Similarities Between Classical and Romantic Music Styles

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The Romantic period represented an expansion of structure and expression in European classical music from the early 19th century to the early 20th century. For all of its departures from the style of the Classical period, it maintained many of the same characteristics.


According to "The Harvard Dictionary of Music," Romantic and Classical era music are merely phases within a continuum of development. There is more continuity than change.


Romantic era composers appreciated classical form. Romantic artists continued to write operas, symphonies and concertos, all accepted classical forms.


Chamber Music

Romantic composers like Schubert, Brahms and Mendelssohn produced Classical style chamber music, music intended for small ensembles, during the late Romantic era.


Harmony and Melody

According to the "Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Classical Music," aspects like harmony and melody were not destroyed by the Romantic period, but merely expanded upon.


Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven bridged the gap between the two forms. His early compositions were in the Classical style, while his later compositions, like the "Moonlight Sonata" are considered Romantic.



  • "Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Classical Music"; Stanley Sadie; 2000
  • "The Harvard Dictionary of Music"; Don Michael Randel; 2003

About the Author

James Gilmore has written professionally since 2005. Since then, he has written and proofread obituaries for "The Press & Sun-Bulletin" in Binghamton, N.Y., press releases for "Goals, Seminars and Consultants" and articles for Made Man and various other websites. He writes a good deal of music-related content and holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ithaca College.

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