Personal expression gains the center
of attention during this period, and composers are liberated in that sense.
The symphonic poem describes stories and visions, and composers begin to
discover their nations' musical roots. Chromaticism enhances possibilities
in the Romantic period shifts emphasis from form
and structure to the artist's personal expression, not necessarily
in a defined formal framework. The old forms are still in use (symphony,
yet they undergo essential modifications. Emphasis shifts to the individual
artist. "Programme music"
(descriptional music) evolves, and Liszt
creates the "symphonic poem",
in which the course of the work is set by content,
not by patterns of form.
One should mention the "national
that became, in the 19th century, a meaningful trend in musical practice.
The revolutions, since 1848, marked an age of national affinity among the
peoples of Europe, and many composers (Mussorgski,
and others) reflected the music of their own people in their work.
In this period, composers make great use of chromatics
and chromatic keys.
In the 'opera verismo'
writers tend to write about the lives of the common people, and
to put more realistic stories on this stage.