Unit 9-Music in the Romantic Period-Part 2. MUL2010.docx -...

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Short-essay Questions 1. Why was the wooden frame of the early piano unsatisfactory? Because they had a lucked power in tone. Romantic Era pianists demanded larger tone. In order to achieve that they needed heavier strings and a larger soundboard underneath the strings. Wooden-frame construction of the instruments could not withstand the tension of heavier strings. That was the reason the early wooden frame pianos were not satisfactory in this period. 2. Why was the piano such a coveted piece of equipment in middle- class homes in the nineteenth century? They became more affordable. Every spring middle-class home had to have a piano for the enjoyment of the family and it served as a status symbol as well. 3. What is a "character" piece? To replace the rondo, sonata, and other forms, composers in the nineteenth century created many free, short forms that are often referred to as character pieces . With its ability to project melodious and dramatic moods in a compact form, the character piece was the instrumental equivalent to the song. 4. Why was Chopin known as the "poet of the piano?" Chopin was a rarity among Romantic composers in that he wrote only for the piano; he did not write symphonies, string quartets, or operas. His compositions for the piano are so expressive and beautiful that he is frequently called the "poet of the piano." 5. How did Chopin make a living when he moved to Paris? Chopin made his living as a highly fashionable piano teacher and by selling his music to publishers. The facts that he was Polish and that Poland was being overrun by Russia at the time seem to have made him even more glamorous to the French.

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