Rising Gestures, Text Expression, and the Background as Theme

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2016-09-06

Authors

Neumeyer, David

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Abstract

Walter Everett's categories for tonal design features in nineteenth-century songs fit the framework of the Classic/Romantic dichotomy: eighteenth-century practice is the benchmark for progressive but conflicted alternatives. These categories are analogous to themes in literary interpretation; so understood, they suggest a broader range of options for the content of the background than the three Schenkerian Urlinien regarded as essentialized universals. The analysis of a Brahms song, "Über die See," Op. 69/7, provides a case study in one type, the rising line, and also the entry point for a critique of Everett's reliance on a self-contradictory attitude toward the Schenkerian historical narrative.

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