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Monday
Nov102014

Analysis of a late-19th-c song or Aria

Step I: Due Wednesday, November 20 [for specific song assignments, scroll to the bottom]

1. Text translation

— Listen to a recording of the song, then find a translation of the text on recmusic.org. Read through both the original language and the English, making guesses as to the specific meanings of the original words.

— Listen again. What are some features of the text that stand out in the musical setting? Use an online translation engine to ensure you know the specific meanings of each word in the text that stands out.

— To turn in:

a. A translation of the text, with the original language alongside it, underlining at least two lines that seem to have been set to music in distinctive ways.

b. List specific meanings of a few key words in the original langauge—focusing on meanings that might not have been captured by the recmusic.org translation.

2. Roman-numeral analysis:

— On the score, identify any clear cadences you find, including a marking “PD” next to a pre-cadential bass note, where appropriate. (You do not need to identify structural melodic notes at this stage.)

— Wherever possible, analyze harmony in terms of a goal cadence: use bar notation to indicate how digressive or remote harmony relates to cadences.

(This will often a “borrowed” function—for example lowered III in major, raised vi in major).

— Where necessary, mark modulations with key names (D:, f#:, etc.).

(Do this only when *at least* a full phrase occurs in a new key, without possibility of comprehending it with bar notation.)

3. EXTRA CREDIT: Identify motivic features. A motivic feature is any idea in the piece that repeats at least once, usually in some transformation. These features may be melodic, harmonic, or both. Write the feature clearly on a separate work of paper, identifying where in the score it’s found.

  — For melodic ideas, write at least one transformation of the idea (indicating mm #s as with the original). Indicate how the transformation differs from the original. Is it a change in contour? A change in rhythm?

— For harmonic ideas, explain in 1-2 sentences why it doesn’t work as a traditional structural function or elaboration.

***

Song Suggestions

Johannes Brahms

Op. 49 (Fünf Lieder) No. 2 - “An ein Vielchen(“To a violet”)  

Op. 86 (Sechs Lieder) No. 5 - “Versunken“  (“Drowned”)

Op. 86 (Sechs Lieder) No. 6 - “Todessehnen”  (“Yearning for death”)

Op. 94 (Fünf Lieder) No. 1 - “Mit vierzig Jahren”  (“At forty years)
Op. 95 (Sieben Lieder) No. 1 - “Das Mädchen”  (“The maiden”)  
Op. 105 (Fünf Lieder) No. 2 - “Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer  (“My sleep grows ever more peaceful”)
XC Op. 105 (Fünf Lieder) No. 5 - “Verrat” (“Betrayal”)
 

Hugo Wolf — Mörike Lieder:

XC Er ist’s(“(Yes, spring,) it is you”)

Verborgenheit”  (“Seclusion”) 

Agnes” (“Agnes, or Time of Roses”)     

Heimweh”  (“Homesickness”) 

 Richard Strauss

Op. 26 No. 2 - “O wärst du mein!”  (“If you were mine…”)  

Op. 36 No. 1 - “Das Rosenband” (“Rose ribbons”)

XC Op. 36 No. 3 - “Hat gesagt, bleibt’s nicht dabei” (“It’s been said, but it won’t stop there”)

Op. 39 No. 2 - “Lieses Lied”   (“Quiet song”)
 

Gustav Mahler

Rückert Lieder - “Liebst du um Schönheit(“If you love me for beauty”) [originally for orchestra, commentary on orchestration is not required]    

Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit - No. 2 “Erinnerung (“Souvenir”)

XC Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer) [choose one from this voice-piano score; find orchestral original on imslp and refer to instruments and orchestration in your discussion]

Arnold Schoenberg

Op. 2 No. 2 - “Schenk mir deinen goldenen Kamm(“Present me with your golden comb”)  
Op. 3 No. 2 - “Aufgeregten” (“Aside from everything”) 
Op. 3 No. 4 - “Hochzeitlied”  (“Wedding song”)

 

 

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