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Ganymede's Heavenly Descent

Ganymede's Heavenly Descent Schubert's song Ganymed has attracted a great deal of interest from analysts on account of its progressive tonal plan, which is often seen as a challenge to Schenkerian theories of tonal structure, as well as its evocative text. This article draws upon a spatial theory of tonal meaning which helps both to resolve the epistemological impasse faced by reductive theories of tonal structure and to better access Schubert's interpretation of Goethe's text through spatial metaphors that derive from the harmony of the song. It also highlights an allusion to Beethoven's ‘Waldstein’ Sonata in the song, which has previously gone unremarked, and identifies this as part of a network of references to Beethoven's Sonata that act both as homage to and critique of his middle‐period style. These serve as a window both into the song and into Schubert's aesthetic stance vis‐à‐vis his musical forebear. It realises latent directional metaphors in the diatonic sharp‐flat and triadic dominant‐subdominant dimensions, which are of hermeneutic value for tonal music. Such a theory helps us interpret Schubert's tonal plan, explain his choices of keys and better understand his reading of Goethe's text and his aesthetic priorities in setting it to music. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Ganymede's Heavenly Descent

Music Analysis , Volume 39 (1) – Mar 1, 2020

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Music Analysis © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/musa.12138
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Schubert's song Ganymed has attracted a great deal of interest from analysts on account of its progressive tonal plan, which is often seen as a challenge to Schenkerian theories of tonal structure, as well as its evocative text. This article draws upon a spatial theory of tonal meaning which helps both to resolve the epistemological impasse faced by reductive theories of tonal structure and to better access Schubert's interpretation of Goethe's text through spatial metaphors that derive from the harmony of the song. It also highlights an allusion to Beethoven's ‘Waldstein’ Sonata in the song, which has previously gone unremarked, and identifies this as part of a network of references to Beethoven's Sonata that act both as homage to and critique of his middle‐period style. These serve as a window both into the song and into Schubert's aesthetic stance vis‐à‐vis his musical forebear. It realises latent directional metaphors in the diatonic sharp‐flat and triadic dominant‐subdominant dimensions, which are of hermeneutic value for tonal music. Such a theory helps us interpret Schubert's tonal plan, explain his choices of keys and better understand his reading of Goethe's text and his aesthetic priorities in setting it to music.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2020

References