The term lieder is the plural Form of the German word lied which means
"song." The function of lieder is to set fine poetry to beautiful music.
Lieder is accompanied by the piano, but the piano is like a partner to
the singer in that it helps to create a particular artistic effect which
the composer wished to represent.
There are two types of lieder
in the Romantic period. First, the strophic song is similar to a
hymn, as each stanza of poetry receives the same melody. Second,
the through-composed song provides different music for every stanza
of a poem. Schubert's Erlkonig
(Elf King) is an example of through-composed Romantic Lieder.