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Studies in Music with Text$
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David Lewin

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182088.001.0001

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. Vocal Meter in Schoenberg’s Atonal Music, with a Note on a Serial Hauptstimme

. Vocal Meter in Schoenberg’s Atonal Music, with a Note on a Serial Hauptstimme

(p.344) (p.345) Chapter Seventeen. Vocal Meter in Schoenberg’s Atonal Music, with a Note on a Serial Hauptstimme
Studies in Music with Text

David Lewin

Oxford University Press

From 1908 to 1916, Arnold Schoenberg composed a number of important works involving solo voice. Some of these works have a curious feature in common: at the entrance of the vocal part, when its pitches and rhythms begin to interact with those of the text, a regular meter is projected that is in conflict with the written meter of the notation. The vocal meter and the written meter are each at times more or less in conflict with, and, at times, more or less supported by, the rhythms of the accompanying instruments. This chapter examines three of Schoenberg's pieces that exhibit the characteristic feature described earlier, as well as some rhythmic aspects of their openings. The three pieces are Opus 21, Number II (“Columbine” from Pierrot Lunaire), Opus 20 (“Herzgewächse”), and Opus 15, Number V (“Saget mir” from Das Buch der hängenden Gärten). The chapter concludes with a comment upon the opening and the reprise in the first movement of the Fourth Quartet, Opus 37.

Keywords:   Arnold Schoenberg, vocal meter, written meter, text, pitches, rhythms, Columbine, first movement, solo voice

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