Robert Schumann

Essay by singr084University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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Robert Schumann

Many composers throughout history have influenced those who came after them. Ludwig Van Beethoven had influenced composers such as Schubert, Berlioz, Liszt, and Schumann. Many of these men used Beethoven's way of composing as their starting point. With their own touches the beginning of Beethoven turned into individual pieces of musical achievement.

Robert Schumann devoted himself to becoming a concert pianist. An injury to his right hand cut his dream of being a piano virtuoso short. He then turned all of his energy to composition and to the Leipzig Neue Zeitschrist Fur Musik (New Journal of Music.) Robert was the first man to recognize the music of Chopin and Brahms as well as Schubert's instrumental music.

Schumann's music is out of the Romantic period and expresses that era's dedication to personal expression and freedom from the strict rules of classical form. As noted, he had a literary inclination in his music and would hide names spelled in notes in his works.

For instance, he wrote a collection of short piano pieces called Carnaval, and two of these pieces are named "Florestan" and "Eusebius." which were pseudonyms Schumann used when he wrote in his journal. Each name and each piece reflects a different aspect of his personality--"Florestan" is flamboyant "Eusebius" is more sedate. He also often made reference to literary works or characters in titles and in the music itself.

During his first ten years as a composer, Schumann published only piano pieces, and his musical style seemed to grow out of piano improvisation. His short pieces often express a single mood through a sensitive melody, dance rhythms, dotted rhythms, and syncopations are also prominent.

Schumann completed four symphonies, after earlier unsuccessful attempts at the form. The first, written soon after his marriage and completed early in...