An in-Depth Analysis of the Use of Specific Musical Concepts in Correlation to the Romantic Period

Topics: Romanticism, Romantic music, Frédéric Chopin Pages: 4 (1310 words) Published: August 21, 2011
The Romantic Era was a period of great change and emancipation. It moved away from strict laws by allowing artistic freedom, experimentation and creativity. Romantic music evolved from ideas established in earlier periods, such as the classical period, and went further through the use of expression and passion. New musical concepts evolved due to current trends and the music was deeply personal and nationalistic. Musical concepts including pitch, tone colour and dynamics and expressive techniques each express the style of the Romantic period in differing ways. These concepts are exemplified through Nocturne and Valse, both by Chopin. Nocturne and Valse are both emotionally expressionistic pieces typical of the romantic era, written by Chopin, a renowned composer of the time. Through Chopin’s strong use of expressive techniques and dynamics, he shows his creativity and experimentation, which was a common motivation for composers of the time. This is typified through his vast use of crescendos, decrescendos, accents and differing volume levels including piano (soft), mezzo forte (moderately loud), pianissimo (very soft) and forte (loud). The Nocturne begins at a volume level of piano, which expresses feelings of gentleness. Throughout bars 1-9, the music remains in piano but with the occurrence of crescendos and diminuendos.

Composers alike would frequently use dynamics to evoke emotional characteristics that they intended to express. The associated volume levels were merely consequences of the feelings. In bar 17, a crescendo leads up to the forte in bar 18. This loud onset of music expresses feelings of strength or dominance.

Often composers of the romantic period would use ornamentation in their tunes to make them more intricate, interesting and expressive. While maintaining the overall melodic contour, ornaments affect the pitch by adding new notes to the melody and also affect the rhythm by making it busier. Ornamental techniques in the Nocturne and...
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