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What's Wrong with Romanticism?


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I love the romantic/late romantic period, come to think of it, all the music I have heard are all from this period. I try my best to make music in the romantic style, I despise the classical ways of things, they are so mechanical, lacking emotion, the only distinction that we humans can make from machines is to express genunine emotions, no where is that more evident in romantic music, think about this, in the distant future, we make up some sophisticated Robot, and teach it music theory, do you think it can compose a romantic piece or a classical piece easier?

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I'm only 16, though fully classical - do I fit into this young category? :)

I think the reason why most people would write in a classical manner, especially at a young age, is because everything that we're taught and play in our early years is from that era. I mean, everyone plays Beethoven and Mozart and so on to get technique and all of that. Unfortunately, all the other eras tend to get pushed aside though there are a few (like me!) which pick up on them later on.

Still young though! ;)

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I'm a young composer two, and I LOVE Romanticism.

I'll list the reasons why I love studying romanticsm

  1. I personally am a very emotional person
  2. I love the angular melodies
  3. I love creating REALLY LUSH harmonies that involve applied harmonies
  4. I love creating catchy melodies
  5. I love my music to have death
  6. I'm not much of a fan of traditional forms, so I prefer the tone poem and its spontaneity
  7. I love the lush, free orchestration that can be done
  8. I find that my favourite music contains all of these
  9. Romanticism has the greatest possibilities, in my opinion, in playing with people's emotions
  10. Classical music is beautiful and lovely, though it usually lacks a story behind it. Not always, but often
  11. I don't like many "modern" scores. By modern I mean atonal
  12. I don't like atonal because of its inorganicness
  13. I don't like the modern music that can be heard in many modern movies done by Media Ventures, particularly because I find them boring
  14. Romanticism is at the same time populistic, and analytical, as opposed to one or the other, so you can make music that's fun and entertaining as well as music that expands the soul

That's my take on Romanticism.

Check out my Music that I just recently posted on Major Works. You'll see what I mean.

By Romanticism, I assume you mean the styles ranging from Beethoven to Copland and John Williams?

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So the question remains: why so few Romanticists here? Do younger composers really strongly prefer either Classical or modern styles, but nothing in between?[/b]

I truly hope not, but it seems to be the trend.

It may just look like there are fewer of us because we are far less prolific than the Classicists or the modernists. When I look through this thread, and see how much each of the professed Romantics has posted on Young Composers, I find that there are at least two or three other non-Romantic composers on YC whose posted output individually surpasses all of us combined. It simply takes longer to write in the Romantic style. Also, I suspect it takes some degree of maturity to write Romantic music, so we're mostly among the older YC members; and as an artifact of being older and having more non-musical things to deal with in life, we don't have nearly as much time to compose.

I know for a fact that I am a terribly slow composer, or at least, I have trouble starting a piece. If I can get the fire, I can write quickly (the last ten minutes of my Piano Concerto first movment were written in less than a month, but the first seven minutes took a few years). And that's only the first movement. I've started the second at least three times now and have not yet found the sound I like.

But I am still struggling with my Xylophone Concerto that I have been working on for about ten years, not to mention the Symphony that I've been kicking around in various sketches for even longer than that.

I think that the Romantic style may be more difficult to compose in, but it is the kind of music I fell in love with, and there is nothing more rewarding than to hear my own music achieve that emotional sound world.

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It is interesting you say that. Brahms is my favourite composer, and of the 1 piece I have composed, the people I have showed it to say it resembles Brahms and the time period very well. I don't know whether or not romantic music is dying, but I don't think it should because it is in my mind the most beautiful and the freest style of classical music.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm only 16, though fully classical - do I fit into this young category? :)

I think the reason why most people would write in a classical manner, especially at a young age, is because everything that we're taught and play in our early years is from that era. I mean, everyone plays Beethoven and Mozart and so on to get technique and all of that. Unfortunately, all the other eras tend to get pushed aside though there are a few (like me!) which pick up on them later on.

Still young though! :)

That's a good point, Thomas. My musical upbringing was far different. I was raised on Fantasia, which apart from Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D Minor comprised mostly romantic era music (Beethoven's contribution was his one programmatic Symhpony). My secod introduction was an LP (I'm old enough to have had a few of em!) of music akin to Night on Bald Mountain, again, Romanticism and Modernism.

And surprise surprise, thos are my two favourite eras. I have come to appreciate earlier music over time (I utterly adore some of Schubert's works, and Mendelssohn constantly surprises me, and then there's Beethoven!), but the Romantic era and modern eras remain my lifeblood.

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I'm a young composer two, and I LOVE Romanticism.

I'll list the reasons why I love studying romanticsm

  1. I personally am a very emotional person
  2. I love the angular melodies
  3. I love creating REALLY LUSH harmonies that involve applied harmonies
  4. I love creating catchy melodies
  5. I love my music to have death
  6. I'm not much of a fan of traditional forms, so I prefer the tone poem and its spontaneity
  7. I love the lush, free orchestration that can be done
  8. I find that my favourite music contains all of these
  9. Romanticism has the greatest possibilities, in my opinion, in playing with people's emotions
  10. Classical music is beautiful and lovely, though it usually lacks a story behind it. Not always, but often
  11. I don't like many "modern" scores. By modern I mean atonal
  12. I don't like atonal because of its inorganicness
  13. I don't like the modern music that can be heard in many modern movies done by Media Ventures, particularly because I find them boring
  14. Romanticism is at the same time populistic, and analytical, as opposed to one or the other, so you can make music that's fun and entertaining as well as music that expands the soul

That's my take on Romanticism.

Check out my Music that I just recently posted on Major Works. You'll see what I mean.

By Romanticism, I assume you mean the styles ranging from Beethoven to Copland and John Williams?

You know whats ironic, I love Romantic music best when it adheres to more traditional forms. I adore Liszt yes, but I am moved to greatness by Franck and Dvorak.

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well it does very well depend on your definition of "romanticism". Music is difficult to assign concrete names to. I, for one, write lyrical pieces, in a stylistic sense. I use luscious harmonies with often a single melodic line. But then, I don't write with chromaticism: as a beginning composer, i use a lot of concrete keys and motives and follow those for the entirety of the piece. So that brings me back to square one. How do you define romanticism? As a pianist i play lots of chopin and beethoven. There's a definite difference in the styles of both. However, in orchestrations, i'm not quite sure what the difference is.

Here is a sketch i wrote a week or two ago. Is this a Romantic piece?

And if it is or even if it isn't, where do you draw the line?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hmmm... interesting topic.

I would say that, for me, the fact that I use music software creates an affinity for romanticism, not a detraction from it. Having music software allows me to essentially spew a stream of music from my emotional consciousness (I am the sort of person that hears music in my head 24/7) onto an orchestral score and listen to it, adding whatever comes into my head first and evaluating on the spot.

I feel that such a raw, unengineered type of music, without meticulously planned out harmonies, that captures the emotions that are already there in the mind and little more, is (certainly a breed of) Romanticism. Obviously I fix a few key structures beforehand (and usually a main melody to pin everything else onto) but the rest just comes, and the result sounds far more like Tchaikovsky or Brahms than Haydn.

I consider myself a Romantic composer anyway... :) (I refuse to use the 'neo-' prefix though: the style is 'Romantic' - the fact that I am not of that time seems to me irrelevant).

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