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William Drabkin Heinrich Schenker Thomas Christensen The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory 0521623715 Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK 2002 812-843

26

H e i n r i c h Schenker
WILLIAM D RASKIN

Long after his major writings on harmony, c o u n t e r p o i n t and analysis began to appear, Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935) remains one of the most i m p o r t a n t and influential theorists in the history of Western music. His achievements have often been compared to those of eminent thinkers of his age working in other fields, e.g., his Viennese compatriots Sigmund Freud in psychology and Albert Einstein in physics. His influence, modest (though n o t negligible) in his own lifetime, has grown steadily since the middle of the last century and shows n o signs of abating. Already a paradigmatic figure in N o r t h American universities by the 1970s, he has since exerted a powerful influence in British and, more recently, European academic circles. Indeed, the interest shown m his life's work is, in some respects, comparable to that of some of the twentieth century's leading composers, and in this respect his reputation as a theorist is unequaled. That which is called "Schenkerian t h e o r y " is a complex set of regulatory principles that were initially intended t o explain the tonal music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; it is at the same time a synthesis of many traditions, embracing Fuxian c o u n t e r p o i n t , the thorough-bass teaching of Carl P h i h p p Emanuel Bach and late nineteenth-century harmonic theory. It is at once a sophisticated explanation of tonality, b u t also an analytical system of immense empirical power. Schenker's ideas and work touch on, or have implications for, virtually every topic addressed in this volume. This chapter includes a synopsis of Schenker's life and works, an explanation of the rudiments of his theory, remarks on its historical background, and a survey o f its reception b o t h as a pedagogical tool and as a basis for f u r t h e r investigation of a wide range of music.'

Life and writings


The few sources for Heinrich Schenker's childhood and adolescence suggest that he came from a poor b u t mtellectually supportive Jewish family in Galicia (Poland),
1 Related aspects of Schenker's theory are discussed in numerous other chapters m the volume In particular, see c i i a p t e r 3, pp. 89-90 (on Schenker's epistemology). Chapter 22, pp. 7 0 3 - 1 0 (on implications ofSchenkerian theory for the analysis of rhythm and meter), and Chapter 23, pp. 7 4 1 - 4 2 ( 0 0 Schenker's broader views of tonality)

812

Heinnch Schenker attended t h e G y m n a s i u m in t h e capital city of L e m b e r g (L'viv in present-day Ukraine) and completed his schooling in Brezezany, w h e r e he also had music lessons f r o m t h e celebrated C h o p i n pupil Karl Mikuli. A f t e r taking t h e Matura examinations, he enrolled as a law s t u d e n t at t h e University o f V l e n n a in 1884, g a m i n g a d o c t o r a t e in law there six years later. In his last t h r e e years at university, he also attended classes at t h e Vienna Conservatory, w h e r e his teachers included A n t o n Bruckner. After g r a d u a t i o n , Schenker e m b a r k e d o n a musical career w h i c h included composition, journalism and a c c o m p a n y i n g . H e gave u p c o m p o s i n g while in his early thirties, after realizing t h a t he w o u l d never be able to equal t h e achievements of t h e masters whom he a d m i r e d above all else, and for m o s t of his life h e earned a living as a p i a n o teacher m Vienna, d e v o t i n g himself in his free t i m e to music t h e o r y and analysis. His publications w e r e financially s u p p o r t e d b y friends, and by people w h o m he t a u g h t or with w h o m he shared t h o u g h t s on music, and this enabled him to a b a n d o n his w o r k in music journalism and t o w r i t e in a m o r e serious way f r o m t h e early years of t h e t w e n tieth c e n t u r y u n t i l t h e end of his life.^ His published w o r k includes critical editions, a treatise o n o r n a m e n t a t i o n , and c o m mentaries for facsimile editions o f c o m p o s e r a u t o g r a p h s . But it is by his detailed analyses o f music and t h e w o r k i n g o u t o f a co m p r eh e n s iv e t h e o r y of tonality - t h e t w o types of w r i t i n g c o m m i n g l e in t e x t b o o k s , m o n o g r a p h s , p a m p h l e t s , yearbooks, and critical c o m m e n t a r i e s - t h a t h e has b e c o m e widely k n o w n . Schenker's analyses exemplify, over a broad range o f t h e literature and in considerable detail, a view o f music t h a t has gained sufficient esteem in N o r t h America (and m o r e recently in parts of Europe) to establish itself as o n e of t h e f o r e m o s t approaches t o musical s t r u c t u r e . Although Schenker is b e s t k n o w n for a highly specific view of music, and a m e t h o d for describing h o w music behaves, his w r i t i n g s cover a broad range o f approaches and embrace editorial t e c h n i q u e , p e r f o r m a n c e practice, and criticism. A theoretical project, b u i l t a r o u n d t h e f o u r - v o l u m e Neue musikahsche Theonen und Phantasien, spans a thirty-year period y e t shows a remarkable degree of consistency. T h e first t h r e e volumes in t h e series are based o n t h e traditional disciplines of h a r m o n y and c o u n t e r point: Harmonielehre (1906) and a two-volume Kontmpunkt (1910, 1922). T h e f o u r t h volnme, Derfreie Satz (1935), was initially conceived as t h e third v o l u m e of Kontrapunkt but marks a m o r e radical break w i t h t h e traditional s t u d y of t h e c o n t r a p u n t a l species with reference t o a c a n t u s firmus; it is m o r e a book a b o u t analytical m e t h o d t h a n composition t e c h n i q u e . The texts devoted primarily to t h e analysis of w h o l e pieces include a m o n o g r a p h on Beethoven's N i n t h S y m p h o n y (1912) and t h e periodical publications Der Tonwille (1921-24) indDasMeisterweyk in (192^-30). T h o u g h Tonwille and Meisterwerk are largely devoted t o small- to m e d i u m - l e n g t h studies, s o m etim e s of s h o r t keyboard
2 To date, the fullest account of Schenker's life is contained in the opening chapter of Federhofer,

Heinnch Schenker, nach Tagebuchem imdBnefen,

pp 1-47

8I4

WILLIAM DRAEKIN

pieces or sonata m o v e m e n t s , t h e y also c o n t a i n longer analyses of three m a j o r works f r o m t h e Classical s y m p h o n i c r e p e r t o r y : Beethoven's Fifth S y m p h o n y (1921-^3)^ M o z a r t ' s S y m p h o n y in G m i n o r , K.550 (1926), and Beethoven's Eroica Symphony (1930). T w o of these are, m effect, Beethoven s y m p h o n y m o n o g r a p h s w h i c h , together w i t h t h e b o o k on t h e N i n t h , c o n s t i t u t e a trilogy on t h e s y m p h o n i c o u t p u t of t h e composer h e esteemed above all others. As It was primarily as a piano teacher t h a t Schenker earned a living, o n e should not be surprised to find his w o r k addressed as m u c h to practical musicians as to t h e world of scholarship. T h e m a j o r i t y of his longer essays include detailed suggestions on perf o r m a n c e ; these invariably follow, and are derived f r o m , t h e analysis of t h e score, sometimes s u p p o r t e d by t h e evidence of t h e sources. Schenker f r e q u e n t l y stated that an inspired p e r f o r m a n c e of a w o r k could only be o b t a i n e d by w a y of following its compositional g r o w t h f r o m t h e b a c k g r o u n d t o t h e f o r e g r o u n d . It is clear, f r o m his extant r e m a r k s on p e r f o r m a n c e , t h a t this did n o t a m o u n t to an "analytical" style of playing, w h e r e b y elements of a structural " b a c k g r o u n d " are b r o u g h t o u t crudely. (The opposite is closer to t h e t r u t h : f o r e g r o u n d dissonances r e q u i r e greater w e i g h t t h a n t h e consonances f r o m w h i c h t h e y are derived.3) S c h e n k e r ' s long-projected Kunst des Vortrags, never completed b u t recently b r o u g h t o u t in English translation as The Art of Performance, expresses concerns as m u c h in t u n e w i t h his earlier w r i t i n g s as w i t h the later theoretical formulations.^ If Schenkerian analysis entails a p r o f o u n d and detailed u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e relat i o n s h i p o f t h e notes o f a piece to one a n o t h e r , t h e n an essential c o n d i t i o n o f an analysis IS an accurate t e x t o f t h e piece. This was a p r o b l e m of life-long concern: in t h e days in w h i c h t h e texts of musical w o r k s w e r e overlaid by editors w i t h additional dynamic and articulation marks, and w h e n t h e notes themselves w e r e o f t e n changed arbitrarily, t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g of a w o r k could begin in earnest only after it had been established w h a t t h e c o m p o s e r had actually written.5 (In this activity Schenker was assisted by his pupils O t t o Erich D e u t s c h and A n t h o n y van H o b o k e n , b o t h o f w h o m followed distinguished careers as musicologists.) T h e search for t h e best musical t e x t , a salient feature of t h e Erlautermgsausjjaben of Bach's C h r o m a t i c Fantasy and F u g u e and four of Beethoven's late sonatas, extends t o S c h e n k e r ' s o t h e r editorial w o r k , his c o m m e n t a r y on a facsimile r e p r o d u c t i o n of t h e " M o o n l i g h t " Sonata, and t h e essays on M o z a r t ' s G m i n o r S y m p h o n y and Beethoven's Eroica. W i t h Beethoven a n d , to a lesser extent, H a y d n , an additional measure of t h e c o m p o s e r ' s p u r p o r t e d i n t e n t i o n s was sometimes provided b y t h e t r a n s c r i p t i o n and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of sketches. T h e practical texts
3 Referring to the Bach C major Prelude, he wrote to a pupil that "the dissonances . should always be played louder than the consonances"; see Drabkin, "A Lesson in Composition," p 247 See also Rothstem, "Schenker as an Interpreter of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas " 4 Recent studies m this field include Burkhart, "Schenker's Theory of Levels"; Schachter, "TwentiethCentury Analysis " 5 This matter is treated briefly mroKW!/fe, vol. Ill, pp 24-25 and vol vi,pp 38-40, and at greater length in the essay "Weg mit dem Phrasierungsbogen" in Meisterwerk, vol. i

