Chromaticism and the Question of Tonality

David Kopp

in The Oxford Handbook of Neo-Riemannian Music Theories

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195321333
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

  Chromaticism and the Question of Tonality

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This article examines the role of key and function as a component of Riemann's relational harmonic system. It is argued in this article that while the neo-Riemannian abstraction of Riemann's Harmonieschritte offer certain insights into the nature of chromatic relations in the nineteenth-century music, it has also resulted in a view of harmonic relations uncomfortably divorced and separated from the tonal and functional contexts in which they were conceived. In addition to examining the role of key and function as component of Riemann's relational harmonic system, and chromaticism, the article also suggests how neo-Riemannian analysis can benefit by reconnecting Riemannian harmonic relations to the functional tonal contexts in which they arose, illustrating the recovered and renewed nineteenth-century perspective with analyses of music by Beethoven, Schubert, and Wolf.

Keywords: key; function; relational harmonic system; chromaticism; neo-Riemannian analysis; Riemannian harmonic relations; functional tonal contexts; Beethoven; Schubert; Wolf

Article.  6173 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Theory and Analysis

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