The Romantic musical period

The Romantic period was a historical era of Western Classical music that occurred in the late 18th century until the mid-19th century. This era was associated with the intellectual and artistic concept of Romanticism, which was prominent in Europe around the same time.

Romantic music was characterized by emotional and dramatic elements, and mirrored the trends of Romantic poetry and literature. Composers found inspiration in non-musical sources such as nature, mysticism, and the fine arts. Musically, chromaticism increased in usage and there was an attempt to evolve the traditional forms of the Classical era.

Renaissance music performance

A concert of the Franz Liszt's music
The principals of Romantic music, were first cemented by E. T. A. Hoffmann in a review of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Three years later, in 1813, he additionally published an article on Beethoven's instrumental music generally. These publications traced the beginnings of Romanticism to the works of Joseph Hadyn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The Industrial Revolution had a substantial impact on music at the time; improvements in the manufacturing of valves and keys, meant that many brass and woodwind instruments were more efficient and reliable. The Industrial Revolution also brought in a blossoming middle class, which created a new market for composers. Hitherto, composers primarily wrote music to be consumed by the families of aristocratic patrons, but now the Romantic composers began composing for paying customers at public concerts and festivals.

Along with Beethoven, other early Romantic composers included Hector Berlioz, Frédéric Chopin, Felix Mendelssohn, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Niccolò Paganini, Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Carl Maria von Weber. In the late Romantic period composers like Edvard Grieg, Edward Elgar, Franz Liszt, and Antonín Dvorák also contributed.

Composers of the Romantic musical period


Ion Ivanovici


Georges Bizet
Léo Delibes
Camille Saint-Saëns


Robert Schumann
Ludwig van Beethoven


Fernando Carulli


Francisco Tárrega