Heinnch Schenker

815

include a c o m m e n t a r y o n o r n a m e n t a t i o n in e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y music, an edition of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas, and a t w o - v o l u m e selection of keyboard w o r k s by Carl Philipp E m a n u e l Bach. The parsing of this p r o d i g i o u s oeuvre should n o t , however, obscure t h e fact t h a t , for Schenker, many aspects o f music - theory, analysis, performance, manuscript study, and the preparation of editions - w e r e interrelated and hence discussible in an integrated format. For c o n t e m p o r a r y musicians outside t h e academy, e.g., concert pianists and piano teachers, were h's most important contributions to the literature of music, providing in an integrated f o r m a t an authoritative text of t h e music, an analysis, c o m m e n t a r y on t h e a u t o g r a p h score and other p r i m a r y textual sources, remarks on p e r f o r m a n c e , and discussion of t h e secondary literature. T h e i r musical insights w e r e recognized by p e r f o r m e r s w i t h no particular theoretical ideology.'' Where n o t accompanied by t h e musical t e x t , a typical analytical essay nevertheless includes s o m e or all of t h e following: observations on t h e text of t h e piece (including, where relevant, alternative readings in t h e a u t o g r a p h score and early sketches), suggestions for p e r f o r m a n c e t h a t arise f r o m t h e analysis, remarks on m o d e r n editions and arrangements, and a survey of t h e secondary literature. As Schenker's stature as a t h e o rist grew, and h e b e c a m e m o r e convinced of t h e t i g h t n e s s of his views on music, he became less c o n c e r n e d w i t h attacking t h e w r i t i n g s of o t h e r scholars. T h e N i n t h Symphony m o n o g r a p h (1912) was expressly concerned w i t h t h e o p i n i o n s of earlier commentators, as its subtitle makes c l e a r / b u t t h e Eroica essay (1930) m e n t i o n s only two studies peripherally concerned w i t h t h e w o r k ' s s t r u c t u r e , and does so only briefly. In b o t h his published w r i t i n g s and private c o m m u n i c a t i o n s , Schenker decried t h e mixing of politics w i t h music; t h e i m m o r t a l i t y of great music was itself p r o o f t h a t political beliefs had little t o do w i t h musical values. Yet t h e n o t i o n of hierarchy, of a strict o r d e r i n g of t h e t o n e s of a c o m p o s i t i o n , is so t h o r o u g h l y consistent w i t h his deeply conservative o u t l o o k on life and culture t h a t it is difficult to u n c o u p l e his t h e o r y entirely f r o m t w o o f his m o s t consistently expressed ideological stances: (1) t h e centrality of t h e G e r m a n p e o p l e in E u r o p e a n culture, underscored by their p r e e m i n e n c e in music, and (2) t h e steady decline of culture and political o r d e r in E u r o p e since t h e late e i g h t e e n t h century, ultimately resulting in t h e c o m p l e t e demise of musical art by the beginning of t h e t w e n t i e t h century. Schenker a d m i t t e d only t w o foreign c o m p o s ers into t h e p a n t h e o n of G e r m a n music, C h o p i n and D o m e n i c o Scarlatti. A l t h o u g h he encouraged his private pupils in c o m p o s i t i o n , he f o u n d n o t h i n g favourable in either mainstream m o d e r n m u s i c or t h e tonally accessible jazz and p o p u l a r music of his time.

6 See, for example, Paul Badura-Skoda, "A 1 le," in which Schenker's analysis of the Piano Sonata in At?, Op 110, IS championed, three-quarteis of a century after its publication, as "a monument of precision and insight, by far the best analysis ever made of one of the last Beethoven sonatas" (p 87) 7 Darstellunjj des musikalischen Inhaltes unterfortluufender BeruohiLhtigung auch des Vortra^es und der Literatur ("a representation of its musical contents, together with a running commentary on performance and the critical liteiatuie")

8l6

WILLIAM DRABKIN

H e reserved his harshest polemics for t h e atonal c o m p o s e r s , y e t made n o qualitative d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e w o r k of c o n t e m p o r a r y composers as stylistically diverse as Debussy, Strauss, Schoenberg, and H m d e m i t h . ^ T h a t Derfreie Satz is n o t only his opus ultimum b u t also a p o s t h u m o u s w o r k - it was published some m o n t h s after his death in January 1935 - has had i m p o r t a n t consequences for o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of S c h e n k e r ' s w o r k . A l t h o u g h it is t h e t e x t on which his r e p u t a t i o n is based, and remains t h e basis of explanations of his t h e o r y and of the analytical and graphing t e c h n i q u e s t h a t arise f r o m i t , it w o u l d be a mistake to regard It as t h e definitive f o r m u l a t i o n of Schenkerian theory. For one t h i n g , it is generally reckoned as i n c o m p l e t e , especially w i t h regard t o t h e discussion of f o r m , metrics and r h y t h m , and style and genre. Second, t h e earlier w r i t i n g s , t h o u g h t h e y are formatted differently and use t e r m i n o l o g y m a different w a y (especially t h e w o r d s Urlinie and Zh^), shed a great deal of light on Schenker's analytical t e c h n i q u e ; t h e y are sometimes preferred to t h e later w r i t i n g s , w h o s e insights can s o m etim e s seem tangled inside an elaborate theoretical w e b . This means t h a t a single a c c o u n t of Schenker's contribution t o music t h e o r y is an illusory goal, even if Derfreie Satz remains t h e largest repository of his analytical w o r k and is p r o b a b l y t h e best v a n t a g e - p o i n t f r o m w h i c h to view it.

Outline of the theory


If one were to a t t e m p t to reduce Schenker's u n d e r s t a n d i n g of m u s i c t o a single c o n c e p t , " h i e r a r c h y " w o u l d perhaps be t h e best choice. For Schenker, music - great m u s i c - IS tonal, and h e n c e a c o m p o s i t i o n is governed ultimately by its principal chord, t h e tonic triad; all o t h e r h a r m o n i c f u n c t i o n s are s u b o r d i n a t e to t h e t o n i c , and analysis m u s t always make a distinction b e t w e e n essential and passing harmonies. Similarly, t h e notes of a melody can be described as either essential or transitional. Moreover, the n o t i o n of essential versus passing, of h a r m o n i c versus n o n - h a r m o n i c , applies n o t only t o t h e surface of t h e music b u t i n f o r m s t h e deeper levels, too: a h a r m o n y m i g h t be essential at o n e level b u t transitional at a n o t h e r , a passing n o t e at one level m i g h t be t h e start of an i m p o r t a n t "linear p r o g r e s s i o n " at another.

8 Only two modern works were subjected to analysis by counter-example a passage from Stravinsky's Piano Concerto and the whole of Reger's Variations and Fugue on a theme of Bach, Op 8i Both appear

m Meisterxerk,vo\

11

Schenker's polemics proved an embarrassment to his disciples, many of whom were forced to flee Nazi Germany m the late 1930s After 1945, Schenker's ideological position was untenable to a German nation trying to come to terms with the horrors it had recently perpetrated, and for a long time afterwards the offending passages from his texts were excised from later editions and translations ofhis writings, or relegated to an appendix The more virulent parts of his published work, above all the sections of Tonvjille and Meistemerk devoted to miscellaneous "thoughts on art and its relationships to the general scheme of things," have until recently been ignored altogether, though some writers have argued that Schenker's polemics are inseparable from his theory, see Cook, "Schenker's Theory ot Music as Ethics", "Hemrich Schenker, Polemicist", Bent, "Schenker e la missione del genio germanico "

Heinrich Schenker Example 26.1 Bach's Hamomelekre, Example 153: Analysis of ana "Bufi und R e u " f r o m

817

Fia-moll: V

VI (IV)

US'ZJJ
V

I shall o u t l i n e t h e essentials of Schenker's t h e o r y using f o u r f u r t h e r concepts: Stufe, SrAzcAt, duced in relation t o these. and linearity. Additional terms will be intro-

This t e r m is o f t e n translated as "scale d e g r e e " or "scale step," expressions t h a t have a melodic connotation. But is a harmonic concept, one which provides a means o f distinguishing i m p o r t a n t h a r m o n i e s f r o m transitional ones {Duychgange)\ thus it provides a means of assigning d i f f e r e n t values to w h a t m i g h t otherwise appear to be instances of t h e same chord. It makes an early appearance in Schenker s w r i t i n g s - in the Harmonielehre of 1906 - and represents an i m p o r t a n t milestone in his d e v e l o p m e n t of a hierarchical view of musical s t r u c t u r e . In discussing t h e ritornello of an a n a f r o m Bach's St. Matthew Passion (see Example 26.1), Schenker showed h o w only one of t w o C# major chords could be u n d e r s t o o d as a t r u e d o m i n a n t of Fjt m i n o r , a V. S t u f e .9
At * we see the appearance of a complete triad on C#, which could represent the d o m i

nant harmony K but the listener would have been directed most speciGcally by e rhythm of the falling Hfths I-IV-VII-III etc to viewing this triad as merely a
passing configuration of three voices; even if we were to ignore the fact that the mver

sion of the Hfths supports this view, and that e r e is no need to invoke a V here since one appears ex officio m t h e very next m e a s u r e , there is no question of it having the w e i g h t of 9 i87,seeakoFederhofer,AAWK'ZSAm#An(%,pp 66-67

8l8

W I L I lAM D R A B K I N

a Stufe.

