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Answered 2008-05-16 15:47:25

Composers from the late 1700s to early 1900s wrote music that had emotions, imagery, and nationalism. What I mean is that before this time, there was only major (happy), and minor (sad or serious) tones to songs, like in the Baroque ad Classical eras. They say Beethoven was the first Romantic Composer because he put the emotion of "Anger" in a some of his pieces, something never done before. Romantic Composers liked to put extreme emotions like anger, anguish, or extreme happiness in some of their songs. Just to also make known, Symphonie Fantastique (premiered 1830) by Berlioz was considered very contraversal because of the tones he had in it, and it was one of the first songs to ever have a STORY to go along with it.

Imagery used was when a composer could have been inspired by something like a place, or an event, and they would write music that would imitate or remind the listener of that thing. An example of a piece would be Respighi's Fountains of Rome. He was inspired to make music about Rome, and made a piece of music for each of 4 famous fountains found in that city. He was a late Romantic composer, and made this piece 1916-1917.

Last is the nationalism that was sweeping through all the composers during this time and even before. Composers of different countries would make music to show their pride in their country and culture (Hence, Respighi, an Italian composer, treated Rome as a part of his culture he could off to the world). Some would even go to other countries to copy that other country's culture (For example, a Russian composer going purposely to Finland to write a song or two about it). Every composer had their own style, but it was always important to do something for their country.

All these characteristics made Romantic Era music made very interesting to listen to, to imagine what the composer wanted you to imagine.

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