HARMONY AND TONALITY IN THE FOUR WORKS FOR MIXED WIND INSTRUMENTS OF RICHARD STRAUSS (GERMANY).
AuthorBAILEY, SHAD CULVERWELL.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRichard Strauss was only nineteen when he wrote the Serenade and soon the Suite was among his list of compositions. Not until he was nearing the end of his life did he again turn his attention to wind music with the Sonatine and the Symphonie. This paper provides a comparison of sonorities, root movement and representative harmonic progressions, cadences, harmonic rhythm, treatment of dissonances, keys employed, and modulation types in the four works. Its purpose is to determine how works from the years between the Suite and Sonatine may have affected the above parameters in the Sonatine and Symphonie. Included in the intervening years are such works as Elektra, Salome, and others during which time Strauss was most innovative in his use of sonorities, dissonances, and harmonic progressions. This study proves that in later compositions for wind instruments, Strauss did not continue the advances he had made earlier; rather he looked back to the language of the Serenade and Suite. The importance of major and minor triads, and the major-minor seventh remained in the Sonatine and Symphonie; beat duration totals for these three sonorities for the Serenade and Symphonie shows a less than one percent difference between the two works. Although there is less emphasis placed on ascending perfect fourth root movement in the Symphonie than in the other works, it still retains nearly one-fourth the total number. Authentic cadences have a higher percentage in the later Sonatine and Symphonie than in either of the two earlier compositions. Dissonance treatment favors conservative means; passing tones, neighbor tones, leap up-step down and leap down-step up appoggiaturas, suspensions and retardations are most common regardless of time-frame. Regarding modulations: although the widest variety is found in the Symphonie, emphasis is on diatonic and chromatic pivot chords, third relation, and enharmonic diminished seventh chords. One must conclude from the study that conservatism is the hallmark in each of the four compositions.