Romanticism in two musical repertories: a comparison of the music of Federic Chopin and the rock group Nirvana

Marco Lombardi

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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This study examines the concept of romanticism within two widely different musical genres and repertories – that is, the music of Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) and Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) of the rock group Nirvana. The introductory chapter discusses the place of this study amongst other research, especially pertaining to romanticism in rock music. Drawing on a variety of sources, this chapter also explores aspects of the intensely debated concepts of romanticism (and beyond) that are relevant to the two case studies. Chapter 2 examines Chopin and his music through the lens of romanticism. A similar investigation into Kurt Cobain and Nirvana’s music is given in Chapter 3 showing what sort of conclusions can be drawn using categories that are atypical for contemporary rock music, and to what extent they are comparable to those drawn from the studies of Chopin. From such comparative analysis, this study provides some convincing evidence that a variety of musical and non-musical similarities can be discerned between these two artists and their respective musical outputs. The similarities that are revealed come under the broad label of romanticism; and more specifically they further encompass parallels between the two artists in the areas of gender, sickness and death.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015


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