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When hearing of the Romantic Era (1820-1900), instruments such as the harp and violin would come to mind. The most interesting thing I learned is how inspiration for music was taken not only from aspects associated with dreams or love, but also from categories that are considered dark and negative. For example, according to the “Excerpt from Music: Its Language, History, and Culture,” by Douglas Cohen, Cohen writes, “… they [the romantics of the 19th century] were fascinated by subjects associated with dreams (Goya’s The Dream of Reason), oppression, injustice, and political struggle (novels of Dickens, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserable ), the macabre (stories of Edgar Allen Poe), and death (poems of Emily Dickinson)” (29). I originally thought that because this is the “romantic” era, people would look at aspects of love and happiness to compose music, but once learning about how inspiration was also taken from dark forms of society (such as oppression and death), it opened a new perspective for me.

After listening to Nicolo Paganini’s Caprice No. 24, the music sounds like how it was described in the textbook. In Paganini’s music, I felt a sense of sorrow and sometimes fear. Also, while listening, I could feel that it included aspects in the excerpt written by Cohen, such as “restlessness, longing, and unhappy love relationships” (29).

1 Comment

  1. I agree with you, even though I didn’t write about the Romantic period, but it was pretty interesting after reading your blog. I like the citation you used and how it opened a new perspective for you.

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