The Music of Johannes Brahms and Frederic Chopin

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The Music of Johannes Brahms and Frederic Chopin Johannes Brahms and Frederic Chopin were two of the most significant and influential musicians of the Romantic era, which extended from approximately 1820 until 1900. Romantic music built on the ideas that were developed in the preceding era, the Classical era, and had even greater ranges of tone color, dynamics and pitch, as well as greater emphasis on dramatic, unstable chords (Kamien 1998, p. 210). Chopin, who only lived thirty-nine years, was the only great composer who wrote almost exclusively for piano (Kamien 229). His compositions give the piano a voice that almost has a singing quality. This is evident in his Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV5U8kVYS88). It is an early work of Chopin's, composed when he was about twenty years old. It has an intimate quality because it was meant to be heard in a small space, such as a parlor. The piece opens slowly and lyrically, with a sweet melody in the middle of the keyboard. Near the end of the first minute, the piece builds slightly in speed and Chopin incorporates some higher notes, which trill like a melancholy bird. The melody is repeated three times in the piece. Each time, it becomes slightly louder and is more ornate with its trills. The piece, which lasts just over four minutes, is written in 12/8 time. The melody is sweet and a little sad, and is counterpoint to the waltz-like accompaniment. Johannes Brahms created
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