Romantic Era

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The Romantic era was a period of great change and emancipation. While the Classical era had strict laws of balance and restraint, the Romantic era moved away from that by allowing artistic freedom, experimentation, and creativity. The music of this time period was very expressive, and melody became the dominant feature. Composers even used this expressive means to display nationalism . This became a driving force in the late Romantic period, as composers used elements of folk music to express their cultural identity. As in any time of change, new musical techniques came about to fit in with the current trends. Composers began to experiment with length of compositions, new harmonies, and tonal relationships. Additionally, there was the increased use of dissonance and extended use of chromaticism . Another important feature of Romantic music was the use of color. While new instruments were constantly being added to the orchestra, composers also tried to get new or different sounds out of the instruments already in use. The Romantic Movement in the arts was one of protest against capitalism. Romanticism expressed the desolation of the generation caught up in the new society and the ceaseless change, individualism, anonymity and materialism that flowed from the dislocation and breakup of the old community. The individual, torn from traditional village and extended family life, atomised by the intensifying division of labour, faced the industrial juggernaut alone, isolated in an unfamiliar, cold and inhospitable world. But romanticism was also backward looking, idealising the community of medieval feudalism, with its imagined harmony and security. This led to a growing preoccupation with the culture of "the people" and the glorification of folk art. Thus many romantic composers cultivated the folk song which they saw as coming from the "womb" of the nation. This was against the background of capitalist-led movements for national liberation or unification. So we see...
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