The Concept of Romanticism in Music

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a. Vocal music is often performed by one artist or a group with the use of instruments or without these accompaniments. During the Baroque period of music, an oratorio involved the aspects of Concerto Grosso with monody being a vital concept in the baroque music, demonstrating the difference from the polyphony-based vocal music that was often practiced in the Renaissance period. Similarly, monody has had a significant impact on identifying personal talent compared to instances where a group of people is brought to exercise a similar music piece. According to Buelow (90), an oratorio is considered as the last sacred music linking together some forms of the dramatic presentation of biblical texts with music. For instance, Handle’s Oratorio Messiah showcases a perfect example of accompanied recitative in Hallelujah and Thus saith the Lord to underscore the dramatic texts and conceive mixtures of active and massive chords.

b. The ritornello included aspects of the first and third line in a verse having a similar rhyme. The ritornello is a significant determinant of the type of music that is to be played as the tutti opens the piece with the central theme. Additionally, the ritornello is an archetype entailing a continual return of the previously heard material. Boland and Link (81) further state that the double concerto was the first to employ soloists accompanied with their contrasting concertino. The principle was later realized in the Piano Concerto of 1965, Oboe Concerto 1986-87, and Clarinet Concerto of 1996.

The Symphony in the Classical Era

a. The aspect of the symphony was dominant among particular artists as each strived to improve the practice. In the long run, there was an emergence of having the art being merged with music from different regions. The classical symphony has further taken an unprecedented step including parts of the vocal soloists and the choir that later created a choral symphony. Reflecting the enlightenment stage, different parts of Europe were witnessing new ways of life; hence, the desire to listen to a particular type of content became common. Different artists later introduced alternative creations during this period, compared to the era where a similar kind of music was played (Ford 203).

b. According to Jacobson (n.p), sonata form is a musical structure associating itself with classical genres such as symphonies, sonatas, and string quartets. Notably, exposition, development, and recapitulation are essential elements of sonata form through which musical subject matter is expanded, restated or stated and explored. The exposition

tends to present the primary keys and themes of the movement and usually repeats. The primary themes of the movement are developed by development and recapitulation moves back to the original key, thus bringing back the home and primary key. Therefore, motion is echoed in binary form away from and back to the initial key. On that note, sonata form offers contrasting, dialectical, and restated musical statements in exposition, development, and recapitulation respectively (James 92). In Mozart’s Symphony no.41 in C Major, K 551(1788; Jupiter), his first movement stresses on the uniformity of musical texture and possesses two defined main themes. Secondly, Mozart’s first movement in symphony no. 38 D Major, K504(1786; Prague) is an excellent illustration of development in the classical period. Third, the desired recapitulation is achievable in Mozart’s first movement of Sonata in B-flat Major, K 570(1789) through a minor change from the tonic key to the dominant key thereby keeping the second subject in the tonic key.  

The 19th Century

a. The concept of romanticism is the period when people used music to express the amount of love that they had towards their peers. The period, however, stretched from the late 18th century to the early 19th century. For instance, the period stated in 1830 to 1900 with compositions becoming expressive and inventive similarly, expansive symphonies, dramatic operas, and passionate songs took inspiration from art to literature. The concept is also not merely a neutral descriptive term, but, can also be considered as a stance taken by those that were either very strongly for or against (Downes 170).

b. The Italian and German operas comprised of similar motifs like patriotism, sacrifice, and redemption through love with different responses. Wagner used music as a tool to serve the ends of dramatic expression, and all of his compositions were made for the theatre. Additionally, the music evoked various worlds and blessedness with great emotional fervor and a lush harmony and color. On the other hand, the Italian operas were based on lengthy choruses and prolonged presentations on stage. Nevertheless, Fearn (35) states that the earliest stages of the art comprised of patrons and work consumers that had their demand for a spectacle of ritualized mythology. The concept also emphasized the grandeur of heroism as a public symbol of their princely virtues. For example, in the post-Napoleonic era, Verdi became an icon of the patriotic movement resonating well with the Italian spirit of Nationalism through the operatic scene “Nabucco”: “Va’ Pensiero”-with Ovations. The chorus from this scene contributed to unity in Italy, and it remains a hymn of the nation and unofficial national anthem calling for unity among humankind (Villazón n.p). Wagner’s operatic scene in his final opera “Parsifal” where his direction says there is a shaft of light from heaven is an intriguing musical figure (Huizenga n.p). It starts in lowest bass voices, then the middle voices, and eventually tenor that picks up the similar figure. Finally, it transcends into heavenly voices that are placed above the stage. This yields a musical ladder that literally connects the Earth to the heaven, the here and now.

The 20th and 21st Centuries

a. Expressionism refers to a modernist movement that was practiced in poetry and painting. The concept has a vital trait of presenting to the world solely from a subjective perspective distorting emotional effect to evoke modes and ideologies. Artistic pictures, colors, and shapes are however used to pass information to the public. Arnold Schoenberg composed between 1908 and 1921 offers an ideal example of this concept.

b. Hannah Lash is one of the great composers of classical music with the majority of his songs passing inspirational messages to the audience. Hush is one of the concerts that had a dynamic presentation with the audience loving the message that is being presented in the song. A performance by John Lord is an inspirational song, leaving the audience wanting to listen to the track more than once. The musical instrument was played at the high tone, creating the urge to continue listening to the artist. A lively concert will often have positive reviews from the audience in attendance and also an individual that may have watched the performance at a later date.

Works Cited

Boland, Marguerite and John F Link. Elliot Carter studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press, 2012. Print.

Buelow, George J. A history of baroque music. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2014. Print.

Downes, Stephen. Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives. New York: Routledge,

2014. Print.

Fearn, Raymond. Italian Opera Since 1945. New York: Routledge, 2014. Print.

Ford, Charles. Music, Sexuality and the Enlightenment in Mozart's Figaro, Don Giovanni and

Così Fan Tutte. New York: Routledge, 2016. Print.

Huizenga, Tom. "Gods and Monsters: 5 Unforgettable Wagner Moments.", 21 May 2013, Accessed 9 Feb. 2018.

Jacobson, Bernard. "Sonata form | musical form." 8 Jan. 2018,


James Hepokoski, Warren Darcy. Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations

in the Late-Eighteenth-Century Sonata. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

Villazón, Rolando. "Top Ten Verdi Moments." Classic FM, 10 May 2013, Accessed 9 Feb. 2018.

Musical Examples

The Messiah by Handel

Symphony No.41 in C Major, K 551(1788; Jupiter) by Mozart

Symphony No. 38 D Major, K504(1786; Prague) by Mozart

“Nabucco”: “Va’ Pensiero” by Verdi

“Parsifal” by Wagner

October 05, 2023

Art Music

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