Romantic Music (1820-1900)

During the 19th century composers wanted greater emotional expression, so they upped their game with increasingly dense harmonies, moving towards chromaticism, which simply put, means greater use of notes that are not strictly in the key of the piece at any given time. The word comes from the Latin “chroma”, which simply means colour. 

Composers were adding more and more emotional colour by the increased use of non-key (chromatic) notes alongside those notes which belonged to the major or minor scale, which are known as 'diatonic' notes.

As well as a richer musical vocabulary, composers in the Romantic era also turbo-charged their arsenal of weapons. The orchestra doubled in size during this era, with composers like Tchaikovsky and Wagner using more trumpets, trombones, percussion and woodwind as well as much larger string sections to beef up their sound. By the end of the Romantic period those orchestral giants Mahler and Bruckner were taking things to a different level, with massive resources needed to pull off their masterpieces.

Key Composers

Johannes Brahms

Guiseppe Verdi

Robert Schumann

Frédérik Chopin

Franz Liszt

Hector Berlioz

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

Anton Bruckner

Richard Wagner

Gustav Mahler

If you want to commission your own music in this style, or would like more information or help, please contact us.