Frederic Chopin and Louis Moreau Gottschalk

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Frederic Chopin and Louis Moreau Gottschalk were both pianists and composers who lived during the early and mid 1800s. Both were considered piano virtuoso's and despite their different backgrounds shared some very similar musical ideas. Chopin was born in Poland and was considered a child prodigy on the piano.


Gottschalk was considered to be the first widely recognized American composer in Europe (George, M.R., 1987, Starr, S., 2000)
Chopin and Gottschalk both composed and played Romantic period music though their music is quite different. The musical works of Beethoven, Mozart, and Hadyn educated Chopin. Much of Chopin's music was considered to resemble Bach and Mozart. An obvious example of this being Chopin's 24 preludes in which all 24 of the keys mirror Bach's 48 preludes and fugues. The song-like melodies of his Nocturnes, which feature a gentle and flowing bass, are very much written in the style of Italian bel canto opera (Kennedy, M., 2004).
Those that came before him also influenced Gottschalk, but he was not inspired by what today are considered classical composers. His time spent in South America and the Caribbean. His early days in New Orleans influenced much of his music in that he utilized much of the rhythmic variations that are characteristic of South American and Afro-American music. His works The Banjo, Grotesque Fantasie and Souvenir de Porto Rico were non-traditional pieces based on traditional Caribbean and South American pieces from unknown composers. He was very forth coming on any of his "quotations" and always acknowledged any borrowing from unknown work. He also did compose traditional, salon music. ...
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