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

Write an essay commenting on harmony, motive, thematic development, orchestration (and anything else you can think of) in Mahler's Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n.

Extracts from this document...


Romantic Song: Assignment Four Write an essay commenting on harmony, motive, thematic development, orchestration (and anything else you can think of) in Mahler's Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n. Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was a great admirer of Wagner, and when he came to write his Kindertotenlieder in 1901-1904 he created chromatic harmony indicative of post-Wagnerian trends. He was haunted by superstition and myth; for example, he believed he would die after writing his ninth symphony because Beethoven did, and postponed writing it, calling it Das Lied von der Erde in an effort to avoid the 'curse' as he saw it. When he wrote his Kindertotenlieder, his wife actively discouraged him from the undertaking as she was under the superstition, influenced by her husband, that life imitates art. Surely enough, soon after the completion of the cycle, Mahler's children drowned in an unexplained accident. His wife never forgave him, as she blamed him for tempting fate and writing the cycle. The text is by Friedrich R�ckert, and tells of the pain over the death of the singer's child. The first song, Nun will die Sonn' so hell aufgeh'n, is sung during sunrise the morning after the child's death. ...read more.


Mahler has altered the text at bars11-12; he repeats the words 'kein Ungl�ck', emphasising the irony of the happy sun, as if no unhappiness occurs, which of course it has in the death of the child. Section A2, at the upbeat to bar 22, begins with the same oboe solo as section A did, and the structure is very similar, but with thicker orchestration building up the texture. The flute and Bb clarinet have contrapuntal crotchet lines, and the French Horn has a sustained note through to the harp and strings entry at bar 32. The vocal line here is slightly less elaborate than it was in A, and the rising chromatic line of 32-34 augments the idea of the sun rising and its link to happiness. This is reiterated by the fact that 'die Sonne' is repeated in bars 32-33. The string parts have adopted a rising chromatic line, with the viola doubling the voice and the orchestration thickening up through the section with the addition of Violin II. The link between the end of the voice and the beginning of the next section is shorter this time; it is only four bars long, whereas the previous link was six bars. ...read more.


for the final chord. In conclusion, this song contains many good examples of Mahler's use of harmony, motive and orchestration. He uses a definite structure to divide it into sections and also to emphasise the more important parts of the text, such as the third stanza. The re-use of material, such as the mournful oboe solo and the simple vocal line, give a feeling of unity and create the mood that Mahler wants. Orchestration is used to great effect, such as the oboe solo already mentioned, and in layering, i.e. building up and taking away, achieving dynamic changes by use of instruments instead of dynamics. The use of different textures between instruments, such as chromatic counterpoint in the wind contrasting with quaver accompaniment in the strings, gives variety in the sparse transparent landscape. This bareness adds to the desolation that the composer is trying to convey; while the singer/poet is trying to be positive and embrace the good, the composer is aware that this is highly ironic and the speaker must be absolutely devastated. The thing that makes this song so special is the use of very little to create such a wave of emotion, because, quite fittingly, it is what has been taken away, what is no longer there, that is creating these overwhelming feelings of despair and misery. 1589 words. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    AS Composition Commentary. I chose to write my piece for a woodwind quartet, ...

    4 star(s)

    The tempo remains the same within this variation, however there is a definite rhythmic difference. The main melody has moved to the oboe and is written using dotted quavers and semi quavers. I chose to use the oboe to play the main melody in this low register as the tone

  2. can music contribute to anything of worth?

    By increasing the stimulation of the brain, music helps to enhance the learning capability as well. Kindergarten rhymes are the first piece of music that we learn. By putting catchy music and easy words children are able to learn the rhymes faster.

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

    The third significant theme is heard in the horn in bar 10; a triplet semi-quaver figure followed by repeated staccato quavers. The oboe and clarinets then take up this idea from bar 14. Mahler continues to fragment and combine his motifs to create varied textures and add interest to his

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

    Also that the electrical products could be wrongly wired meaning that that outside parts become live. These are particular ways in which you can get injured via electric with in the music industry, but also if you are holding a microphone tightly or an instrument you may not be able to let go if that particular thing becomes electrified.

  1. Music Song Analysis

    Pull a bone from the arm of your son How you disappoint me You'll be forgotten I live in a fantasy Where I am dead and worshipped People adore and love me Poor boy what pain you felt My body floats like dead wood Replace my limbs with branches I

  2. How did Western polophony develop during its earliest stages of evolution, and what were ...

    On occasion Dufay would write isorhythmic motets for solemn public ceremonies. For Josquin des Prez the motet became an exciting new genre for musical exploration and experimentation. Because the Ordinary of the Mass was structured and the liturgy was formal with unvarying texts it allowed little room for such experimentation.

  1. Performance 1 - I have chosen to study Evanescence - Hello, All About Eve ...

    Section B has mainly crotchets and dotted crotchets, allowing for a faster, yet still controlled manner. The melody here also has a range of an octave and there are similar sized intervals between notes than that of part A however, they appear more frequently.

  2. The Effect of

    Bach wrote it in Weimar for the yearly Reformation Festival in October of 1715 and revised it in 1723 in Leipzig. The lyrics were written by Martin Luther, the famous man who sparked the Protestant Reformation. Although it was written for this specific event, it would have been something that was recognizable by a congregation.

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