Romantic Era

Introduction to the Romantic Era

The Romantic Era began in roughly 1830 and ended in the year 1900. Compositions became increasingly expressive and inventive. Many Romantic composers took their inspiration from art and literature.

Romantic music is “all about feelings” - visit this site which has a great explanation of Romantic Music for kids.

Watch this video of favorite Romantic composers



Lesson 1: Impromptu in G flat – Schubert

Required Links

Listen to Impromptu in G flat Opus 90 No. 3

Listen to the same piece below (non-video)


Supplemental Links

To learn more about Schubert, use the following two resources:

Classics for Kids – Nice radio show about Schubert geared for children – a must listen! 
Free Printable book – Schubert: The Story of the Boy Who Wrote Beautiful Songs

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Lesson 2: Dies Irae – Berlioz

Required Links

Listen to Dies Irae from Berlioz' Requiem. 


Supplemental Links

Dallas Symphony Orchestra – Berlioz Biography

Learn about the timpani - can you pronounce timpani? Someone who plays timpani is called a timpanist.


"March" 8 Pieces for Timpani


Lesson 3:  Minute Waltz – Chopin

Required Links

This audio clip and written article explains the background of this Chopin waltz perfectly.

Listen to Chopin's Minute Waltz (Waltz  Opus 64 no. 1):

Watch this close up (and slightly slower) version of The Minute Waltz


Supplemental Links

Listen to additional recordings of The Minute Waltz:


You might want to bring up HOMOGRAPHS  and talk about words that sound differently but are spelled the same.

Learn about Chopin at Making Music Fun

Download this FREE book by Thomas Tapper: Chopin: The Story of the Boy Who Made Beautiful Melodies

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Lesson 4: Libestraum No. 3 – Liszt

Required Links

Listen to these two recordings of Liebestraum by Franz Liszt



Supplemental Links

Watch this biography of Franz Liszt

Liszt was a  PRODIGY– what does this mean?

Read Liszt: The Story of a Boy Who Became a Great Pianist and Teacher (free download)

You can view the music (also known as the SCORE) through this link... (click “downloand pdf sheet music) 

Additional fun listening - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Liszt


Lesson 5:  Ride of the Valkyries – Wagner

Required Links

Listen to Ride of the Valkyries (both audio and video links below)

Learn how to pronounce 'valkyrie'

How to pronounce Wagner (it isn't how it looks!)


Supplemental Links

Wagner's life story may not be fit for children, so you may want to research ahead of them! This link from The Biography Channel might be helpful.

Hey, Kids, It's a French Horn

The French Horn, a Brief History

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Lesson 6:  “La donna e mobile” from Rigoletto - Verdi

Required Links

Listen to La donna e mobile – featuring Pavarotti

Another version - featuring Andrea Bocelli

How to pronounce La donna e mobile:

How to pronounce Verdi:


Supplemental Links

This is for an orchestra and a TENOR. If your children aren't familiar with operatic voices, this site gives a nice explanation of the classification of voices in opera. (scroll down and look for “TENOR” on the left hand side)

Adults, you can preview a translation of this opera's story and see if you would like to share it with your children.

Check out this Fast and Friendly Guide to Giuseppe Verdi

"Verdi and Opera" From Opera America

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Lesson 7: Symphony no, 4, Third Movement - Brahms

Required Links

Listen to the third movement

Listen to the entire symphony (It's lengthy, but might provide good background music for your day. It is one of my personal favorites!)

Are you pronouncing the composer's name correctly? Watch the video below to find out.


Supplemental Links

Here is a good article about all four of Brahms' symphonies, and why he was such an intriguing composer.

Learn more about Brahms at Making Music Fun.

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Lesson 8:  “November”, from Seasons - Tchaikovsky

Required Links

Listen to “November” performed on piano by the famous composer and pianist, Sergei Rachmaninov

Listen to “November” performed by orchestra

Learn how to pronounce Tchaikovsky's full name


Supplemental Links

Listen to the entire recording of all of Tchaikovsky's Seasons. 

This piece is supposed to sound like a Troika ride. Do you know what  a Troika is? Read this Wikipedia Article to find out more.

Learn about Tchaikovsky at Making Music Fun and Kids Music Corner - Tchaikovsky

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Lesson 9:  “Love Theme” from Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture - Tchaikovsky

Required Links

Listen to the Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture

Read this synopsis of Romeo and Juliet from Kids Love Shakespeare.

Listen to the ENTIRE Overture from Romeo and Juliet


Supplemental Links

Pop singer Eric Carman singing “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”

“Lovely, so Lovely” - from Disney's Three Musketeers


Lesson 10:  Also Sprach Zarathustra – Strauss

Required Links

Listen to Sunrise from Also Sprach Zarathustra

Another version – great for identifying instruments


Supplemental Links

The history of the novel and then the tone poem is complex – NPR has a nice article worth reading to educate yourself a bit more.

In case you are interested, you can view the entire musical score – intricate, but shows all of the instruments used.

Listen to the entire Symphonic Poem, Also Sprach Zarathustra

Eumir Deodato's rendition of the piece, a Latin pop version which won a Grammy in 1973

Read about Richard Strauss. He was not only a great composer, but a brave person.

Learn 15 facts about Richard Strauss and complete the notebooking page that follows.