Romanticism and Music

When we were looking at the poem London, and Professor Mota pointed out the emphasis on hearing in that poem, I began to think about how Romanticism affected music.


What do mind-forg’d manacles sound like? Metallic, probably. And the Romantic era of music introduced just that to the orchestra- a wider spread use of brass instruments and woodwind instruments that utilized metal valves and keys. The technology of the Industrial Revolution allowed these instruments to become more widespread and incorporated by musicians.

There were many stylistic changes as well. Beethoven is well known as a composer, and also as the bridge between classical and romantic music. His earlier, little known works are similar to those of classical composers, but in the middle stages of his life, he begins to experiment with his music.


Beethoven began putting personal emotions in his music. It does not seem like a radical move today, but much of classical music was god praising or nature praising something of that sort, and rarely introspective. His pieces were original, and he was a genius in manipulating tone and motif to reflect himself and his thoughts. The first symphony he wrote that reflected this change was Eroica. It transitions from a classical piece to a funeral march, then to a lively scherzo and ending in variations of the theme.

Personal emotion was not present in classical music, and the romantic movement changed that.

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