Sensitive style

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The sensitive style (German: Empfindsamer Stil) is a style of musical composition developed in 18th century Germany, intended to express "true and natural" feelings, and featuring sudden contrasts of mood. It was developed as a contrast to the Baroque Affektenlehre (lit. The Doctrine of Affections), in which a composition (or movement) would have the same affect, or emotion, throughout.

Composers in this style include:

See also[edit]


  • P. H. Lang, Music in Western Civilization (1941), pp. 585ff.
  • W. S. Newman, The Sonata in the Classic Era (1963)