Music History 333


The Romantic Period

1785 - 1830

Felix Mendelssohn

1809 - 1847

Mendelssohn was one of the most prominent composers of his generation. He was extremely skilled at mixing the Romantic style with Classical traditions.

Franz Liszt

1811 - 1886

Liszt devised new techniques and textures fro piano music. He invented the symphonic poem, the master class and recitals

Richard Wagner

1813 - 1883

Wagner was one of the most influential composers of all time. He believed that music was the servant of drama. A belief called Gesamtkunstwerk.

Giuseppe Verdi

1813 - 1901

Verdi composed music that was said to be the epitome of Romantic Passion. His operas have been performed more than any other Italian composer.



People wanted to feel unified as a group. They wanted to create a national identity through music. Operas, and compositions started to be very nationalistic.

Growth In Public Concerts


Amateur orchestras and choirs made amateur performances popular. All classes of society started buying tickets and enjoying these concerts.

Classical Repertoire


Music playing in the Nineteenth century began to be by past artists instead of new ones. Their works were extremely popular, cheaper and easier to perform.

Music by Women became more popular


Before this time, women were not encourage to write music, and the music they did write was not made known. Through the Romantic era music by women began to become more popular. This went along with the growing movement for women's rights.

Johannes Brahms

1833 - 1897

Brahms realized more than anyone how to composer music in the Romantic Era for audiences who liked Classical music. But at the same time he had a purely individual sound.

German Immigration to the US


Germans came to the United States to get away from economic trouble in German. They started influencing American music and caused a huge divide in Classical and Popular Music


1840 - 1893

Tchaikovsky was able to combine his Russian heritage with Italian, French and German influences. His ballets like the Nutcracker have remained popular until now.

New Market for Music in the Home


People started playing more music in their home as a pastime. Composers started composing music for amateurs and their music was also made easier to play. This has continued throughout the centuries.

Opera as Popular Entertainment


Operas began to be played in more than just elite societies. More people were able to hear Opera and enjoy it. Operas continue to be listened to today.

Mass Consumption


Mass consumption became a big deal in the 1800's. Composers began writing more music and more copies were being made of old music. People were able to enjoy music and have all different kinds for themselves.

Dichotomy between Realism and Fantasy.


Impressionist ideals made people want to escape from the real and rough parts of life. They arts began to reflect this as artists and composers started to created painting and compositions that were influenced by fantasy.

The Twentieth Century


Growth in Technology


The growth in technology affected the music world immensely. Composers had to start trying to find a place in the new world. Music was forever changed.

Modernist Writing


Modernists decided to challenge the ear in new ways. Just as the artists of impressionism and cubism, they did not aim to please, they wanted to create their own sound, and their music proved that.

Abandoning Tonality


The Twentieth Century was a time when people challenged the normal in all way, and music began to change. The began writing music that abandoned tonality and was hard to follow but became very popular.



Musicals came to be popular in the 1900's. Music mixed with dancing and drama became a very popular form of entertainment. Thinking about how popular musicals are now makes me realize this was a very big deal in music history.

World War I

1914 - 1918

WWI caused the Great Depression, which caused composers to want to write new music. This music was written to relate to the times, and was very sad. This is when music started to be written to express the reality of what was happening in the world.



Some people thought Rachmaninov to be old fashioned because he had a classical flare. Although he did love classical music, he was able to put his own spin on it, that made his compositions very popular in the Twentieth Century.

Country Music


Country music was a type of fol music that became popular and was a blend of many kinds of music. It became very popular among the working class and rural people. Country music is still very influential today.

Recording and Radio


Recording of songs caused composers to write more music that was suited for that purpose. Radio was a huge deal, and both of these things changed the music world forever.

The Avant Garde


The Avant Garde saw themselves as leading the way for new music. They wanted to throw away all of the Classical tendencies and pave a new road. Their influence made a huge impact on music.

Arnold Schoenberg


Arnold Schoenberg was a very influential composer. He was one of the first composers to move beyond tonality. He was able to create coherence in atonal music. Schoenberg also used the Twelve Tone method.

Charles Ives


Ives was a modernist composer who was very successful in creating his own style. His experimental music and polytonality largely impacted the music world.

Pop Music


Economic growth caused young people to have more leisure time and spending money. Pop music was created with the young people in mind. It has continued to be a huge form of music to this day.

Rock and Roll


Rock and Roll was a new style that blended Black and White music and became extremely popular in the 1960s. It was very unpopular among parents because of the sex filled lyrics. Young people ate it up, and it has continued to be a important form of music. Rock and Roll has many Classical influences as well.



Minimalism is where music is simplified so you can tell what the music pattern is right from the start. Composers started writing a lot of this. Pop music is an example of this because you know exactly where it is going to go. Unfortunately this trend began the fall from virtuosity.

Direct Communication with Listeners.


Writers and Composers started to write music that would directly communicate to the Listeners. They would write songs about there own feelings, and feelings that they knew other people were having. This was a huge step in music, and something that we are still doing today.