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Romantic music

Romantic musical definitions

TermDefinition
Symphonic Poem A one-movement orchestral genre that develops a poetic idea, suggests a scene, or creates a mood that are conveyed through themes and that are repeated, varied, or transformed. This term was coined by Franz Liszt.
Idee Fixe A recurring theme is usually a melody which represents a person, thing or idea, transforming it to suit the mood and situation. (usually in a symphony. coined by Hector Berlioz.
Leitmotiv German ("leading motive"). A recurring motif in a composition (usually an opera) which represents a specific person, idea, or emotion that returns throughout the music. This term was first applied to the operas of Richard Wagner.
hemiolas A metric effect in which three duple units substitute for two triple ones or vice versa. Ex. triplets in a duple time signature.
chromatics Music which proceeds in half steps.
diatonic A scale that is based on five whole tones (steps) and two semitones (half steps). The major and natural minor scales and the modes are all diatonic.
Art Song A song of serious artistic purpose designed for the concert hall as opposed to traditional songs or folk songs. Usually a solo voice with accompaniment. A complete composition in itself and is not part of a larger work such as an opera or an oratorio.
Character Piece An instrumental composition that depicts a mood, personality, or scene usually indicated in its title.
Music drama Term applied to Richard Wagner's operas and other such composition that combine music, scenery, text, costume, etc., to create a whole, cohesive imaginary world.
program music Compositions with extra-musical content that directs the attention of the listener to a literary or pictoral association. Usually the story has explanatory text.
Mazurka A lively dance, of Polish origin, typically in 3/4 or 3/8 time with the accent usually on the second or third beat of the measure.
Polonaise A Polish dance in triple meter. The polonaise originated as a court dance.
Boehm Key system An improved system of keys and fingering invented for the flute and later adapted to other woodwind instruments that we still use today.
Nationalism Term describing the movement in the mid 19th century in which composers felt compelled to infuse nationalistic features into their music, so that it would declare its nationality.
Created by: lbaerlin