Lieder (classical forward)
a German word meaning "song"; among English speakers, however, the word is used primarily as a term for European romantic songs, also known as art songs. The term is usually used to describe songs composed to a German poem of reasonably high literary aspirations, especially during the nineteenth century, beginning with Carl Loewe, Heinrich Marschner, and Franz Schubert and culminating with Hugo Wolf. The poetry forming the basis for Lieder often centers upon pastoral themes, or themes of romantic love. Typically, Lieder are arranged for a single singer and piano. Some of the most famous examples of Lieder are Schubert's Der Tod und Das Mädchen (Death and the Maiden) and Gretchen am Spinnrade. Sometimes Lieder are gathered in a Liederkreis or "song cycle"—a series of songs (generally three or more) tied by a single narrative or theme, such as Schumann's Frauenliebe und Leben or Schumann's Dichterliebe. The composers Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann are most closely associated with this genre of romantic music.