Each of the three voices in fact has its o w n reason for passing this point T h e D

in the bass passes t h r o u g h C# to B as a possible [root o f ] IV, the suspended f o u r t h G in the soprano passes t h r o u g h E# cn route to its resolution, Fp, and finally the suspended E in the inner voice moves t h r o u g h Gj: to A in parallel sixths w i t h the sopiano. T h u s their coming together m u s t be taken for w h a t it truly is: a contrapuntal accident.

T h e example shows a clearly hierarchical view of musical design: w h a t is transitional m u s t , by definition, b e d e p e n d e n t o n t h e p o i n t s enclosing it. T h e starred C# major chord c a n n o t be mistaken for a t r u e d o m i n a n t , since it acts as a passing chord between t w o chords along t h e cycle of falling fifths, VI on t h e first beat and IV^ ( s u b s t i t u t i n g for II) on t h e t h i r d . In Schenker's later w r i t i n g s , t h e status of a chord is d e p e n d e n t on t h e perspective f r o m w h i c h it is viewed. A passing h a r m o n y at a higher structural level {Schicht) could gam t h e w e i g h t of a Stufe at a lower level. In t h e analyses t h e r o m a n n u m b e r s are often laid o u t simultaneously in differing degrees of detail, som e time s w i t h parentheses enclosing a lower-level progression (see Examples 26.5 and 26.6, below).

ScAzcAt Musical c o n t e n t is created by an u n f u r l i n g of t h e tonic triad, referred to in some of Schenker's w r i t i n g s as t h e Klanj] in derNatur. t h e " c h o r d of N a t u r e , " i.e., h a r m o n y in Its natural state. This is achieved in t h e first instance by " h o r i z o n t a l i z m g " t h e contents of this chord as a simple two-voice setting. T h e u p p e r voice, called t h e Urlinie, makes a diatonic stepwise descent f r o m a n o t e in t h e t o n i c triad t o its r o o t , and hence traverses t h e interval of a t h i r d , a fifth or an octave (see Example 26.2). T h e lower voice, called t h e Bassbrechung ("bass arpeggiation"), starts w i t h t h e r o o t and moves to t h e fifth degree and back t o t h e root. It is no accident, for Schenker, t h a t t h e roots of b o t h the m e d i a n t (the "relative m a j o r " m m i n o r keys) and t h e d o m i n a n t belong to t h e tonic triad: this enables Schenker t o argue even m o r e forcefully t h a t t h e tonic triad n o t only represents h a r m o n y in its natural state b u t also contains t h e essentials of h a r m o n i c m o t i o n . I.e., w h a t o t h e r theorists w o u l d have called t h e "principal m o d u l a t i o n s . " T h e configuration of Urlime s u p p o r t e d by bass arpeggiation is called t h e Ursatz. It n o t only represents t h e melody in its m o s t r u d i m e n t a r y f o r m , t h e scale, b u t also the basic h a r m o n i c progression underlying m o s t e i g h t e e n t h - and n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y music: I - V - I m r o m a n n u m e r a l terms. (In this respect, the Ursatz is a stronger abstraction of tonal music t h a n Fuxian n o t e - a g a m s t - n o t e c o u n t e r p o i n t , w h i c h prefers stepwise m o t i o n m b o t h parts, especially at t h e cadence.)

10 The use of careted arable numbers for melodic steps is analogous to that of roman numerals for the harmonic Stufen, and is explained in a footnote to an analytical graph in Tomnlle, vol iii. The Tonmlle analyses show a liberal use of these symbols, with hierarchy shown by different sizes of number, by the time of Der freie Satz, there was only one fundamental descent of the Urhnie, 1 e , one descending Ime indicated by careted numbers

Heinnch Schenker
Exampie 26.2 The three forms o f the Schenkenan f/Mak (cf D e r f i g s 1,

8ig

9-11) (a) 2 d r
I V I

5 (b)

The Ursatz, which represents t h e contents of a tonal work at the most basic level, called the background (Hintergrund), gives rise to more elaborate harmonic-contrapuntal designs. These in t u r n generate f u r t h e r development, in stages, until the final elaboration IS reached, which is the piece itself with all its details of rhythm and tempo, dynamics and articulation, and scoring. This level is called theforeground of a composition {Vorderjjrund). Between the extremities of background and foreground lies the middkground (Mittelgrund), an area whose scope and complexity is dependent on the size and nature of t h e composition. The top staves of Examples i 6 . 2 a - c show that the linear descent in the upper voice of the Ursatz traverses the space of a third, a fifth, or an entire octave. Because of the perfect alignment of t h e u p p e r and lower voices in Example 26.2a, this form of the Ursatz IS given pride of place in most explanations of Schenkerian theory. Indeed, the Ursatz f r o m 3 most clearly illustrates the notion of hierarchy (see Example 26.3). The tonic triad, Schenker's chord of N a t u r e , is given in Example 26.3a; it is stretched o u t (or "horizontalized") by the successive presentation of its root and third (26.3b) and by the filling of t h e space between these with a passing note (26.3c). The passing note, which is initially dissonant against the prevailing harmony, is converted to a

820

WILLIAM DRABKIN

Example 26.3 b) 5 A

Derivation of the Ursatz from 3 from the tonic C major chord 0) (d

IF

c o n s o n a n c e by t h e arpeggiation o f t h e bass f r o m t h e first to the fifth step of t h e scale (26.3d). T h e r e s u l t a n t h a r m o n y - t h e d o m i n a n t - t h u s acquires t h e status of a fundam e n t a l h a r m o n y - a Stufe - and is t h e n able to generate f u r t h e r elaborations. At subseq u e n t levels these processes are repeated: passing notes are given c o n s o n a n t support and b e c o m e h a r m o n i e s in their o w n r i g h t . As Schenker himself explained: The dissonant passing tone . . so long as it retains its dissonant quality . . cannot at the same time give rise to a further elaboration; only the transformation of a dissonance into a consonance can make elaboration possible . The Ursatz exhibits the first transformation of a dissonant Urhme tone into a consonance above all, 2 is changed into a consonance 2/V by the counterpointing bass arpeggiation of the tonic triad. A l t h o u g h Schenker's t e r m i n o l o g y implies a t r i p a r t i t e division, each t e r m - backg r o u n d , m i d d l e g r o u n d , f o r e g r o u n d - m fact embraces m o r e t h a n one distinct structural level. His s t a t e m e n t early in Der freie Satz t h a t " t h e background m music is represented by a c o n t r a p u n t a l s t r u c t u r e w h i c h I call t h e Ursatz"^^ is already a simplification; as w e have seen (Example 26.3), there is a musical c o n s t r u c t i o n - t h e tonic chord - t h a t is conceptually p r i o r to t h e Ursatz. A t t h e o t h e r e n d , t h e " f o r e g r o u n d " of a piece is t h e totality of its notes and associated m a r k i n g s , i.e., t h e score; b u t t h e term is conventionally used to describe a simplification o f t h e piece in w h i c h t h e melodic c o n t o u r , h a r m o n y , and phrase r h y t h m are clearly discernible. Example 26.4b, which r e p r o d u c e s p a r t of Schenker's m o s t detailed analytical " g r a p h " of t h e first m o v e m e n t of M o z a r t ' s G m i n o r Symphony, can easily be read as a simplification of t h e start of the s y m p h o n y in a w a y t h a t line (i) f r o m E x a m p l e 26.4a, wh ich it elaborates, c a n n o t . '3 The m o t i o n o f t h e u p p e r voice is, w i t h f e w e x c e p t i o n s , reduced t o q u a r t e r - n o t e s and halfn o t e s ; t h e piece is presented in a two-stave piano f o r m a t , w i t h some indications of scoring. To distinguish between t h e t w o n o t i o n s o f musical f o r e g r o u n d , Schenker generally used t h e t e r m Urlinie-Tafel for t h e g r a p h of t h e f o r e g r o u n d in this simplified notat i o n , and Ausjuhrmg or letzte Ausfuhrung ("final elaboration," "realization") when referring to t h e actual score. T h a t t h e m i d d l e g r o u n d also comprises several hierarchically conceived layers is clear

11 Derfreie

Satz, i6<)-yo

12 Ibid , Part I, Chapter 1, section 3

13 Meisterwerk,

vol 11

Heinrich Schenker

821

both f r o m S c h e n k e r ' s analyses and f r o m his terminology. In Example 26.4a, lines {a), (6), W, and {d) each r e p r e s e n t a m i d d l e g r o u n d layer; had he published this analysis a few years later, h e w o u l d have labeled t h e m " 1 . S c h i c h t " ( = " f i r s t [ m i d d l e g r o u n d ] layer"), " 2 . Schicht," " 3 . S c h i c h t , " and "4. Schicht," respectively In t h e w e l l - k n o w n graphic analysis of Bach's Prelude in C f r o m t h e Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1,^4 t h e initial elaboration of t h e Ursatz is still m a r k e d " 1 . Schicht," even t h o u g h n o f u r t h e r middleground layers intervene b e t w e e n it and t h e Urlmie-Tafel?^

