Harmony and tonality in selected late works of Richard Strauss, 1940-1948
AuthorKissler, John Michael
AdvisorMurphy, Edward W.
Committee ChairMurphy, Edward W.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFour major compositions, written by Richard Strauss between 1940-1948, are illustrative of the composer's conservative use of harmony and tonality. Each work exemplifies a different genre: an opera scene, a programmatic orchestral work, a concerto, and four lieder. The forms and tonal organization in each representative work are traditional. Those forms used are sonata, ternary, a seven-part rondo and, a loosely structured sectional form. They are presented in the final chapter from the most structured form, the concerto, down to the least structured, the opera scene. The harmonies incorporated within each work are conservative in character. The generic categories of sonority types are triads, seventh chords, ninths, elevenths and thirteenth chords. The three overwhelming common chords are major triads, minor triads and major-minor seventh chords. Almost 87% are these three types. There are many similarities In root movement to those used in musIc from the common practice period: up a fourth, up a second, down a third, and up a fifth. However, two non-traditional types are used to some extent. These are down a second and up a third. Modulation types vary and are dependent upon the nature of the work: the chromatic types are associated with chromatic music (Metamorphosen) just as nonchromatic types are common in more traditionally structured music (Oboe Concerto). It is the analysis of these specific elements that help shed light upon the later harmonic style of Richard Strauss.