« Characteristics of a Good Textural Reduction | Main | Schumann / Schubert Song Assignments »

Analysis of a Schubert / Schumann Song

STEP ONE (Due Wednesday, October 18):
1. [3 points] Begin a Roman-numeral harmonic analysis of the work on a copy of the score, marking the principle phrase-defining cadences — distinguishing half, full, and other types where appropriate. Do at least two full phrases; more if the phrases are short.

a. Your Roman-numeral analysis should include all harmonies that “progress.” No need to mark each inversion of the same function (I, I6, I64) in an arpeggio, and no need to identify a new chord that results merely from a pair of contrapuntal passing or neighbor tones. On the other hand, don’t leave out any clearly spelled-out chords, even if they are ornamental. When in doubt, label.

b. Via one stem in the bass, and one stem in the treble, mark one strong, structural chord clearly associated with each phrase beginning. Unless the chord is clearly a “pickup” chord or an unstable preparation for stronger chord a bar or less later, this is usually going to be the first chord.

c. Again via stems in bass and treble, mark all cadential chords (usually 2) clearly associated with phrase-endings, and where appropriate, “slur” a bass note associated with a pre-dominant harmony.

2.  [6 points] Choose two phrases with strong cadential endings, to graph neatly, showing essential voice leading features. Begin with a textural reduction following these guidelines. Then locate examples of a few types of elaboration discussed in class:

a. elaborating tones: P, N, E, A, Arp., CS … and elaborating “chords.”

b. voice exchanges

c. unfoldings: stepwise movement through an interval that functions in the harmonic progression.

(Reminder: The outermost (top and bottom) notes in an unfolding are always parts of a harmony that supports the figure. Note unfoldings by stemming the bottom of the interval up, and the top of the interval down. Then draw a diagonal beam connecting the two stems.)

You will use these same two phrases to create two phrases of a transposed and simplified keyboard part to be played in your musicianship lab. The phrases you choose should result in a reduction consisting of at least 10 chords in total. 12-15 is more likely.

3. [1 point] Text translation: Enter the German text into Google Translate or a similar translation engine, and learn which German words refer to which English counterparts by selectively removing or modifying the German words. (Google Translate auto-updates, allowing you to recognize which part of the German text corresponds to the English meanings.) Print a version of the Google Translation. Feel free to “edit” it when you have a better guess as to the text’s meaning.

4. EXTRA CREDIT [up to 5 points] — 
Using the same phrases chosen for step 2 (and for your lab assignment), sketch out the essential intervals of the entire chord progression. Elaborate both voices with 4:1 counterpoint following guidelines in Kennan Chs. 2 & 4.


STEP TWO (Due Monday, October 30):

To complete your preliminary analysis of the complete piece, use a double grand staff in landscape (horizontal) format, showing the surface of the piece (basically all of its notes) on the bottom pair, and its fundamental progression on the top pair.

(A) The lower staves include:

(i) Stems-up notation of the full melody, with barlines and key signature(s). Write beams, stems and flags lightly.

(ii) Measure numbers corresponding to the score, in small boxes above the staff.

(iii) Most of the rest of the notes unstemmed — written lightly according to their positions in the score.

(iv) No clef changes, and no rhythmic information in non-melodic voices; limit ledger lines above the bass clef or below the treble.

(v) Clearly marked & labeled notes in the treble: These are marked with a long stem (extending above the flags and beams of the rhythmic notation), and a karated (^) scale-degree number.

— one melodic note representing the most stable “primary tone” (Kopfton) of each phrase—usually in the first phrase of the piece it will be 5^, 3^, or 8^—and in other phrases, a member of a stable triad

— two representing the cadence—usually descending by step (e.g. 3^ 2^ or 6^ 5^) or repeating (e.g. 5^ 5^). 

(Note: If the Kopfton seems not to be “prolonged” all the way to the intermediary and cadential harmony of the phrase, consider either (a) choosing a different primary melodic note, or (b) identifying an additional prolonged note 1 step away, that “bridges” to the cadence. In either case, IF you choose Kopfton, bridging tones, and cadential tones that connect via stepwise motion … this will express that you hear the melody in a coherent, overall stepwise structure.)

(vii) clearly marked & labeled notes in the bass:

— the bass notes that are the “essential support” of the primary tone and cadential tones in the treble. Mark them with stems (down) and Roman numerals with figures. (No additional marking is necessary to clarify that these are the prolongational and cadential harmony!)

— if the cadence is authentic, you should usually locate one bass note that prepares the dominant. Mark it “PD,” and slur it to the bass note of the cadential dominant. (No additional marking is necessary to clarify that this is the intermediate harmony.)

— if appropriate, somewhere between the prolongation and the cadence, stem a bass note a third above or below the bass of the prolongation: usually I6, vi, or iii in major, i6, III, or VI in minor. 

(vii) Finally, to help explain the remaining notes, mark them as elaborations: NCTs, CS/Arp., voice-exchanges, unfoldings (only when necessary!), and linear intervallic progressions. None of these need to be marked if they are obvious—focus on those that help account for the treble and bass notes not yet “spoken for” in step vii and vii. 

(B) In the upper staves, produce a simplified version of the detailed graph, that works directly “in rhythm” with the lower analysis. You don’t need to include Roman numerals of bass stems, because they should be clear in the bottom pair. The upper staves include:

(i) harmonic structure 

— show the prolongational harmony, intermediate harmony, and cadential harmony as simple chords with stemmed melodic notes

— add any “thirds” elaborations (I6, VI, III, etc.), and any harmony that supports the important stemmed notes in your melody.

(ii) the basic melodic structure, clarifying how the melody moves by steps, toward the cadence





Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>