. A Way into Schoenberg’s Opus 15, Number VII

David Lewin

in Studies in Music with Text

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195182088
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199850594 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Music Theory

. A Way into Schoenberg’s Opus 15, Number VII

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Arnold Schoenberg's poem, Opus 15, Number VII, is an exploration of an affective disorder and comes in two parts. The first three lines expose the affects involved: Angst and Hoffen wechselnd, ungestümes Sehnen. The last four lines catalogue the resulting symptoms: das ich…das mein…, and so on. The end-rhyme supports this articulation of the poem into 3 + 4 lines: a b b / c a c c. The broad outlines of Schoenberg's setting are very striking. The music articulates three, rather than two, large sections. The overloaded lines 4–7 have meiosized into two sections of music, each commensurate with the musical unit setting lines 1–3. In this reading, the “extra” line of text is not the fourth, but the seventh. The importance of this psychological state in the overall effect of the song is reflected by Schoenberg's setting of the piano part. The right hand can get along perfectly well without the helpful support of the left.

Keywords: Arnold Schoenberg; poem; affective disorder; symptoms; end-rhyme; music; setting; text; song; piano

Chapter.  11101 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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