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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Schumann, Album for the Young, "Little Morning Wanderer"

I was unable to listen to a recording tonight because the internet has been down, so I cannot completely analyze the effects and functions of the phrasing and structural phenomena. I’ve been pretty sick, so please understand any absent-minded comments that I make. From what I can tell from the score is that Schumann employs his usual technique of symmetrical phrasing. Most all phrases include 4 measures unless an extension is added after the point that a phrase could have stood on its own. The first 8 measure seemed at first to incorporate a modulating period. But then I noticed that the phrases were nearly identical in nature, having all the same chords and chordal functions but only changing the way in which some of these chords are built. Therefore, I cannot consider this section to be a period, but rather two identical phrases. Both phrases are played forte and so would not produce any effect of question and answer. The next group, from m. 9-20, is less concise, with an extension delaying the complete resolve and causing asymmetry. This time it is periodic, with the first phrase ending in a half cadence and the second ending in a PAC. The dynamics of this group ply a large role, with a decrescendo into the half cadence, then a return to forte for the next phrase, and a double forte leading into the PAC. The next group returns to original form with two identical 4-measure phrases.


John Styx said...

I love that with Schumann that you can instantly see the symmetry of his pieces. He also shows clear delineations between sections most of the time. Along with Bach chorales, Schumann beginning piano pieces have to a godsend to Music Theory students everywhere...

Spoonaloompa said...

Good analysis - using generalities to summarize characteristics of the piece makes it much more enjoyable, rather than describing each phrase or section completely and then moving on.