A German composer of romantic music in many forms, including piano pieces, orchestral music, and lieder. Among his notable works are the Davidsbündlertänze (1837), Dichterliebe (1840), and the Quintet in E-flat for Piano & Strings. From his early years, Schumann
spoke of the piano as a diary for his thoughts and feelings. Later, while establishing the fundamentals for the journalistic criticism of music in his Neue Zeitschrift für Musik ("New Journal for Music"), he seems to have continued that relationship with all the forms in which he composed. Many of his songs, song cycles, and piano works are collections of musical characterizations, which, like the Kinderszenen ("Scenes from Childhood") and Waldszenen ("Scenes from the Woods"), are often humorous. In his more dramatic works the meaning is often personal and elusive, with a hidden "program," although often passionately beautiful. Schumann
's symphonies, neglected for a long time, are now appreciated for the many innovative qualities of their melody and form.