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German song, particularly an art song for voice and piano of the late 18th or the 19th century. The Romantic movement fostered serious popular poetry by poets such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Composers often set such poetry to folk-influenced music, but the lied could also be highly sophisticated and even experimental. At first generally performed at private social gatherings, it eventually moved into the concert-hall repertoire. The most influential and prolific lied composer was Franz Schubert, who wrote more than 600; Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler, and Richard Strauss are most prominent in the lied's subsequent history.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lied, visit Britannica.com.