• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess Wagner's rôle as innovator in terms of influence he had over the modern school in Austria before the Great War

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess Wagner's r�le as innovator in terms of influence he had over the modern school in Austria before the Great War I would argue that no composer is but influenced by a great composition (not necessarily musical) he comes in contact with. The influence may not be conscious, it may not be positive, and to the outsider it may not even seem relevant. Most influences will cause a composer to think along altered lines, and the stronger the alteration, the easier to detect influence. When two composers, roughly contemporary, produce comparable work, it is difficult to establish whether one influenced the other, or whether both were influenced by something else. In this case, many works have "Wagnerian" aspects, but whether they come from Wagnerian innovations is another matter. Wagner made a large contribution to music. Not only theoretically, harmonically, rhythmically, and instrumentation-wise, but to the form of dramatic symphonic works, and on a more practical level, in conducting and producing music. There are composers who tried to follow his works with similar ones - such as Felix Weingartner - but in their attempts to imitate they entirely lost sight of his goals, and have sunk into obscurity. Others, who composed in their own idiom with integrity and aspects of Wagner, are far more his heirs. ...read more.

Middle

Wagner generally used combinations and transformations in a manner clearly derived from Liszt, but it was Brahms built melodies, chords, tonal associations, and whole structures around tiny motifs that pointed towards unity of horizontal and vertical musical space that was so influential in the Second Viennese School. Schoenberg's statement that he owed most to Bach comes in part from this, and "through Brahms" can be added. Wagner, for all the melodic and chordal use of the Tristan idea, never developed this far. Wagner's innovations in rhythm are perhaps more influential than in harmony. While there was a very strong beat, there was no regular strong/weak pulse of the sort that characterised music of the past two centuries. This was partly due to the elaborate setting of words to melody. There is an endless range of emphasis which serves to create a free and flexible metre that serves the words. Within orchestral parts there is immense rhythmic subtlety and detail, which sometimes leads to a diffuse rather than free sound. The setting of Stabreim verse to music had great effect on Schoenberg, who frequently created musical prose in his efforts serve the words. Strauss attempted similar things, but while at first glance the vocal lines are similar, they lack Wagner's subtle correspondance of word to music. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mahler, Strauss and Schoenberg all followed the pattern of writing initially in an individual yet Wagnerian manner, but quite quickly moved onto quite separate paths, as if reacting violently to Wagner. The increasing desperation and savagery of Strauss and Schoenberg's works, such as Elektra and Erwartung can be seen in this light, but also as a product of other factors. The increasing social and moral decay exemplified by turn of the century Vienna is one. The nature of the harmonic language is another. Flowing Wagnerian textures are ideally suited the mood of Parsifal, more concentrated, dissonant, motivic (rather than leitmotivic or thematic) textures of 1905-8 Strauss and 1905-12 Schoenberg are suited to the expressionistic torment and macabre of Elektra and Pierrot. Wagner's direct influence was very specific in comparison with that of someone like Debussy. His chromatic harmonic language sometimes driven internally, his leitmotive, his word setting, and his form, the Music Drama. He had shown with Tristan that music is a language that can be changed with a single work (which speech cannot be). He had no successors, only followers and chronologically later rivals. He contributed to the loss of tonality's monopoly over harmony in the way that Berlioz and Mahler had contributed to ever subtler orchestration. But Bach and Brahms were to be the primary influences on Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. Even before the Great War, their dominance was present if not obvious. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Music essays

  1. In this assignment I am going to be explaining and assessing how I think ...

    amplified to be played back through the front of house monitor system in which the audience will be able to hear the acoustic instrument that is being played on stage. I think that music technology in performance is using all these processes and types of ways to create music such

  2. Compare and contrast approaches to Tonality in New York Counterpoint, String Quartet number 8 ...

    is the process of adding a rest before or after the ostinati pattern. In this example, the live clarinet and clarinet six are one beat out of phase (crotchet rest at the beginning of bar 17) which means the ostinati pattern (C#, B, G#, E)

  1. Comment on the ways in which Mahler organises his thematic material in the first ...

    Themes 2 and 3 are set against each other until the end of the repeat at bar 91, where it comes to a close after returning unconventionally to the tonic key of G major. The last section of the exposition is very peaceful, and contains theme 7; a new melodic

  2. Write a critical commentary on Mendelssohn's Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 12

    Adagio non troppo - Allegro non tardante 2. Canzonetta: Allegretto - a beautifully graceful, light and wonderfully simple canzonetta, dance-like. 3. Andante espressivo - melodious third movement, described as a 'noble song of thanksgiving'. 4. Molto allegro e vivace - very spirited, impetuous and extremely brisk finale. The aforementioned influence on Mendelssohn from Beethoven is immediately apparent in the first movement.

  1. Trace the development of harmony from Schumann through Brahms to Debussy. Drawing on ...

    In Schumann's "Frightening", in bar 21, the C major chord is followed by a tritonal harmonic leap onto a sforzando dominant seventh chord of F-sharp major at beat 2. This chord, together with a rising chromatic line heralds the return of the tonic key.

  2. The Effect of Music on Performance of a Task

    As table two shows, those performing the task with no music performed better than those with fast music in the background. It also shows that those listening to fast music had a mean average of one point each less. Also, this hypothesis had the largest difference between the observed and critical values of U.

  1. The Effect of

    about death is sung - "In him shall we die at the right time, when he wills" - it becomes minor and the ending of the Coro is left unresolved suggesting that death is not the end. This leads into the Tenor Arioso who ponders the inevitability of our death,

  2. How does Beethoven make Effective and Imaginative use of the Orchestra in the First ...

    They do not, however, have any really significant melodic material in general, unlike the flutes and the oboes, and perhaps to a lesser extent the clarinets. Hence melodic material is mainly shared amongst the flutes and oboes, with the bassoons and clarinets having less of an important role.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work