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R ethinking C onceptions of U nity : S chubert ' s M oment musical in A♭ major , D. 780 (O p . 94) No. 2

R ethinking C onceptions of U nity : S chubert ' s M oment musical in A♭ major , D. 780 (O p .... ABSTRACT A number of scholars have suggested that the sudden harmonic shifts, remote tonal regions and discontinuity of gestures in Schubert's works can be rationalised through certain conceptions of musical unity. Yet what if we were to entertain the possibility that these musical gestures do not coalesce in a greater whole? What other options are available to us for understanding part‐whole relationships? In this article, I suggest that the notion of Romantic irony might transform our understanding of the composer's music by providing an alternative to an aesthetic of unity. Using the Moment musical in A♭ major, D. 780 (Op. 94) No. 2, as a test case, this paper offers a view which resists the pressure to explain idiosyncratic musical events as contributing to a greater whole, demonstrating that conceptions of unity need not accompany tonal hierarchical systems; it also shows how Schubert's use of tonality and large‐scale organisation can coexist with notions of conventional diatonicism and form and need not be understood either as derivative of these customary procedures or as independent of them, inviting us to reflect on larger issues of historical continuity with regard to tonal and formal practice. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

R ethinking C onceptions of U nity : S chubert ' s M oment musical in A♭ major , D. 780 (O p . 94) No. 2

Music Analysis , Volume 30 (1) – Mar 1, 2011

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2011 The Author. Music Analysis © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-2249.2011.00310.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT A number of scholars have suggested that the sudden harmonic shifts, remote tonal regions and discontinuity of gestures in Schubert's works can be rationalised through certain conceptions of musical unity. Yet what if we were to entertain the possibility that these musical gestures do not coalesce in a greater whole? What other options are available to us for understanding part‐whole relationships? In this article, I suggest that the notion of Romantic irony might transform our understanding of the composer's music by providing an alternative to an aesthetic of unity. Using the Moment musical in A♭ major, D. 780 (Op. 94) No. 2, as a test case, this paper offers a view which resists the pressure to explain idiosyncratic musical events as contributing to a greater whole, demonstrating that conceptions of unity need not accompany tonal hierarchical systems; it also shows how Schubert's use of tonality and large‐scale organisation can coexist with notions of conventional diatonicism and form and need not be understood either as derivative of these customary procedures or as independent of them, inviting us to reflect on larger issues of historical continuity with regard to tonal and formal practice.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2011

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