Music and the Romantic Movement in France

Music and the Romantic Movement in France

Music and the Romantic Movement in France

Music and the Romantic Movement in France

Excerpt

The study of the evolution of art and music in connection with contemporary social and political conditions has been urged on the ground that an understanding of the general life of any period is necessary to a sympathetic understanding of the artistic production of that period. Some argue, on the other hand, that the study of art is, in fact, a study of the history of man and that it illuminates the study of history rather than vice versa. The truth is that, in studying either art or history, certain general causes appear which influence the development of both artistic and political ideas. Whatever we learn about these fundamental causes--whether in art or history--the knowledge we gain can always be helpful in unravelling any problems of art-development or of history that we try to solve.

For the general underlying causes behind the changes which came at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries, I have drawn freely, in the present essay, upon various authorities. I am largely indebted to Professor Irving Babbitt of Harvard University, whose lectures have provided the main stimulus for the present study and whose book Rousseau and Romanticism (Houghton and Mifflin, Boston, 1919) is a definitive exposition of the many phases of the romantic point of view. My effort has been, after giving the reader a brief description of the intellectual background of the romantic period, to set against this background the prominent figures in the musical life of France, with the double object, first, of placing each composer in the light which the understanding of the background throws on his work, and, second, of showing what each contributed to the main current of romanticism.

Northampton, Mass.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.