03/23/15 Romanticism: A New Era of Expression

For Wednesday, 3/25:
Read Prelude 5

The Romantic Era 1820-1900

How did we get here?

1700s: Age of Reason/Enlightenment, named for developments in philosophy and science.
– Emphasis on logic, order, reason, the Scientific Method, celebration of human intellect and ability
– Democracy began to take hold in Europe and the United States
– The Classical Era of music (1750-1820) coincides with this historical period.

1800s: Romanticism, an artistic response?
– Emphasis on individualism, expression of emotion
– Rebellion against tradition and authority
– Belief in democratic ideals, and disappointment in the failure to achieve them completely

Page 191 of your textbook: “It became apparent that the high hopes fostered by the French Revolution were not to be realized overnight… all people were not yet equal or free… Optimism gave way to doubt and disenchantment, a state of mind that was reflected in the arts and in literature.”

Economic developments also contributed to artistic changes:
– The rise of the middle class meant people had more time for artistic expression
– The decline of the patronage system and the rise of public concerts meant musicians could make an independent living

Page 190: “Many of the common tenets of Romanticism are still very much with us:
– The artist struggling against rather than working within society and convention
– The need for art to unsettle rather than soothe
– The belief that works display their creator’s distinctive originality and self-expression.”

Romantic Love: Robert Schumann: “Widmung” (“Dedication”)

Nationalism: Frederic Chopin: Polonaise in A, Op.40 No.1, ‘Military,’ 1838

Scary stories: Schubert’s Erlkönig


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