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Chopin and the Birth of Musical Romanticism

Thomas Shoebotham

Presented at: OCON 2012

Date: Jun 30, 2012

The Romantic period of music truly began after Beethoven’s death, with the music of Liszt, Schumann, Berlioz and Mendelssohn. However, no composer exemplified the new era more completely than Frederic Chopin. His innovative approach in almost all areas of music—particularly melody, rhythm, harmony and form—made him the most original composer of his generation, and one of the most creative musical minds of any era.

This course examines musical developments in the 1830s and arrives at a clear description of musical Romanticism, and uses that description as the basis for a closer examination of Chopin’s music in various genres. The oft-repeated view that Chopin was a “failure” in larger forms, such as sonata, is discussed, and shown to be baseless.

No specialized knowledge of music is required for this course.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


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