In the paper “Composers in the 19th Century” the author discusses some of the greatest music ever produced, which came from composers in the 19th century. It was a period of renaissance and change throughout the globe brought by numerous events both political and cultural…
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Some of the greatest music ever produced came from composers in the 19th century. It was a period of renaissance and change throughout the globe brought about by numerous events both political and cultural. Nationalistic movements and the sweeping tide of romanticism were just two of the major events that influenced musical output during the time.The period of romanticism acted as a counter to the dawning age of enlightenment where truth through the process of scientific deduction became the new way towards modernity During the 1848 revolution, music critics defined Romanticism as a political and philosophical matter. It had very little to do with what was happening in society among the common folk. Most romantics were viewed as embracing romanticism, not to avoid the real world but to deal with the new age of enlightenment where rationality was threatening to sweep away religious and arcane beliefs. Romanticism was concerned with feeling, emotional expression, imagination and boundlessness rather than rationalistic thinking or subject matter. The movement was exemplified in the arts - literature, music and paintings, with emphasis on the aesthetic experience and the wonderment in the magnificence of nature. . Among the other attributes of Romanticism were a profound appreciation of all things natural, a heightened praise of emotion over logic and the human senses over the intellectualism; a rather introspective examination of oneself and personality with all its facets, including moods, emotional attachment and cognitive potential; also a obsession with the inner self where the hero lies and the awakening of the genius; a call to action from the extraordinary individual; attention to the passions and internal struggles; a fresh look at the artist as the gifted originator of the art forms be it literature, paintings or music; an artist who demonstrates that his passion for his art form is far more important than adherence to established convention or set of laws that the rest of society follows; a greater importance to the imagination as the access door towards inspirational experience that is uplifting and spiritual in nature; an imagination that is employed for the quest of truth and higher learning; also an unusual interest in the occult, the mystic and folklore; study of native and ethnic development, also of medieval practices; a penchant for all things exotic and outlandish, isolated and far away, the mystifying and bizarre, the horrifying and devilish. Romanticism served as a reaction to classicism which was characterized by order, harmony, balance and rationality. Classicism had its roots in historical beliefs and practices founded on Greek and Roman philosophy of life and the universe, particularly referring to the period when both the cultures were at their pinnacle. Classicism speaks of the art or music that was created in olden times while neoclassicism speaks of the artistic work prior to the present time but after antiquity.
The term romanticism is attributed to a group of individuals - artists, actors, writers, musicians and thinkers. One of the most famous composers who was part of the romantic movement was Ludwig van Beethoven. Others include Chopin, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Weber, Schubert, and Mendelssohn. Many of them expanded their orchestra and experimented with atypical orchestrations to convey other worldly influences. These composers were a product of their time, swayed by the political and nationalistic events occurring around them.
The year 1809 was marked by significant shifts in political and economic landscape that pushed Beethoven's political views in a new direction (Rumph 2004). The French Revolution that successfully toppled the French monarchy in favour of republicanism is generally believed to have inspired the movement of romanticism.
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