Composers of the Romantic period sought to fuse the large structural harmonic planning demonstrated by earlier masters such as Haydn and Mozart with further chromatic innovations, in order to achieve greater fluidity and contrast, and to meet the needs of longer works or serve the expression that struggled to emerge. Chromaticism grew more varied, as did dissonances and their resolution.
Composers modulated to increasingly remote keys, and their music often prepared the listener less for these modulations than the music of the classical era. The properties of the diminished 7th and related chords, which facilitate modulation to many keys, were also extensively exploited. Composers such as Beethoven, and later Richard Wagner, expanded the harmonic language with previously-unused chords, or innovative chord progressions.
Some composers analogized music to poetry and its rhapsodic and narrative structures, while creating a more systematic basis for the composing and performing of concert music. Previous practices, such as thesonata form, continued in use, and composers extended them.[vague] There was an increasing focus on melodies and themes, as well as an explosion in the composition of songs, in particular lieder.
The greater harmonic elusiveness and fluidity, the longer melodies, poesis as the basis of expression, and the use of literary inspirations were all present prior to this period. However, some composers of the Romantic period adopted them as the central pursuit of music itself. Composers were also influenced by technological advances, including an increase in the range and power of the piano and the improved chromatic abilities and greater projection of the instruments of the symphony orchestra.