Music of the Romantic Period

10:00 - 11:30 am Wednesdays from 6 October 2021 (4 weeks), online via Zoom

Turner: Music Party, Petworth, 1835

“Who can do anything after Beethoven?”
Composers in nineteenth century Europe had a daunting predecessor, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. Examining the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, we look at the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. No musical knowledge is necessary.

How to enrol

Course Outline

Session 1

  • What is wonderful about Romantic music?
  • Romance and adventure: origins of the term “Romantic”
  • Social and historical background: Europe, 1820-1880
  • The art of the Romantic period: we look at art and architecture of the times, and see parallel tastes in art and music
  • Musical genres of the Romantic Period: the influence of Beethoven
  • Some great names in music: Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms and Tchaikovsky
  • Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1

Session 2

  • Compositional techniques: what Romantic composers were trying to achieve, and how they achieved it
  • Musical characteristics: what to listen for, and how to get more out of music of the Romantic period
  • Programme music: the music of life
  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique

Session 3

  • Romantic Opera: Bel Canto, Rossini, Verdi and Wagner
  • Bellini: I Puritani
  • Rossini: The Barber of Seville
  • Verdi: Rigoletto
  • Wagner: The Flying Dutchman
  • Song in the Romantic period: the beauty and charm of lieder
  • Schubert’s Gretchen am Spinnrade

Session 4

  • The Piano and the Virtuoso
  • Liszt: Les jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este
  • The concerto
  • The Symphony and the Symphonic Poem
  • Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet
This course covers the same material as the 1-day version with the same name.

How to Enrol

Next class: 6 - 27 October 2021
Wednesday mornings 10:00 - 11:30 am
4 weeks
Online via Zoom, through Susan Deas Music
$125.50 inc GST
Enrol now button

Enrolments close Monday 4 October 2021
Book cover, Music of the Romantic Period

Buy the course notes for this class

In hard copy book form, through Lulu Press
$18 + postage

A digital copy of these notes will be provided free with enrolment.


“Fascinating course. Tutor enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very well prepared. I learnt a lot and found the day thoroughly enjoyable”

“The presentation of this course was excellent - easy to understand the information and a great benefit in understanding and enjoying this music. Excellent notes also, with great music played to illustrate this course”

“Excellent day!”

“Learned a lot, as is usual with Susan’s courses”

“Excellent course in every aspect. So fortunate to have Susan Deas conducting this series”

“Great presentation. Interesting overview of history related to the topic. Good examples”

“Excellent stuff! Thank you”

“This was a very well prepared and interesting course. I found the content to be comprehensive and detailed. Susan is an excellent presenter – clear, articulate and intelligent, with an excellent sense of humour” - Steve, Wahroonga

About Susan Deas

Susan Deas is a professional musician, lecturer and teacher. She has been teaching music appreciation courses for more than twenty years, through Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, WEA Sydney and at other venues. Her training includes a Bachelor of Music with a major in Performance (Piano) and Musicology, a Master of Music Studies (Studio Pedagogy), a Bachelor of Arts (Communications), and an A.Mus.A in Musicianship. Susan teaches piano and music theory to adults and children, and plays piano and organ at various venues around Sydney. Susan is an accredited piano teacher and musicianship teacher, and is on the Council of the Music Teachers’ Association of NSW.

More about Susan’s qualifications

Read what people have said about Susan’s other courses

Susan’s other music courses