything one listens to with the intention of listening to music.
  • Music is the application of sounds to the canvas of silence.
  • Music is the exaltation of the mind derived from things eternal, bursting forth in sound.
  • Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.
    • John Erskine
  • Music is what I love and it's what I feel and it's in me and to know that I can do something that I enjoy and hopefully bring some enjoyment to other people through is an incredible felling and I am just really thankful for it.
  • Music, like religion, unconditionally brings in its train all the moral virtues to the heart it enters, even though that heart is not in the least worthy.
    • Jean Baptiste Montegut
  • Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's nerves - which is the same thing nowadays.
  • Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.
  • My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.
  • My mother's idol among pianists was Paderewski. I knew that I would never be a Paderewski, so I searched among the other great pianists of the day, looking for a model, and I found one at last who seemed to be just right for me. He was Vladimir de Pachmann. His style was refined, and so was mine. He was distinguished for the fact that especially in the works of Chopin he struck a great number of wrong notes. It was here that I knew I could rival him, and perhaps even excel him. You see, he struck his wrong notes in extremely rapid passages; I worked at my technique until I was certain that I could strike great numbers of wrong notes in very slow passages.
  • No good opera plot can be sensible, for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible.
  • Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body.
  • There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.
  • There are two means of refuge from the misery of life—music and cats.
  • Those who are affected by music can be divided into two classes: those who hear the spiritual meaning, and those who hear the material sound. There are good and evil results in each case.
    • Anonymous
  • When we are touched by a song, it is because the artist cannot hide himself.
  • The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, "Is there a meaning to music?" My answer would be, "Yes." And "Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?" My answer to that would be, "No."
  • "Look, I'm a pop star... I'm very busy. I do not have time to learn how to play a musical instrument."
    • Phil Oakey of The Human League
  • The only thing to rely on is music, as it is the only thing that will be there when you need it.
  • Music is everywhere from the sound of your alarm to the word goodnight.
    • Stephen Conlan
  • Music is the human soul compressed into noise
    • Richard Leadbeater
  • "Never sound pompous. You always sound noble, noble. Absolute character of music is nobility. Even popular music can be noble, you see. If it's not noble, then it's not very good..Music is an art of emotion, of nobility, of dignity, of greatness, of love, of tenderness. All that must be brought out in music but never a show of pompousness."
  • "I think of music more like a mirror that reflects the things we feel inside to the rest of the world."
    • Joshua Greenway when reflecting on the various claims that music gives meaning to life.

See also

External links

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Romantic music is music written in the 19th century. This was the period called the “Romantic period” by musicians. In literature and some other arts the “Romantic period” is often said to begin and finish earlier: around mid 18th to mid 19th century.

In the Classical period artists liked to see clear forms. 18th century architecture nearly always shows a lot of symmetry. The gardens of the palace at Versailles are a good example of this with their very tidy patterns of straight paths, circular ponds and neatly clipped hedges.

In music the Classical composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert liked to compose music which had a clear plan like sonata form.

In the Romantic period artists thought that feeling and passions were more important than formal plans. This can be seen in the gardens designed by Capability Brown, e.g. in at Blenheim Palace, Oxford. The gardens are made to blend into the nature.

In music the Romantic composers may still use plans like sonata form, but feelings and passions are important. They often write what is called programme music which means: music that describes something or tells a story. Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony is called the “Pastoral” which means that it is about the countryside. Although Beethoven is usually called a composer of the Classical period he is also an early Romantic. Later composers such as Felix Mendelssohn wrote pieces like Hebrides Overture which describes the sea coming into Fingal’s Cave in the Hebrides Islands in Scotland. Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) wrote a lot of music which tells a story. His Symphonie Fantastique is about an artist madly in love. Berlioz’s whole way of life was wild and romantic. He fell in love with an actress he saw on stage playing the part of Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and he actually married her! Other composers who wrote a lot of programme music include Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Strauss always wrote in a late-Romantic style even although he lived well into the 20th century.

The Romantic period was also the period of Nationalism. "Nationalism" means being proud of one's country. In the 19th century a lot of European countries as we know them were being formed. In music a lot of composers were writing music which was typical of their country. They often did this by using folk music. Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) and Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) wrote music which sounds very Czech. Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) wrote music with Russian folk songs in them. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) used German folk songs in his symphonies, and Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) collected English folk songs and put them in his music. One of those pieces was a Fantasy on the famous tune Greensleeves.


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