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1. INTRODUCTION 2. VOCAL MUSIC 3. INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC 4. Musical nationalism in the middle of the 19 Century


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To abolish: abolir. Damper pedal: pedal sostenuto. To evolve: evolucionar. Filter: filtro. Frame: marco (arpa del piano). Hammer: martillo o macillo. Huge: inmenso To evoke: evocar. To lead: llevar a Marriage: matrimonio. Mature: maduro. Poetry: poesía. Program music: música programática. Soft pedal: pedal izquierdo del piano. Sources: fuentes. Stanza: estrofa. Towards: hacia. To turn: volverse. Wide: ancho.


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Romantic referring to a

music particular



term in


European music history from about 1815 to 1910. Romanticism describes the

expansion of formal structures within a composition, making the pieces more passionate and expressive. During this period composers turned their attention to the expression of intense feelings in their music and were also influenced by technological advances, including the development of the piano and the greater projection of the instruments of the symphony orchestra.

Some of the main characteristics of the Romantic era are: • Freedom in form and design; a more intense personal expression of emotion in which fantasy and imagination play an important part. • Emphasis on lyrical, songlike melodies that are longer, dramatic and emotional. Tempos are more extreme and tempo rubato is common. • Denser textures exploring a wider range of pitch, dynamics and timbres. • Expansion of the orchestra, sometimes to huge proportions; the invention of the valve system leads to development of the brass section, whose weight and power often dominate the texture. • Rich variety of types of piece, from songs and short piano pieces to huge musical compositions for orchestra.


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• Music has closer links with other arts. Composers are frequently inspired by external sources like poems or landscapes. • Greater technical virtuosity – especially from pianists and violinists. • Nationalism: reaction against German influences in music by composers of other countries (specifically Russia, Bohemia and Poland).

The term lieder is the plural form of the German word lied which means "song." The poetry forming the basis for lieder often centers upon pastoral themes, or themes of romantic love. Typically, lieder are arranged for a single singer and piano. The piano helped to add more emotion into the Romantic accompaniment lieder. enhanced The the

meaning of the text by harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic material

independent of the voice part. It also provided harmonic and melodic support to the voice and served to punctuate the poetic form by interludes between stanzas and lines of the poem. Poetic structure is responsible for the musical form of a song (two basic forms are ternary form -A B A- and strophic form -A A´ A´´…). The composers Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann are most closely associated with this genre of romantic music.


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Romantic opera gave more dimension to the imagination and extreme emotions. Opera was a marriage of the arts, a musical drama, glorious songs, costume and orchestral music.


Gioacchino Rossini initiated the Romantic period in the Italian opera. His reputation still survives today through his Barber of Seville. He was one of the earlier composers of bel canto. The bel canto opera movement flourished in the early 19th century. Literally "beautiful singing", bel canto opera derives from the Italian stylistic singing school of the same name. Bel canto lines are difficult for the singers, requiring agility and pitch control. Rossini's successors in the Italian bel canto were Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti and Giuseppe Verdi, the most important Italian opera composer in the 19 century. Verdi's operas are related with Italy´s nationalism in the post-Napoleonic era, and he quickly became an icon of the patriotic movement. In the early 1850s, Verdi produced his three most popular operas: Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata.


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revolutionary and controversial composers in musical history. He created a new concept of opera as a complete work of art, a fusion of music, poetry and painting. In his mature music dramas, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal, he abolished the distinction between aria and recitative in favour of the "endless melody". He increased the role and power of the orchestra and developed the leitmotivs, recurring themes often associated with the characters and concepts of the drama. Wagner also brought a new philosophical dimension to opera in his works, which were usually based on stories from Germanic or Arthurian legend.

3.1. Piano music
The piano evolved during 19

century and became an extremely versatile instrument. It

provided a wide dynamic range (the ability to distinguish between loud and soft) and a large capacity for sonority which its predecessors did not have. The double escapement action, the use of a strong iron frame and felt hammers coverings and the improvement of the damper and soft pedals were some of the innovations that allowed musicians to try new and exciting harmonic effects and express whatever they wanted. Chopin, Listz, Schumann or Brahms were fundamental piano composers in the Romantic era.


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3.2. Program music

Program music is a type of composition that is inspired in an external source (for instance a poem or image) and try to invoke in the listener a specific experience other than

listening just only music. Normally, the composers presented their music with an extensive program text where they explained composition. the object Hector of their Berlioz

(Symphonie Fantastique) and Franz Liszt, the inventor poem, of were the term



composers of program music.


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4. Musical nationalism in the middle of the 19 Century
The increasing importance of nationalism as a political force in the 19th century was mirrored in music and the other arts. Many composers expressed their nationalism by incorporating elements unique to their native cultures, such as folk song, dances, and legendary histories. In addition to these exterior elements, there was an increasing diversification of musical language, as composers used elements of rhythm or melodic characteristics of their respective nations. Many composers wrote nationalist music, especially towards the middle and end of the 19th century. Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák both used rhythms and themes from Czech folk dances and songs, and Jean Sibelius wrote music based on the Finnish epic. Chopin wrote in forms like the polonaise and mazurka, that were derived from Polish folk music. Finally, some Russian composers, for example Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov or Mussorsgsky, shared the common dream to write music that was inspired by Russian folk music.


The origin of gypsy ethnicity is from India, where it migrated from different countries. Mainly, we call gypsy music the music composed and

interpreted by the gypsies from Eastern Europe (Romania, Hungry, etc.) We must differentiate from the music composed by the Spanish gypsies which we call flamenco. Gypsies are nomads so in their music we can find a lot of influences from different cultures. They began in India and crossed to Europe through the Middle East and the Easter


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European countries. You can hear the eastern and western fusion in the elements of their music.

They normally use scales with eight sounds instead of the normal seven western scale. The most common is the Hungarian scale.

They are popular for their virtuosity and ability to ornament the melodies. Traditionally they didn´t read sheet music so they were free to play whatever they wanted to express. The main instrument was and still is the violin and others were the guitar, the accordion and an odd striking string instrument which is called cimbalom.



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