Difference Between Classical Music and Romantic Music


Primary Difference

Music is the food of the soul, as they say, it has been existent since the beginning of the world and has evolved as the humans have evolved. Another thing about it is that music is not restricted to a particular place or a person, it is for all. There are different types of music which have been famous all over the world. In general terms, music is classified into different categories and two of such categories are known as classical music and romantic music. Both are very different from each other and should not be confused. Most people who are not that updated about the types confused these two terms but that is not the case. The main difference between these two type is that romantic music has a little bit of emotional touch and is more intense. It is usually about a lover, of a place which a person is attached to and therefore involves personal feelings which dominate the tone in which this music exists. Classical music, on the other hand, follows certain traditions and music rules which have been existent for a very long time. This music is soothing and always has a structure. Most famous musicians which were involved with romantic music include Beethoven and Brahms while the most famous musicians in classical music include Vivaldi and Mozart. There is no certain date which can help the user decide which music form existed before the other but it is said that the modern music is the romantic music while classical music has been in existence for a very long time. According to one research, classical music belonged to the era of the beginning of 17th century to the mid-18th century while the romantic music began making inroads during the 19th century and did not last for a very long time because of the social and political situation. The difference between the two types and a brief explanation of them is given in the next sections.

Comparison Table

Classical MusicRomantic Music
This type of music began in 1600, a time which was politically and socially stable.This type of music existed because of various wars that were being carried out and people having to live away from each other in the 19th century.
Specific instruments such as a piano are used.Different types of instruments are used.
Specific symphoniesVariety of symphonies
Lighter and properly arranged.Has emotional touch and can be depressing.

Definition of Classical Music

This type of music began in 1600, a time which was politically and socially stable. People had time to self-reflect and explore different things therefore this type of music came into existent in Europe but quickly made its roots in other parts of the world including Asia and Africa and currently every area has their own classical music forms in the local languages which always follow a particular set of rules and specific instruments which are used. The piano is the most used instrument in Europe while flute and Sitar are the more used tool when it comes to classical music in Asia.

Definition of Romantic Music

This type of music existed because of various wars that were being carried out and people having to live away from each other in the 19th century. It is the latest form of music but could not last for long. There was always an emotional touch with this type of music which focuses on other rather than own self. There are no particular rules and various instruments can be used for this type and has made its roots in the modern music too, which is based on love of others or a particular place. Beethoven was one of the first musicians to introduce this type.


Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Romantic music began in Europe later in the 19th century and stemmed from romanticism while classical music existed way before this in the beginning of 17th century and also started from Europe.
  2. Specific instruments such as a piano are used for the classical music while different types of instruments are used for romantic music.
  3. There are specific symphonies related to classical music while there are a variety of symphonies related to romantic music.
  4. The main focus of the classical music is nature and self-analysis while the main focus of the romantic music is something other than own self.
  5. Romantic music always has emotional touch and can be depressing at times while classical music is lighter and properly arranged.
  6. There are a basic set of rules on how classical music is sung but in the case of romantic music, there are no such rules.


There can be various types of music, although it is termed as universal. Most people have their favorites and want to listen to those types. Others, like to explore music and the new types to get a better idea. This article does exactly the same. Give people a better understanding of the two types which they can explore.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss