Lieders or songs were originally denoted in classical music the setting of Romantic German poems to music, especially during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Examples include settings by Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. Among English-speakers, however, "Lied" is often used interchangeably with "art song" to encompass works that the tradition has inspired in other languages. The poems that have been made into Lieder often center on pastoral themes or themes of romantic love. Typically, Lieder are arranged for a single singer and piano, the Lied with orchestral accompaniment being a later development. 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 Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, or Robert Schumann's Frauenliebe und -leben and Dichterliebe. Schubert and Schumann are most closely associated with this genre, mainly developed in the Romantic era.
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