A History of Music: Romantic Music

In the last couple of years, Rupert has expressed quite an interest in classical music. When we sat down with him for a chat at the Wizarding World in November 2011, he specifically mentioned Franz Liszt as one of his favorite classical composers:

Classical music covers a wide range of periods and styles and, what we actually think of as "classical" is really considered the Common Practice Period, which spanned from 1550 to 1900.

The last era of this period of music is often referred to as The Romantic Period (1815-1910), which is perhaps the most expressive and certainly the most interesting to me personally.

Rupert's choice Franz Liszt, born in Hungary in 1811, is one of the most revered Romantic Period composers and was also considered one of the greatest pianists of his day. Aside from his musical advancements, Liszt was also an essayist, most of his writing having been centered around artistic practice, opera and other musical works.

One of Liszt's most well recognised pieces is his Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which also happens to be my favourite of his works. It is an inspiration as a pianist to hope to one day be able to achieve the memorisation of this piece of beautiful music. The piece is distinctly divided into segments that go from intensely drawn out minor melodies to a jaunty dance that reminds me of a carnival or parade:

Another strong composer of the Romantic Period was Sergei Rachmaninoff, a leading influence on Russian classical music.

Born in 1873, Rachmaninoff's childhood was coloured with tragedy, with substantial financial setbacks to his family, on top of losing two sisters to illness at young ages. His music, which he began composing officially after completing his studies at multiple conservatoires, reflects an element of sadness, often building to heavy, complicated chords in a minor key.

A favourite piece of mine is Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Sharp Minor. It has a personal connection with me, being the piece that I most loved to hear my grandfather (who was also my piano teacher) play for me. You can hear the sadness in Rachmaninoff's composition, but you can also feel a sense of encouragement as the piece builds, gaining strength:

We can still see the influence of the Romantic Period on all kinds of modern music, building on the use of expressive, emotional melodies, affecting the listener in a variety of ways -  to make us happy or sad or to call up a particular memory.

As a music lover himself, Rupert seems to appreciate these roots, too, from which modern music grew. Western classical music's influence can surely be seen in a multitude of genres, throughout history, all the way through to the present.

Growing up on classical music, I have a particular respect for the Romantic Period of music. It is inspiring to think of all the boundaries that were pushed socially, politically and scientifically during this time and to consider how that led the way for modern music as well as so much new artisitic vision. Without this outside the box thinking, later innovations in music, such as another of Rupert's beloved eras, the punk movement, may not have existed or might not have had nearly the same impact on our culture.

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Submitted by Aubrey on Sun, 12/01/2013 - 12:53
History of Music

When we think of music, a variety of factors come into play – personal preference, background, what we want to feel at the moment when we choose to listen... Such a wide range of options are available in the musical world, from classical to electronic to folk to rap. And it is fascinating to think that it all started thousands and thousands of years ago, even before recorded history.

A History of Music

Prehistoric Music
Ancient Music
Biblical Period
Early Music

Western Art Music
Medieval Music
Renaissance Music

Common Practice Period
Classical music encompasses a wide range of periods and styles. However, what we may typically think of as "classical" is actually considered the Common Practice Period, which spanned from 1550 to 1900. This period brought about the invention of staff notation, which is widely recognized as a defined form of musical instruction, giving the player specifics on the timing and individual notes that are expected to be played in sequence.

The Common Practice Period covers three sub-periods of music:

Baroque Music: 1669-1760
Classical Music: 1730-1820
Romantic Music: 1815-1910

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Submitted by Aubrey on Sun, 12/01/2013 - 12:14
Music Monday - 11/18/2013 Edition


Detroit born singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has contributed to over two dozen film and television soundtracks, including the one for Rupert Grint's second non-Potter film, Driving Lessons!

Two Sufjan Stevens songs were featured on this soundtrack: "The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders Part 1: The Great Frontier" and "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands".

Stevens has released eight original full length albums since 1999. A multi-talented musician, Stevens plays and records a large range of the instruments heard on his albums himself, from banjo to xylophone to oboe.

Perhaps his most well-known album is his 2005 release, Illinois, a concept album centered around references to places, events and people from the state of Illinois. Stevens' most popular single, "Chicago," comes from this album.

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Submitted by Aubrey on Mon, 11/18/2013 - 08:41
The Best of Wrock
Sometime between the releases of the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban films, a special kind of music was born... Wizard Rock aka Wrock! For those of you who have yet to experience the joys of Harry Potter themed rock bands complete with full albums, music videos and tour dates, you are in for a treat!

It all really got into full swing with Harry and the Potters, a duo of brothers from Massachusetts, who set up the band on the backstory that they were both actually Harry Potter, from two different years (having traveled through time to form a band together). In addition to making catchy tunes about our favourite fictional characters, Harry and the Potters also helped to co-found The Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit organization that helps to raise awareness as well as funds for various relief programs all around the world.

Next up is Draco and the Malfoys, a comparable band by many standards - two brothers from Rhode Island both pose as Draco Malfoy and sing their songs from his perspective. The band was formed as a parody of Harry and the Potters in 2004. During their eight years together as a band, they recorded two full length albums and played at a great number of events and conventions.

The Whomping Willows was soon born, and though the band's name may imply a collaboration of several musicians, it is actually only one - Matt Maggiacomo, also of Rhode Island. Matt has released over ten albums under The Whomping Willows, some of which contain original non-Potter themed tracks. And though it's been nearly a decade, he's still making Wrock music today!

Finally, we come to one of the most dance-able acts in Wrock music - Ministry of Magic, a six piece act who are known for their electronic music and boy band-ish presentation on stage and at Harry Potter conventions around the United States. Several of the members of the band have now embarked upon their own solo careers; though as of last year, they had made an appearance at LeakyCon and are showing no signs of calling it quits as a Wrock band!

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Submitted by Aubrey on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 21:11
Superhero Special: April 2013

End Theme to The Powerpuff Girls
performed by Jaron Ferrer and Garrett Ciriello

Jaron and Garrett are both currently completing their degrees in music in South Carolina. Jaron is in several bands, spanning genres from jazz to indie rock. You can check out his latest project, Spry Old Men, with pal Logan Galloway by going here!

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Submitted by Aubrey on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 15:47
Exclusive Covers: February 2013

"Sonic Reducer" by The Dead Boys

Musician and filmmaker Joe Chang has covered The Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer," exclusively for RupertGrint.net!

From Asheville, NC, Joe is one of three partners in the independent film company Papercookie, having produced four original feature length films, as well as several music videos and short films. Joe has written and directed two of those films, which have been featured in festivals in the southeast over the last several years.

Joe plays guitar for indie folk rock band Kovacs and the Polar Bear and has been writing (and performing live with friends) his own solo music for years.

It could be said that Joe draws some influence from one of his favourite musicians, Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel), and you might recognize a hint of Alec Ounsworth's (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!) style in Joe's voice as well.

To see and hear more from Joe, check out his YouTube channel here!

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Submitted by Aubrey on Fri, 02/01/2013 - 19:59
Exclusive Covers: September 2012

"Einstein" by The Ghost of Samantha

Musician Rachael Gallman has covered The Ghost of Samantha's new song "Einstein," exclusively for RupertGrint.net! You may remember Rachael from our May 2012 feature, and you can find out more about her here.

The Ghost of Samantha is the music of Samantha Grint. She was featured on our website with a music player and Q&A session back in March. Read more about The Ghost of Samantha here!

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Submitted by Aubrey on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 20:04
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