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Shadow on Concrete Wall

Beethoven opened the door to the Romantic period by defying conventions of the Classical era and expanding possibilities in his music.


The Romantic composers were more interested in pure expressive content in their works and used larger dynamic ranges and longer melodic lines. As a result, composers’ voices became more distinct from each other, often strikingly so.


Some composers relied on nonmusical subject matter to write program music in less rigid forms, like the orchestral tone poem.


At the same time, nationalism became an important factor in composition, as composers began to draw on folk tunes, local dance forms, and other musical material native to their homelands. The size and scope of music also expanded:


Some composers specialized in very short chamber works, while others wrote lengthy pieces for massive ensembles.

1810 - 1910
Romantic Era

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