Prolongation and Auskonponiermg


Though these t e r m s are central to his theory, Schenker never provided clear definitions of either, n o r did he a t t e m p t t o distinguish b e t w e e n t h e m . Prolongation suggests t h e creation of c o n t e n t by str etch in g o u t t h e c o n s t i t u e n t elements (representing specific musical events) in a given layer. In t h e analysis of t h e Bach prelude, for instance, t h e fall of an octave f r o m e^ t o e ' is a p r o l o n g a t i o n of t h e first n o t e , o r " p r i m a r y t o n e , " of the Urlinie, e^ = 3.Auskomponiemng (literally, " c o m p o s i n g o u t " ) is t h e process by w h i c h prolongation is achieved: t h e w o r d , c o n s t r u c t e d by analogy w i t h the G e r m a n ausarbeiten ("to w o r k o u t , develop"), implies t h a t temporal events have t h e potential t o generate f u r t h e r c o n t e n t ; t h a t is, material contained in (or implied by) an event in a h i g h e r level can b e " u n l o c k e d " b y t h e process of elaboration. In t h e Bach prelude, t h e 3 t h a t IS initially prolonged by t h e d r o p of an octave is f u r t h e r elaborated by being filled w i t h stepwise m o t i o n : t h e linear d e s c e n t " c o m p o s e s o u t " t h e octave. Linked to t h e c o n c e p t s of Prolongation andAuskompomermg Schenker's, Saat-Emte, is a favorite m e t a p h o r of

by w h i c h musical s t r u c t u r e is m a d e analogous to organic

growth: " f r o m seed t o harvest." T h e c o m m e n t a r y o n t h e first m o v e m e n t of M o z a r t ' s G minor S y m p h o n y m a k e s reference t o t w o instances: t h e interval of a sixth, " p l a n t e d " in the viola p a r t in m. 1, " g e r m i n a t e s " in t h e first violin in m m . 3 and 7 (this relationship IS s h o w n in t h e Urlime-Tafel: see t h e square brackets in Example 26.4b); in m m . 10-11 t h e d e s c e n d i n g t h i r d f r o m a^ to itself t h e inversion of t h e original sixth, resolves t o t h e f o u r t h in t h e n e x t measure. W i t h t h e key-note, g^, m t h e u p p e r voice, this f o u r t h is t h e " h a r v e s t " of t h e original planting. A n o t h e r t e r m used in this c o n n e c t i o n is Diminution. By this Schenker s o u g h t to emphasize t h e historical validity of his theoretical w o r k , t h r o u g h t h e c o n n e c t i o n 34 See, for example, Cook, Guide to Musical Analysis^ Drabkm et al, Analisi schenkenana Derivative examples are found m]onzs^Einfkhrun^^ Forte and Gilhert^Introduction to Schenkenan Analysis ..Ncumtytr and Teppmg, Guide To Sckenkenan Analysis^ Cadwallader and Gagne, Analysis of Tonal Music See also Drabkm, "A Lesson m Analysis," which includes Schenker's preliminary sketches for this graph 15 Another Schenkenan graph illustrating levels of musical structure (in this case of a Haydn piano sonata) may by seen in Plate 23.2, p. 742 There, the subsumption of middleground modulations within a background voice-leading structure is clearly to be seen 16 Meisterwerk,vol n, p i j 8

822 Example 26 4 Das Meisterwerk

WILLIAM DRABKIN

Extracts of graphic analyses f r o m " M o z a r t Sinfome G-moll," m derMusik, vol 11

(a) f r o m fig 1, layer analysis of first m o v e m e n t Figl


Tonalitat

-(D^ m

Toaalitat
G moll I

-(Nbhm)-ni-

Stufen der Tonalitat alsToaarteu I Taste

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[El

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11 (HV>V B W D e j - f f - V I (TI) O/V-I

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IGmoU

(NbbnOV I

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W-vi

(V)V I(Dg)

Sff

jty M

Heinrich Schenker

823

-(NWun)-

in
G moll

(Nbhm)

]II(Iten,t;e)

(NWun)-

-<EV)V

UVV

gz^. Example 26.4 [cont.) (b) from the Urlinie-Tafel

WILLIAM DRABKIN

of the first movement

Allegro molto (VIXi

Tonarteii\T unVorderJGmo/t grnnde: /

Dnrchgange)

113

(TeUer) IV
(Fl.)

n-v-i

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) (ObJI)(vi

(Teilei) IV

Heinrich Schenker

8z;

Em

M,

(t\

&

ifMTi
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82,6

WILLIAM

DRABKIN

Example 26.5 mm. 1 - 8


T 1

Derfieie

Satz, fig 87/5. M o z a r t , Sonata in A, K. ^31, first m o v e m e n t ,

3/4

I.

b e t w e e n s t r u c t u r e and detail. If " d i m i n u t i o n " means, for historians of seventeenthand e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y music, t h e practice of o r n a m e n t a t i o n or t h e elaboration of a f r a m e w o r k (e.g., an Adagio w r i t t e n skeletally in long n o t e values) or a chord progression (e.g., the realization of a cadenza or t h e improvising o f a prelude), then Auskompomemng could be u n d e r s t o o d as d i m i n u t i o n , w i t h t h e additional requirement t h a t t h e elaborations m u s t n o t be applied arbitrarily b u t are needed to p r o m o t e the overall u n i t y o f a c o m p o s i t i o n (or, in S c h e n k e r ' s preferred t e r m , its "synthesis").'7 in t h e Bach prelude, for instance, t h e rising f o u r t h s e^-a^ and dP-gf (in m m . 4 - 7 ) are dimi n u t i o n s of t h e upper-voice m o v e m e n t f r o m e t o d \ T h e f o u r t h in t h e bass in m m . 8-9, t h o u g h It gives the illusion o f V - I in G major, is also a d i m i n u t i o n o f a conceptual stepwise descent, f r o m a to g; synthesis is p r o m o t e d by t h e r e p e t i t i o n of t h e same interval, D rising to a G , in different voices. In much is also made o f "concealed repeation " achieved by making a

s h o r t figure or an interval in t h e f o r e g r o u n d t h e basis of an extensive elaboration later in t h e piece. Schenker's essays s o m etim e s refer specifically to " d i m i n u t i o n motives," I.e., figures t h a t are consistently applied at various structural levels. In his essay on the G m i n o r Symphony, t h e u p w a r d leap of a sixth and its inversion, t h e descending third, are identified as motives characteristic of t h e f o r e g r o u n d of t h e first m o v e m e n t (represented in Example 26.4b). A t higher levels t h e stepwise d e s c e n t of a s e c o n d , in pairs, is a characteristic d i m i n u t i o n t e c h n i q u e (compare t h e start of levels (c) and {d) in Example 26.4a); t h e original n e i g h b o r figure in t h e melody, Ek slurred to D in t h e violin parts, is also an expression o f this t w o - n o t e linearity. P r o l o n g a t i o n can also be achieved by repeating material, and musical f o r m is often created by t h e repetition of p o r t i o n s of t h e Ursatz itself A t e c h n i q u e of f u n d a m e n t a l i m p o r t a n c e in this respect is Unterbrechm, t h e " i n t e r r u p t i o n " of t h e progress of the Ursatz at 2/V, w h i c h necessitates a n e w b e g i n n i n g . All c o n s t r u c t i o n s based on anteced e n t and c o n s e q u e n t phrases can be u n d e r s t o o d as elaborations of i n t e r r u p t e d struc17 t o r discussion - and illustrations - of diminution techniques in earlier music theory, see Chapter 17, pp. 544-48 18 The term Diminutiommotiv appears as such only in the analysis of Bach's Largo for solo violin (Meistmveik, vol I), but its spirit informs other analyses In the Mozart symphony essay, foi instance, Schenker describes the Diminution of the various structural levels as having their "own special motivic

characl:ensucIs]"(Mfz.;kni'gr;(, vol n, p ]iy)

H e i n n c h Schenker

827

Example 26.6

S o n a t a - f o r m m o v e m e n t s as elaborations of m t e r r u p t e d Urlimen

i$4/5a: Beethoven,fa^M-g/Symphony, first movement


(IfbH)

(b) Derfreie Satz, fig. 4 7 / 1 : M o z a r t , Sonata in C, K. 545, first m o v e m e n t


T 4 12 It aft

I (Exp

(Til

V.

