1810-1910 - Extending the bonds of music beyond...restrictive formality...
The Romantic period is about passion and self-expression. It is paralleled in literature of the period by novels and poetry speaking of unrequited love and strong emotions.
It is also during this period that there is a rise in nationalism in Europe. Composers abandoned the more or less international classical styles to explore the use of the folk melodies of their native lands.
Reliance on the developmental forms of the Classical period is replaced by a clarity of melodic line and varied instrumental color.
The piano replaces the harpsichord as the keyboard instrument of choice. And harmonic composition technique becomes increasingly complex.
Virtuosi such as the pianist Franz Liszt and the violinist Paganini are the "rock stars" of the age.
The names of many of the composer of this period are still household words: Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Rossini, Verdi, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, to name but a few.