MUS Romantic

The Romantic period (1810-1900)

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The Romantic Period 1

The Romantic Period was the period after the Classical Period and before the Modern Period. It began around 1810 and ended around 1900.

The Romantic Period was not only about romance. It was about all strong feelings.

Some of the great composers from this period were Richard Wagner, Edward Elgar and Ludwig van Beethoven. The Danish composer Carl Nielsen also lived during this period.

You can read more about Beethoven, Elgar and Carl Nielsen here at the Museum.

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The Romantic Period 2

After the revolution

In Europe, people had rebelled against the king and nobility. Nobility was a few rich families who had all power in the country together with the King. In France, there had been a revolution - the people had taken power. The royal family and many noblemen had been killed.

In other countries things were more peaceful, and democracy was introduced together with the King.

Now, much was changing. You could live where you wanted to, and you could own your own land. If you had money and a good idea, you could start your own company without asking the King.

Machines were made, factories were built, and many people moved to the towns and cities to get work.

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The Romantic Period 3

Inventions and science

Charles Darwin from the United Kingdom came up with the idea that all types of life originated from common ancestors. The Dane H.C. Orsted found a way to make electricity.

Many new inventions were being made. The train, the photograph, electricity, the can and dynamite are among the inventions. At the end of the Romantic Period, the telephone and the car were invented.

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The Romantic Period 4

The music of the Romantic Period - a composer at work

Music was a very important art form during the Romantic Period because music could make you feel many things.

Before music was written to the princes and noblemen and it was telling how great they were. Now, music was about the composer's personal feelings.

For example, the composer chose the piccolo flute or the harp to express happy and light feelings and the cello or bassoon to express dark and sad feelings.

The music became more dramatic with different moods. The orchestras became larger and the symphonies became longer.

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The Romantic Period 5

Programme music

Some composers came up with the idea that music could describe things and places just like a play. It was called programme music. In 1872, the composer Bedřich Smetana wrote some music illustrating how the river Moldau flowed.

And Camille Saint-Saëns illustrated a lot of different animals in 'The Carnival of The Animals' by using only music.

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The Romantic period 6

Great virtuosos

In the Romantic period, the great virtuosos became a thing. They were musicians who could do magic on their instruments. Nicolo Paganini was so good at playing the violin that people said that he got his talent from the Devil.

Frantz Listz decided that he wanted to be just as good at playing the piano as Paginini was at playing the violin. He did it and people all over Europe thought he was a star.

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