I)f

Hp)

tures. In the first-movement theme from Mozart's Sonata in A, K. 331, m m . 1 - 5 show a linear progression f r o m e^ that is expected to end at a'; it is interrupted after four measures, and must begin again in order to reach its goal (see Example 26.5). Since the first arrival of 2/V marks the halfway point in the structure, Schenker refers to it as the ("dividing dominant") or simply ("divider").'' In doing so, he invites comparison with themes that, though they do n o t have an interrupted structure in the upper voice, are similarly constructed in two halves with the first ending on a dominant. One such example is the second-group theme of t h e first movement of Mozart's G minor Symphony, at m m . 4 4 - 5 1 : the dominant in m. 4 7 is marked "Teller" or " T l " in the analytical graphs (Example 26.4), since it lacks the harmonic w e i g h t of a Stufe^

20 The use of the term Teller m both contexts suggests that, for Schenker, the second half of a symmetrically designed theme has greater structural weight The dotted line linking the two e^s in Example 26.5 further implies that the Grst four measures of the Mozart theme elaborate the primary tone of the Im^r descent, i.e., the e^ in m. 1; this would mean that the first arrival on V has less structural weight than the Vof the V-I cadence m m. 8. This end-onenced view of interruption is consistent with Schenker-^ theory in general, and with his explanation and use of the term Teller. It is contradicted, however, y ot er graphs m Derfreie Satz and by the text (90), which stipulates that, in an mterrupte structure,! e rst arrival on the dominant is the more important of the two. The editors of the English edition 0 erjreie attempt an explanation of this difficulty (see free p. gy, note 6), or a u er iscussion of the problem of hierarchy m interrupted structure, see Smith, "Musical Form and Fundamenta Structure," esp. pp. 267-69.

WILLIAM DRABKIN

At a higher level, e.g., in a complete two-part song f o r m , the entire first part may be represented as a descent to 2 supported by I-V, w i t h the second part traversing the same ground b u t ending on the l / I . In sonata form, the first arrival on 2/V marks the start of the conventionally termed "second g r o u p " ; t h e development section will then convert this d o m i n a n t to a W , for instance by elaborating t h e space of a third lying immediately above the fifth of the d o m i n a n t (V' as in Example 26.6a (a middleground graph of the opening movement of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony), or as a passing seventh of an 8 - 7 progression superimposed above 2, as in Example 26.6b (a middleground graph of Mozart's Sonata in C, K. 545, first movement). In both cases t h e resulting seventh can also be understood as an upper neighbor note to the 3/^ Eorm can also be created with the large-scale application of prolongation techniques normally associated with the foreground. Eor instance, a m i n u e t or scherzo movement, with a trio section m the parallel key, could be understood in terms ofMtsckung ("modal mixture"): elaboration of the tonic by alternation with its tonic minor, i.e., as a progression.^^ Similarly, a trio section cast m the s u b d o m m a n t key could be explained as a prolongation of the tonic by a neighbor note and its supporting Nebennotenharmonie ("neighbor-note harmony"), e.g., 4 (supported by IV) elaborating 3 - ( 2 - l ) on either side."-3 Musical elaboration is also assisted by changes of register. In the Bach Prelude in C major, the descent of the upper voice of the Ursatz is t h e shortest line between two notes of the tonic triad, a third. But at the next structural level, an octave descent to e' and an ascent f r o m d ' are shown to unfold from the original upper voice. These processes, which involve a change of the register governing prolongations, are called Tieferlegung and Hoherlegung, commonly rendered as "descending register transfer" and "ascending register transfer," respectively. W h e n the two are employed in pairs, a registral linkage is created, called Koppelung ("coupling"). In a short, summarizing graph of the Prelude in Derfrete Satz^ Fig. 49/1, shown here as Example 26.7, the register transfers are indicated by the "crossed" beaming of e^-e' and d'~d^ b u t are not so labeled. N o r are the registers specifically marked as having been "coupled," though this IS self-evident from the symmetry of the graph.
21 fig. 154/53. and fig 47/1 In Example 26.6a, the representation of sonata form 353 2 [ [ - (Nbn) 3 - 2 - 1 IS a hybrid form of prolongation, a conflation of interruption and neighbor-note elaboration; bk' (= Nbn) IS, strictly speaking, an incomplete neighbor to the a' that follows it but, taking a larger view of the analysis, it refers also to the a' at the start of the graph In Example 26 6b, the outlines of sonata form are indicated m parenthesis beneath the harmonic analysis; Schenker dates the recapitulation ("Rp," for Reprise) not from the reprise of the opening theme unconventionally - in F major (m 42), but from the definitive return of the tonic which follows 22 Derjrew Satz,{ig 28a. 23 Ibid., figs 35/1 and 40/1. 24 in the more formal analysis of the Prelude, published in the FunfUrhnie-Tafeh, Schenker confusingly labeled the descending and ascending register transfers "Kopp[elung] abw[arts]" and "Kopp [elung] aufw.[arts]," respectively, 1 e , descending and ascending "coupling" At that time, he had still not worked out a clear relationship between the concepts Haherlegung, Tteferlegung, and Koppelung

Heinnch Schenker Example 26.7 in C


Ly) 3

Derfieie Satz, fig. 49/1: new middleground graph of Bach's Prelude MM M M

iy7

The principle of hierarchy is, however, still m force, with one register taking precedence over the other. In t h e Bach prelude, the upper voice starts on e and ends on c^, so its higher octave predominates in the background, despite the long progression into the lower register and the extensive elaboration of the interval d ' - f ; Schenker called this the obligate La^e ("obligatory register"). The Mozart piano sonata movement (Example 26.6b, above) also shows how register can p r o m o t e musical synthesis by creating a long-range connection. In the exposition the second group is set in a higher register, its upper voice governed by the linear progression d 3 - g \ T h e d o m i n a n t of the second group is elaborated as a d o m i n a n t seventh in t h e development, passing t h r o u g h P. W h e n this seventh resolves, the original starting point, e^, is regained, and in this way Mozart returns to the initial register w i t h o u t actually making an exact recapitulation of the opening theme.

Linearity
The notion t h a t "coherence" and " c o n n e c t i o n " are closely related (m German, the word Zusammenhang can be used for both) finds a special resonance in Schenker's view of musical structure; even those writers w h o have kept a respectful distance f r o m Schenkenan analysis or have categorically rejected its principles have nevertheless been attracted by the search for connections between musical events resulting f r o m pitch identity or proximity. A succession of diatonic steps joining two voices in a chord, or m adjacent chords, is called a Zu (plural the term is most commonly translated as "linear progression," or simply "progression"). In the first elaboration of the chord of N a t u r e , the u p p e r voice - the Urlinie - is a Zug, since it joins two notes of the tonic triad. And when the passing d^ of an e^-d^-c^ Urlime (see Example 26.3c) is turned into a consonance by the support of g m the bass, i.e. 2 supported by V, it is capable of generating f u r t h e r content by the application of a new linear progression. This is shown in Schenker's analysis of the Mozart sonata movement (Example 26.6b, above): the 2, after being transferred to a higher octave, itself becomes the starting point of a linear progression encompassing

830

WILLIAM DRABKIN

fifth.

The

new

progression,

an

elaboration

of

the

dominant

harmony

{Avskompomermg der V. Stufe), is Schenker's way of saying that the second group (mm. 14-28) of the exposition is in the d o m i n a n t key of G major. Schenker qualified his linear progressions by the size of interval they embraced. The Urlinie of the Mozart sonata movement is a Terzzug ("third-progression"); the line from 2 IS called a Quintzug ("fifth-progression"). As is the case for many techniques of prolongation, linear progressions may exist at any structural level, and they are sometimes transformed from one level to the next. In the first movement of the G minor Symp h o n y (see Example 26.4, above), the Urhnie embraces a fifth, dP-g'. The first subject (antecedent phrase, m m . 1-21) is graphed as a fourth-progression at level (c), which is extended to a sixth in (d). Since linear progressions join registral spaces, they give the effect of a play among the polyphonic voices. An elementary way in which this works is at the beginning of a composition, where an ascending line may lead u p to the primary tone of the Urlime, e.g. 1 - 2 - 3 or 3 - 4 - 5 , and thus fill the space between the " a l t o " and " s o p r a n o " of the opening harmony; Schenker called this progression an Anstieg (usually translated as "initial ascent"). Another c o m m o n technique is Ubergreifen, a kind of registral leapfrogging by the superposition of one or more descending linear progressions to form a series of steps. Ubergreifen (now translated by most English-speaking theorists as "reaching over") enables a composer to reach a higher register, or to regain the primary tone of an earlier linear progression, or to create an ascending line from a series of short descending progressions. In the Mozart symphony movement, the modulation to Bl, in m m . 2 2 - 4 2 is assisted by a series of short Ubeiyreifauge finishing with a neighbornote figure. The overall effect is an elaboration of the third, d^-e^-P (see also Example 26.4a, level d) and Example 26.4b)."-5 measure: 22 24 26 28 34 38

Because their points of origin and their goals are clear, linear progressions show unity in musical movement. But linearity in a Schenkerian sense can also mean the connection between widely spaced occurrences of the same note, e.g. the d^ at the start of the Mozart symphony movement and the d^ in m. 16, at the firstforte, or even the d^ at m. 4 4 in the second group. Whereas earlier theorists demonstrated musical relatedness more by thematic similarity or the derivation of one theme f r o m another, Schenker demonstrated that a single note, correctly positioned and supported, might be enough to confer synthesis over a large musical time-span. It is this aspect of Schenker's work
25 Although the term UbergreiJzK contains the word Zug, such a "progression" often consists of just two notes, rather than the minimum of three needed for linear progressions that act on their own

H e m n c h Schenker

831

in particuliir that hits attracted the attention of many twentieth-century theorists w h o are not wholly sympathetic to a layered view of musical structure, or are mistrustful of what they perceive to be an excessive reliance on graphic representation/^

