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Learning Module Six: An Intro to the Romanic

By Mike Dee

Watch Mr. Mike's Video | Monday, October 26, 2020

Listening Example One: Chopin Scherzo No. 2 performed by Martha Argerich

Listening Example Two: Brahms Lieder Performed by Bernarda Fink

Listening Example Three: Ein Heldenleben performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Activity One | Tuesday, October 27, 2020

We have now been introduced to three major periods of Western orchestral music: baroque, classical, and romantic. Baroque music was very technical and ornamental, and classical music was elegant and balanced. Romantic music was a big departure from the previous two periods, as it focused on the intensity of feeling. Some other characteristics of romanticism were the connection with nature, a focus on nighttime and the supernatural, and an interest in music becoming autobiographical, including composers telling the stories of their countries through music.

If 2020 were a musical era, how would you describe it? What music brings to life this moment in time? Is it a movie theme? Is it a song you keep hearing on TikTok? What elements of music represent this year?

Activity Two | Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The romantic period is the most modern era that Mike has shared with us. Because of its relative modernity, romantic music is called upon frequently in movies and other pop culture, even in 2020.

Check out these examples of romantic music being used today. Based on what you know of romantic music, where else might you have heard it?

Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Claude Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1 in Spider-Man: Far From Home

Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Disney’s Fantasia

Activity Three | Thursday, October 29, 2020

Another major theme of romantic music is nationalism, or music that can be identified with a specific country. (For more information, check out last week’s video with Connor about traditional music!) One nationalist piece of music that came from the romantic period is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Although this piece is frequently played at Independence Day fireworks celebrations in the United States, it was actually written about Tchaikovsky’s home country of Russia.

Pick a country; can you find any pieces of music that represent it well, even if they are not from the romantic era?

Activity Four | Friday, October 30, 2020

Now that Mike has introduced us to the three major periods in Western orchestral music history, can you determine which of these pieces belong to which era? There are two from each era.

Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23

George Frideric Handel, “Hornpipe” from Water Music

Edward Elgar, Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85

C.P.E. Bach, Sonata in A, W. 55, No. 4

Domenico Scarlatti, Stabat Mater in C Minor

Louis Spohr, Duo Concertante, Op. 39, No.1