Music and the Romantic Period

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The Romantic Period (1825-1900)
History
The Romantic era developed from the social and political disorders that were post the French revolution. One major historical highlight of Romantic era was the death of Beethoven in 1827. In addition, people broke free from the government during the Romantic era and that brought forth many new artistic ideas. Individuals were now free to experiment with their passions, personal feelings, and they had the freedom to wonder. Because of this socio-political upheaval and individualistic freedom, musical instruments became affordable to the average citizen, which in return expanded the field of music. Due to the price drop in instruments, orchestra’s vastly expanded in size. Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, IV

This piece dates back to the 1830’s. In this piece there are 5 movements, which tell the story of a lovesick artist in an opium ecstasy, in which he is haunted by the vision of his beloved, which becomes a fixed idea. The melody of this piece has 2 main march themes (A and B), both of which are strongly accented. The piece contains a rhythm which is a duple meter march. In addition, the harmony of this piece is set in minor mode. This piece contains a sonata like form, with 2 themes introduced, which are developed, then later recapped. In the first movement of this piece, the musician remembers the weariness of soul, the indefinable deep longing he knew before meeting his beloved. Furthermore, the love with which her love inspired him. The Allegro section introduces the fixed idea. The second movement is a dance in the ternary form, meaning it has three parts. Here the fixed idea reappears. Movement number three, discusses the quiet surrounding which fill his heart with calmness. Here his beloved appears again, this is where his soul fills with pain. The composer states that his aim in the third movement was to establish a mood of sorrowful loneliness. Next, the fourth movement contains the idea that his love was...
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