Historical and intellectual background


Schenker's published writings tell us little about the source of his insights into music. On the contrary, they give every indication that he regarded them very much as his sole property, developed over years of private engagement with the canonic repertory of Western music, w i t h o u t recourse to the academy or the contemporary music scene. This IS well encapsulated in a postscript to some analyses of short keyboard works by Bach, which includes the following statement:
Blessed b y t h e g r a c e o f o u r g r e a t e s t , I have held u p a m i r r o r t o m u s i c , as n o a n c i c n t , medieval o r m o d e r n p h i l o s o p h e r , n o m u s i c i a n , m u s i c h i s t o r i a n o r a e s t h e t i c i a n - or a n y o f t h e s e c o n s i d e r e d t o g e t h e r - has b e e n able t o d o . I am t h e first t o explain its i n t e r n a l laws, t o c o m p r e h e n d t h e vivacious ear o f t h e G e r m a n m a s t e r s a n d t h e i r c a p a c i t y f o r i n v e n t i o n a n d s y n t h e s i s . I have e x p l a i n e d t h e i r d a r i n g i n v e n t i o n in t h e r e a l m o f h e a r i n g , as h a d p r e v i o u s l y b e e n e x p e r i e n c e d o n l y in t h e r e a l m o f t h e o t h e r senses. A n d I have, so t o s p e a k , revealed f o r t h e first t i m e b y v e r b a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n t h e r e a l m o f h e a r i n g , as o u r m a s t e r s u n d e r s t o o d it, a n d so have e n r i c h e d h u m a n e x i s t e n c e b y a n e w dimension.^"

These sentiments are expressed more succinctly in the inscription on his gravestone in the Central Cemetery in Vienna: " H e r e lies the man w h o perceived the soul of music, and w h o proclaimed its laws as the masters understood t h e m , as no one had done before." On the assumption that every intellectual idea has its genealogy, scholars have attempted to trace Schenker's conception of music theory back to its cultural, philosophical and musical roots. According to a lifelong friend, Moriz Violm, the music of Mozart and Beethoven and the hterature of Schiller and Goethe were an i m p o r t a n t part of his childhood u p b r i n g i n g . S c h e n k e r ' s extensive quotations of eighteenthand nineteenth-century German writers bear witness to an intellectual background that may have been as much literary as it was musical. Extracts from the w o r k s of Goethe figure in almost every publication; Schenker quoted him more o f t e n than any other writer, and he may have found inspiration for the concept of a structural background in Goethe's scientific writings; indeed, the very word Ursatz has strong resonance with the Vrpflanze of Goethe's botanical studies. William Pastille has suggested that the relationship of species counterpoint to the
26 Rosen, The Clasncal Style, Meyer, Explaining Music; Narmour, Beyond Schenkensm. 27 Tonwille^vol 5 , p . 55 28 YcdcThofcv,HeinnchSchenkeT,nachTajjebuchemundBnefen,p

4.

WILLIAM DRABKIN

behavior of parts in "real" music, crucial to Schenker's view of musical structure, recalls Goethe's concept of the Urphanomen-, and, further, that Schenker's long-range, or " s t r u c t u r a l " hearing is closely related to Goethe's more visionary type of perception - Anschamng ~ that comes f r o m beholding things within a theoretical framework rather than noting their surface features.^? Concerning philosophical influences, one notes above all Schenker's indebtedness to Immanuel Kant. As Kevin Korsyn has shown, there is a strong kinship between the Kantian notion of causality and Schenker's Synthese, a "synthesis" by which the musical mind conceives tones as bound to one another in much the same way as the philosophical mind comprehends events as following one another in a particular order.3 The familiar criticism of Schenker, that his theoretical program and particularly his analytical graphing technique ignore the function of time in music, falls away if one accepts that Schenkerian synthesis implies time-consciousness; thus true musical perception is a form of Kantian "transcendental apperception," in which temporal ordering is an indispensable ingredient.^' Both Kant and Schenker also shared a view of genius as the means " t h r o u g h which N a t u r e gives rules to art";'^ for Schenker t h e gift of genius was innate, God-given. The influence of Arthur Schopenhauer is more elusive, and has n o t been researched systematically. Quotations f r o m his writings are scarce; one was used as a prop on which to hang the anti-imperialist sentiments vented by Schenker in the aftermath of the First World W a r . " The idea of musical tones having a "will," and that they are intrinsically bound to behave in a certain way, is expressed in the first volume of Kontrapunkt{ii)io)i'^ and enshrined in the series t i t l e T o n m l l e , which marks the start of Schenker's most ambitious project in analysis. That he saw in Schopenhauer (and, by extension, in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche) a kindred spirit is suggested by two quotations from The World as Will and Representation, which are drawn together to provide an analogy between the true creative artist, w h o is able to achieve insight w i t h direct expression, and the scholar w h o strives for t r u t h and wisdom for its own sake, unmediated by the authority conferred by academic stature or other such approval ratings. Schenker's unshakable faith in his own theories of music led him to denigrate the writings of most of his contemporaries. This led to a general view of Schenker as an iconoclast, a theorist working entirely outside of tradition, a point that is reinforced by his isolation f r o m Viennese academic musical life. His c o n t e m p t u o u s references to "die Theorie" in a pair of essays on sonata form and fugue f r o m 1926 underscore his
29 Pastille, "Music and Morphology", see esp p p 3 4 - 3 8 30 Korsyn, "Schenker and Kantian Epistemology" 31 Ibid , pp 34-35 32 Ibid , p 7 33 TonmUe,vol i , p 13 34 "Thus tones cannot produce any desired effect just because of the wish of the individual w h o sets t h e m , for nobody has the power over tones in the sense that he is able to demand from them something contrary t o their nature Even tones must do what they must d o ' " vol i, p 14 T h e e n e r geticist context of Schenker's views is explored further m Chapter 30, p p 9 3 6 - 3 9
3$ romM&gVols 8 - g , p

H e i n n c h Schenker

833

isolation f r o m mainstream theory teaching as exemplified, for instance, in the work of Hugo Riemann and the series of handbooks published by Max Hesse in Berlin, which featured Riemann's writings.^^ His surveys of the secondary literature, a regular feature of his analytical essays of the 1910s and 1920s, are taken u p by extensive quotation from and ridicule of contemporary scholarship and journalism. The few authors who are singled o u t for praise - and then only briefly - were either personal friends, such as Otto Vrieslander and August Halm, or writers with only loose links to theoretical traditions: thus E. T. A. H o f f m a n n is lauded for his declaration of interest in Beethoven for the sake of the music alone, the Beethoven scholar Gustav N o t t e b o h m for making the contents of the sketchbooks accessible to a wider public. Otherwise, one must go back to eighteenth-century music theory for palpable connections. Jean-Philippe Rameau's notion that all modulations arise m relation to a single tonic IS an i m p o r t a n t forerunner to the concept ofTonalitat, the " h o m e key" to which all t h e fundamental harmonies, or Stufen, are ultimately r e l a t e d o n the other hand, the extraction of a bassefondamentale as a synthesis of vertical organization and chord progression m u s t have seemed mimical to someone concerned above all with linear connections, in b o t h melodic and bass lines. Rameau accepted the seventh above the fundamental as a c o m p o n e n t of a chord, whereas Schenker followed the precept of Johann Joseph Fux t h a t all dissonance m music must be introduced and resolved properly'^ And as Schenker came to view his concept of musical structure in nationalist terms, Rameau's Frenchness became an unalterable blot on his character.)) Fux's GradusadPamassum was widespread in Europe, and was known to have figured prominently in t h e musical training - and teaching - of Schenker's heroes, including Haydn, M o z a r t , Beethoven, and Brahms (see the extensive discussion in Chapter 18, pp. 579-84). It IS thus hardly surprising to find him coming to terms with it in the two volumes of Kontrapmkt. But while Schenker praised the Gradus for its insights into vocal music, he was critical of w h a t he perceived as Fux's distrust of instrumental music, with its creative uses of voice-leading principles, coupled with a failure to distinguish clearly between c o u n t e r p o i n t as a pedagogical discipline and composition as a creative act. Indeed, it is Schenker's profound insights into the relationship between the contrapuntal species and w h a t happens in "real" music, f r o m Bach to the end of the nineteenth century, that represent his greatest t r i u m p h as an analyst. His defense of consecutive major thirds in a Wagneriezteoftv as the "lovely fruit of the composingout of scale degrees!" is n o t merely emblematic of his view of instrumental partwriting as c o u n t e r p o i n t , b u t simply and perfectly encapsulates the need to reconcile the rules governing h a r m o n y in short stretches with the opportunities for synthesis offered by musical linearity. (It is also a useful counter-example to the widespread
36 The essays, on the subjects of sonata form and fugue, appear in vol 11 Hesse also published analyses by H u g o Leichtentiitt of the music of C h o p m , these were ridiculed m the two Chopin essays in M g j s t e w r i : , vol 1 37 Christensen,i?timem, p 177, note zg 38 Meistemeik,Yoi i i i , p 17 39 I b i d , p p 13-15

