Classic MusicGenres

Review of the Romantic Music Period Characteristics

Whenever we’re talking about romance music or love songs, it’s hard to ignore the role of musical characteristics. A well-written song can invoke a mood, engage an audience and make people feel. While genres are more commonly associated with fine arts, there are distinctive characteristics that make a piece of romantic music truly stand out from the rest.

Romantic music is surely the wonderful creation of great composers and a must-have kind of music for every romantic, but at the same time, quite a problematic genre in need of profound study. Let’s explore these characteristics and their origins below.

What is Romantic Music?

What is Romantic Music? It is a genre of music that plays a role in creating romantic feelings. This arouses or stimulates passionate love or sensual desire. It tends to arouse feelings of love, romance, serenity, and nostalgia in the listener.

The question, “What is Romantic Music?” has been on people’s minds for years. Generations upon generations of people have asked this question. It is a perplexing and ambiguous question.

Romantic music is, ostensibly, music that is pleasant to hear. It describes a wide range of styles and music, including rock or pop ballads that can be heard in the background of movies.

Many are looking for the best songs to set a romantic mood with Valentine’s Day approaching. I can tell you that anything popular isn’t romantic music. That’s just crap that can’t create or set a romantic mood. Instead, look for the following: Smooth jazz bands like The RippingtonsSadeGeorge Benson, or even older artists like Mel TormeRay Charles, and Nat King Cole. Acts like Teddy Pendergrass, Bobby Brown, and Barry White are excellent choices.

Music is an important part of our everyday lives, and everyone chooses the songs they like the most. Romantic music is popular among people in love or those seeking love. Many romantic music artists attract many fans with their touching lyrics.

Origins of the Romantic Period

The Romantic Period in music is generally considered from about 1820 to 1910. The period encompasses the late Classical period of the symphonists such as Beethoven and Schumann, the orchestral developments of BerliozLiszt, and Wagner, and the nationalistic flavor of folk that infused many compositions.

The term “Romantic” was originally applied to music in literature. This was a time when people were seeking personal expression and freedom, which is reflected in the period’s music. Of course, it was also a time of political and social revolution, industrialization, and rapid technological progress.

The musical language of Romanticism became more chromatic than during the Classical period, as composers sought new ways to express emotion. In addition to increased use of accidentals (sharps and flats), composers made greater modulation (moving from key to key). This meant that a given key felt less stable than during the 18th century.

The standard structures common during the Classical period — sonata form, rondo form, and variation form — were also developed further by Romantic composers.

Musical program music, which had been around since Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony” (1791), underwent a great expansion in the Romantic period. Many works now commonly described as “symphonic poems” were written during this time.

In part, it was a revolt against social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, and natural history.

The emphasis in Romantic music is on expressiveness, freedom from form, and emotion. This period’s most important musical development was the rise of the symphonic poem (or tone poem) – a one-movement orchestral work that depicts a story or describes some aspect of nature or life.

Early Romantic composers were drawn to instrumental music and were more concerned with sonority and texture than form. They used instruments in new ways (e.g., trombones to support low strings, flutes for high woodwinds, etc.).

The concert overture was another common format for early Romantics, who often wrote them as an independent work or a prelude to an opera or incidental music.

In the Romantic period, music became more explicitly expressive and programmatic, dealing with the time’s literary, artistic, and philosophical themes. The late 19th century saw a dramatic expansion in the size of the orchestra and the dynamic range and diversity of instruments used in this ensemble. Furthermore, public concerts became a key part of urban middle-class society catering to the expanding interest in instrumental music.

How to Identify the Romantic Period in Music?

The romantic period began during the Industrial Revolution, when composers started expressing strong emotion through their music instead of following the rules set by classical music. Opposed to standard classical-style themes that were ordered and structured like a mathematical equation, romantic music was more spontaneous and emotional.

Most Romantic pieces were written for piano and strings, but some composers began incorporating other instruments such as brass and woodwinds into their compositions during this time.

Musical forms during this era moved away from classical forms like sonatas and symphonies. Instead, composers experimented with new forms like nocturnes, concertos, and art songs.

What are the Common Characteristics of Romantic Music?

Romantic music is characterized by expressive melodies, large orchestras, and dramatic dynamics (soft and loud sounds). In comparison with classical music, romanticism has much more emotional expressiveness. The instruments used are more varied than before, incorporating larger brass and woodwind sections in the orchestra.

Some other characteristics of romantic period music include:

More focus on song lyrics rather than just melody;

An increase in the number of songs written as individual pieces instead of part of a larger work;

Less focus on structure and technical precision;

An increased focus on mood and expression;

More emphasis on music written for solo instruments rather than only orchestral pieces.

Major Composers of Romantic Music

The list of the major composers of the Romantic period:

Composer Years of Life
Franz Schubert 1797-1828
Frédéric Chopin 1810-1849
Robert Schumann 1810-1856
Felix Mendelssohn 1809-1847
Johannes Brahms 1833-1897


In conclusion, the correlation between Romanticism and Romantic music is strong. This relationship between the two art forms played an important role in the Romantic Era’s influence on music and appears to still be prevalent today.

What are the common characteristics of romantic music? I will order them from the most heroic to the most tender. A romantic tune should have some connection with nature. It can depict a landscape, a forest, a valley, or the sea – preferably at dawn or sunset.

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