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The musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert's songs

The musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert's songs
The musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert's songs
Composers’ increasing and increasingly evocative use of chromatic mediants during the first few decades of the nineteenth century is arguably a hallmark of early Romantic harmony. The apparent association in Schubert’s songs between flat-VI and the representation of Utopia, fantasy, reverie, dreams and other positive, otherworldly states has been noted by many scholars. However, the fact that he also occasionally employed flat-VI to portray darker sentiments is rarely commented on and questions the degree to which the flat-VI harmony itself acts as a positive, otherworldly signifier. This article accounts for these various opposing uses and proposes that surface voice-leading details (ones that are often overlooked by Schenkerian and neo-Riemannian approaches) are key to understanding the musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert’s songs.
Franz Schubert, song, harmony, voice leading, flat-VI, flattened submediant, otherworldliness
1471-6933
Bretherton, David
5d675429-1285-4ab3-9e59-3907afc60390
Bretherton, David
5d675429-1285-4ab3-9e59-3907afc60390

Bretherton, David (2018) The musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert's songs. Journal of the Royal Musical Association. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Composers’ increasing and increasingly evocative use of chromatic mediants during the first few decades of the nineteenth century is arguably a hallmark of early Romantic harmony. The apparent association in Schubert’s songs between flat-VI and the representation of Utopia, fantasy, reverie, dreams and other positive, otherworldly states has been noted by many scholars. However, the fact that he also occasionally employed flat-VI to portray darker sentiments is rarely commented on and questions the degree to which the flat-VI harmony itself acts as a positive, otherworldly signifier. This article accounts for these various opposing uses and proposes that surface voice-leading details (ones that are often overlooked by Schenkerian and neo-Riemannian approaches) are key to understanding the musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert’s songs.

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Text Bretherton--The Musico-poetics of flat-VI in Schubert's songs rev +db - Accepted Manuscript
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Text JRMA email thread re Bretherton 'accepted manuscript' [evidence of REF eligibility]
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More information

Submitted date: 21 April 2017
Accepted/In Press date: 22 January 2018
Keywords: Franz Schubert, song, harmony, voice leading, flat-VI, flattened submediant, otherworldliness

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421261
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421261
ISSN: 1471-6933
PURE UUID: 1d88dd78-1e76-4cd3-9cd7-2dd9b1439471

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Date deposited: 29 May 2018 16:31
Last modified: 29 May 2018 16:31

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