834 Example 26.8 scene 4 Counterpomt,vo\.

WILLIAM DRABKIN

i, Example 203: extract from WsLgner's Rheingold,

Vln. II
1)11 ( P h r y g i a n )

belief that Schenker had little sympathy for Wagner's music.+) As Example 26.8 shows, the persistence of g#^ above the Neapolitan sixth chord shows that the home key prevails in spite of the lower-order demands for a flattening of this note to avoid an augmented fourth (false relation) between the moving parts/^ Perhaps the most i m p o r t a n t of all of Schenker's predecessors was Carl Phihpp Emanuel Bach, above all for his Versuch iiber die wahre Art das Klavier zu spielen of 1753-62, with its emphasis upon I m e a n t y in c o n t i n u o playing and the need " t o hold the register t o g e t h e r " in the realization of a chord progression.'*^ But w h e n it came to offering a tribute to Bach's role in musical art, it was n o t his advice to the accompanist b u t his skills as an improviser and composer that Schenker dwelt on at length, by showing h o w Bach's suggestions for improvisation technique are firmly underpinned by such concepts as arpeggiation, voice-exchange, and w h a t he called "parallelism," the consistent application of motivic patterns to the middleground. By subjecting the free fantasia in D printed at the end of the Versuch, and other short pieces, to the same type of voice-leading analysis he used elsewhere, Schenker granted Bach the same canonical status he conferred on only a handful of other masters.^' Nearer to his own time, Schenker may have been influenced by the lively debate sparked by the republication of Eduard Hanslick's The Beautiful m Music in 1885. Alan Keller has suggested that Schenker's early views on the origin of music were influenced by critiques of Hanshck by two younger scholars attached to the University ofVienna, Friedrich von Hausegger and Robert Hirschfeld. DieMusik alsAusdruck in particular has strong resonances in Schenker's views on the origins of music and its significance for the study of history, as expounded in an i m p o r t a n t early essay, " D e r Geist der musikalischen Technik"
40 On the possible indebtedness of Schenkenan theory to the writings of Wagner, see Cook, "Hemnch Schenker, Polemicist" 41 For further illustrations, and a fuller explanation of Schenker's contrapuntal agenda, see Dubiel, "When You Are a Beethoven," pp 291-340 Also see the discussion in Chapter 18, pp. 592-94 42 Meisterwerk,vo\ 11,p 118 43 Tojtmlle, vol 4, pp 10-13, Mei^tenverk, vol i, pp. 13-30. Schenker also honored Bach in a twovolume edition of selected keyboard works 44 Keller, "Ongins of Schenker's Thought," esp pp 292-94

H e m n c h Schenker

Reception and influence


Schenker seems to have enjoyed a considerable following in his own lifetime (for a long time posterity underestimated it), b u t it was nothing like the renown his theories were to bring him after his death in 1935- textbooks, courses, seminars, and conferences on Schenkenan theory; the establishment of major research archives based round his private papers; and a seemingly endless supply of voice-leading graphs m lournals and books, supporting a range of theoretical, analytical, and historical viewpoints. Schenker's final years saw the rise of National Socialism; three years after his death, Hitler's troops marched into Vienna and supervised the annexation of Austria to the Third Reich. Amidst the most difficult circumstances, two of Schenker's pupils, Oswald Jonas and Felix Salzer, kept the Schenkerian flame alive t h r o u g h their own writings;'*' the leading article of a short-lived periodical they co-edited perpetuates the notion of " m i s s i o n " Schenker had expressed years earlier in the inaugural issue ofDer Tcmwille.'*^ T h e efforts of Professor Remhard Oppel to disseminate Schenkerian theory at the Leipzig Conservatory, and of Felix-Eberhard von Cube to establish a thriving Schenker Institute in H a m b u r g , quickly ran aground as the Nazis closed in on jewishbased teaching. Faced w i t h the imminent annihilation of European Jewry, and with it European Jewish t h o u g h t , Jonas and Salzer emigrated to America where another pupil of Schenker's, Hans Weisse, had established an outpost of Schenkerian teaching at the David Mannes School of Music in N e w York. Transplanted to the N e w World, Schenkerian analysis began to thrive in the teaching programs of conservatories and university music departments, and in the research of a new generation of theorists and their pupils.47 Much of the early activity was concentrated around pedagogy. There had been concern among Schenker's circle that his writings were too difficult: Jonas's first book, published while Schenker was still alive, bears the subtitle "Introduction to the teaching of Heinrich Schenker," and was intended for readers w i t h o u t prior knowledge of his methods.^ T h e publication of Salzer's Structural Hearing m 1952 represented a greater milestone, in t h a t it made available to English readers literally hundreds of voice-leading graphs together w i t h brief analyses covering a wide repertory; it became

45 Jonas,Dfli Wesen des musikahschen Kunstwerkes {1934), Salzer, Sinn und Wesen (1935) Around this time Adele Katz, a pupil of Hans Weisse, wrote the first exposition of Schenkerian analysis in English ("Schenker's Method"), and later expanded his theories in book form, CkdUsn^e to Musical Truditwn

46 That IS, Schenker's "Die Scndung des deutschen Genies" of 1921 became "Die histonsche Sendung Heinrich Schenkeis" in 1937 47 For a brief history of Schenkerism in North America, see Rothstein, "Americanization , for a comprehensive survey of the literature on Schenkerian analysis until 1985, see David Beach s bibliographical articles 48 Das Wesen des musikahschen Kunstweikes eine Einfuhrmg in die Lehre Heinnch Schenkers The title and subtitle were reversed when the book was reissued in German in 1972, and trans into English ten years later

836

WILLIAM DRABKIN

t h e principal Schenker t e x t b o o k for t h e p o s t w a r generation. T h e long-awaited translation of S c h e n k e r ' s last w o r k in 1979, u n d e r t h e bilingual title Free Composition (Der freie Satz), helped s t a n d a r d i z e Schenkerian t e r m i n o l o g y in English; b u t because this book was heralded as m a r k i n g a b r e a k t h r o u g h in N o r t h American Schenker pedagogy, Its polemic passages w e r e relegated to an a p p e n d i x , and a n u m b e r of established Schenkerians w e r e enlisted to help clarify t h e m o r e difficult parts of t h e t h e o r y and to suggest routes into t h e text.+s T h e utility of Free Composition was, however, overestim a t e d , and t h e past t w o q u a r t e r - c e n t u r i e s have witnessed a rapid, u n a b a t e d g r o w t h in t h e n u m b e r of explanatory t e x t b o o k s on Schenkerian analysis.'" N o t surprisingly, t h e a t t e m p t to r e n d e r S c h e n k e r ' s w o r k accessible has also led to n e w d e v e l o p m e n t s in his theories. A l t h o u g h Schenker himself stressed t h a t his work was artistic, n o t scientific, succeeding generations of theorists felt t h e need for it to be m o r e internally consistent. O n e sees n o t only a m o r e scientific a p p r o a c h , as early as Forte's seminal essay of 1959, b u t also n u m e r o u s a t t e m p t s to c o m e to t e r m s w i t h ambiguities and inconsistencies in t h e theory. Both t h e sanctity of t h e two-voice Ursatz and t h e primacy o f t h e descending 3 - 2 - 1 Urlinie have been challenged,5' and theorists now generally accept t h e possibility t h a t a piece may a d m i t m o r e t h a n one valid Schenkerian reading/^ Forte's essay identified t h e s t u d y o f r h y t h m m relation to voice-leading analysis as a m a j o r area in need of investigation. S o m e f r u i t f u l w o r k in this area was u n d e r t a k e n by A r t h u r K o m a r and M a u r y Yeston,>3 b u t it was w i t h Carl Schachter's t h r e e - p a r t study of r h y t h m and linear analysis t h a t Schenkerian voice-leading graphs w e r e first harnessed systematically w i t h r h y t h m i c analyses. S u b s e q u e n t d e v e l o p m e n t s in this field have been m a d e by Fred Lerdahl and Ray Jackendoff in their investigations into grouping and m e t e r , and in William R o t h s t e i n ' s s t u d y of phrase r h y t h m . T h e n u m b e r of voice-leading analyses of i n s t r u m e n t a l w o r k s is legion, b u t t h a t of the operatic, choral, and solo song r e p e r t o r y has been m u c h m o r e restricted. Schenker
49 In addition to the translator's preface, there is a translation of Jonas's preface to the second German edition, an "introduction" to the English edition by Alien Forte, a range of clanficatory footnotes by John Rothgeb supplementing those by Jonas and Oster, and a glossary of technical terms See also Schachter, "Commentary on Free Composition." 50 These include Westergurd, Introduction to Tonal Theory, Neumeyer and Tepping, Guide to Schenkenan Analysis, Cadwallader and G}Lgvit,Analysis of Tonal Music The most widely used textbook has been Forte and Gilbert, Introduction to Schenkenan Analysis, thanks largely to its scope, organization, and systematic set of student exercises, together with a companion Instructor's Manualv/hich provides solutions to many of the exercises. The 1980s also saw the proliferation of textbooks on analytical method in which the explication of Schenker's theories figures prominently Cook, Guide to Musical Analysis, Bent, Analysis-, Dunsby and Whittall, Music Analysis For more on Schenker's influence on the pedagogy of music theory in North America, see Chapter 1, p. 72 51 Neumeyer, "The Ascending Urlmie"; "The Three-Part Ursatz"; "The Urlime from 8", Beach, "The Fundamental Line from Scale Degree 8", Chew, "The Spice of Music " 52 Federhofer, Akkord und Stimmfuhrun^, Chapter 4, Drabkin et a l , Uanahsi schenkeriana, pp 91-93; Schachter, "Either/Or", Drabkin, "Consonant Passing Note "

$3 Komar, rkoT)'

Yeston,
Phrase Rhythm in Tonal Music.

54 Lerdahl and Jackendoff, ^ Generative Theory of Tonal Music, Kothstein, See also Chapter 3, pp. 99-102; and Chapter 22, pp. 703-10.

Heinrich Schenker

837

himself published few analyses of works in these genres, though a brief c o m m e n t on Schubert'Sv^M Afgar ogers one of the clearest examples of the relationship o f words to music f r o m a Schenkerian v i e w p o i n t . " Some of Schenker's closest followers have made major contributions to the bearing of a sung text on the analysis of music, though in much of the best w o r k m the field, the Schenkenan approach is one of a number of coordinated methods.57 Just as an adequate theory of the relationship between voice-leading and rhythm had to await the reception of Schenkerian theory by a younger generation of scholars, so the matters concerning musical form have been integrated into voice-leading theory only recently If Schenker's ideas on form were, characteristically, full of insight, his graphic representations were inconsistent even - as Charles Smith persuasively showed - within an ostensibly unified presentation such as the music examples for Der freie SatzJ^ In particular, Schenker had failed to clarify the relative status of the two parts of an interrupted structure, and was inconsistent in his mapping of the conventionally termed parts of a form ("second group," "recapitulation" etc.) o n t o graphic representations of the middleground. Another project that Schenker barely touched on in his writings was the overall coherence of a multi-movement w o r k , or a set of variations, i.e., pieces in which a separate Ursatz could be said t o govern individual components. Recent writers have attempted to make sense of variation sets as "single pieces" in a Schenkerian sense/? and some have gone so far as to show h o w an entire sonata might be embraced by a single Ursatz, or h o w a set of bagatelles or character pieces form a coherent sequence in terms of their voice-leading.''" The field of contrapuntal music has proved more resistant to voice-leading analysis (Schenker's own studies of fugues by Bach and Brahms notwithstanding), and has only recently begun to receive the attention that it deserves." Schenker provided substantial analyses neither of string quartets nor of solo concertos; given the preeminence of these genres in t h e oeuvre of Schenker's composers of "genius," it is surprising that little Schenkerian research has been undertaken in these repertories. Schenker's deeply held belief that music was m decline was mainly expressed in general attacks on contemporary society. The shorter of his analytical counter-examples, a voice-leading analysis of an extract from Stravinsky's Piano Concerto, proved something of a model for later writers, including Adele Katz and Felix Salzer, whose influential Structural Hearing includes voice-leading analyses of works by Bartok, Hindemith, Prokofiev, Ravel and Stravinsky. The linearity of much late mneteenthand twentieth-century composition may have been a significant factor. On the other
55 Meisterwerk,vol i , p p 199 zoo 56 Jonas, Das Wesen des musikalischen Kiin^tmerks contains an important analysis of Schubert s Dr Lindenbaum See also Schachter, "Motive and T e x t " 57 See m particular Webster, Mozart s Anas 58 Smith, "Musical Form and Fundamental Structure " 59 Salzer, "Mozart's Divertimento, K 563", Marston, "Analysing Variations 60 Dunsby, "Multipiece", Marston, "Trifles or ^Beethoven s Sonata in E, Op 10^, p 253 61 Renwick, Analyzing Fugue, "Hidden Fugal Paths "

838

WILLIAM DRABKIN

hand, changes to the concepts of consonance and dissonance around 1900 make the principle of tonal hierarchy far more difficult to apply systematically to this repertory. Thus linear connections are made more on the basis of temporal proximity, with duration a key factor in determining the starting points and goals of progressions. And background structures take on new " d i s s o n a n t " figurations, e.g., a #4-3-2-1 Urlmie for the first movement of Bartok's Fourth Quartet. The linear analysis o P ' p r e - B a r o q u e " music has a longer and fuller history, beginning during Schenker's life with the study of medieval and Renaissance polyphony by his pupil Felix Salzer.^3 The changes to Schenkenan doctrine necessitated by the surface designs of early repertories are no less extensive than those for contemporary music. For early medieval polyphony the concepts of consonance, dissonance and partwriting result in much graphic analysis underpinned by chains of consecutive fifths or octaves, something which Schenker would have found mimical. Yet it has been claimed for the late secular songs of Guillaume de Machaut that "cadences [act] as the focus of directed progressions extended over considerable stretches of music."^+ With consonance and dissonance treatment broadly codified in the Renaissance, the analysis of much sixteenth-century music is on surer ground, and examples of sensitive Schenkerian readings have appeared with some frequency.''5 There remains, however, the problem of large-scale unity in works that are conceived m accordance with the syntax of a sacred text. As Donald Tovey put it in a trenchant discussion of High Renaissance polyphonic texture, "Sixteenth-century music is aesthetically equivalent to the decorating of a space, but not to structure on an architectural scale," and it is consequently a mistake to "expect a high note in one place to produce a corresponding one long after Palestrina has effected all that he meant by it and directed his mind elsewhere."'''' Schenker's admiration of the music of Johann Strauss and his efforts to promote it by providing voice-leading graphs of his more famous waltzes m Derfreie Satz suggests that, his outright dismissal of jazz and other forms of popular music notwithstandmg,^7 he saw the difference between good and bad as greater than that between serious and popular. The application of Schenkerian theory to jazz, American popular song, and non-Western music has flourished m recent years; it remains to be seen h o w postmodernist arguments against the contemplation of music outside its cultural context affect Schenkerian and other theoretically based approaches to all repertories of music m the twenty-first century.''^
62 Travis, "Bartok's Fourth Q u a r t e t " 63 Salzer, Sinn und Wesen 64 Leech-Wilkinson, "Machaut'stoe,/!5," p 23 65 See, for example Bergquist, "Mode and Polyphony", Novack, "Fusion of Design and Tonal Order", Mitchell, "Lasso's Prophetiae Sibyllarum " 66 Tovey Musical! extures,pp 30-31 67 Meisterwerk,vo] I I , p 107,vol i n , p 119 68 The first Schenkenan study of a non-Western repertory was Loeb, "Japanese Koto Music " For approaches to popular music, see for example Gilbert, The Music of Gershwin, Forte, American Popular Ballad, Everett, "The Beatles as Composers " The issues concerning Schenkenan analysis of jazz solos are aired in Larson, "Schenkerian Analysis of Modern Jazz "

Heinnch Schenker

ggg

Bibliography

Z T OMzam^At, Vienna, Universal, 1904; rev. 2nd edn., 1908; trans. H. Siegel as M "A Contribution to the Study of Ornamentation," Mww Forum 4 (1976), pp. 1-139 (ATgwe TAeongM I), Stuttgart, Cotta, 1906; reprint Vienna, Universal, 1978; abridged trans. E. M. Borgese, ed. O. Jonas as mmoTry, University of Chicago Press, 1954 /. & BafA, CAroMaAjrAg Vienna, Universal, 1910; trans. H. Siegel as /. & CAroMaAr &M6z<ry W CnAfa/ wzAt New York, Longman, 1984 (^gKg mzwztakcAe rAgone?: W fWtajzeM II), 2 vols., Vienna, Universal, 1910-22; trans, and ed. J. Rothgeb, trans. J. Thym as Counterpoint^ 2 vols.. New York, Schirmer, 1987 Beethovens neunte Sinfome, Vienna, Universal, 1912; trans. J. Rothgeb as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1992 gggtAovg)!.' Dzg tnfwcAg W!!( wW Vienna, Universal, 1913 (Op. 109), 1914 (Op. 110), 1915 (Op. i l l ) , 1920 (Op. 101); rev. 2nd edn., ed. O, Jonas, Vienna, Universal, 1971-72 (Op. 106 not completed or published) Ludwi van Beethoven: Sonate Op. ly. Nr. 2, MS; facs. with sketches and commentary, Vienna, Universal, 1921 DerTonwille, 10 issues,Vienna,A. J. Gutmann, 1921-24 DasMeisterwerk in derMusik: em Jahrbuch, 3 vols., Munich, Drei Masken, 1925,1926,1930; ed. W. Drabkin, trans. I. Bent et al. as The Masterwork in Music, 3 vols., Cambridge University Press, 1994-97 (?zvgv4a^j Z S^gkA f o m j , Vienna, Universal, 1932; Acs. ed. F. Salzer as M Five Graphic Music Analyses, New York, Dover, 1969 Johannes Brahms: Oktaven und Qumten u. a., MS; facs. with commentary, Vienna, Universal. 1933; trans. P. Mast as "Brahms's Study, Octaven u. Qumten u. A., with Schenker's Commentary Translated," Mwicforaffl 5 (1980), pp. 1-196 Derjreie Satz {Neue musikalische Theorien undPhantasien III),Vienna, Universal, 193 5; rev. 2nd edn., ed. O. Jonas, Vienna, Universal, 1955; trans, and ed. E. Oster zsFree Composition, New York, Longman, 1979; reprint edn. Stuyvesant, NY, Pendragon Press, 2001 The Art of Performance, trans, and ed. H. Esser, trans. 1. Scott, New York, Oxford University Press, 2000 Heinnch Schenker als Essayist und Kntiker: Gesammelte Aufsatze, Rezensionen und klemere Benchte aus denJahren iSgi-ipoi,cd. H. Federhofer, Hildesheim, G. 01ms, 199

Babbitt, M. review of Structural Heannjj by Felix Salzer,/AMS 5 (1952), pp. 260-65 Badura-Skoda, P. Tie is a Tie is a Tie: ReHecaons on Beethoven's Pairs of Tied Notes," Early Music 16 (1988), pp. 84-88 Beach, D. "A Schenker Bibliography,"/Mr 13 (1969), pp. 2- 37 "A Schenker Bibliography: 1 9 6 9 - 1 9 7 9 , " / ^ ? 2 3 (1979), PP- 275-86

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