1st Edition

Return to Riemann Tonal Function and Chromatic Music

    98 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is a music-theoretical and critical-theoretical study of late tonal music, and, in particular, of the music of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

    First, in terms of music theory, it proposes a new theory of tonal function that returns to the theories of Hugo Riemann to rediscover a development of his thought that has been covered over by the recent project of neo-Riemannian theory. Second, in terms of its philosophical approach, it reawakens the critical-theoretical examination of the relation between music and the late capitalist society that is sedimented in the musical materials themselves, and which the music, in turn, subjects to aesthetically embodied critique. The music, the theory, and the listeners and critics who respond to them are all radically reimagined.

    This book will be of interest to professional music theorists, undergraduates, and technically inclined musicians and listeners, that is, anyone who is fascinated by the chromatic magic of late-nineteenth-century music.

    1. Riemannian Theory and the Problem of Chromatic Function  2. Waltraute’s Plaint: Riemannian Tonal Function and Dramatic Narrative  3. Two Nineteenth-Century Examples of Hexatonic-Diatonic Tonal Function  4. The Multiple Lives of Seventh Chords  5. ‘Here Time Becomes Space’: Schenkerising Riemann/Riemannising Schenker


    J. P. E. Harper-Scott is Emeritus Professor of Music History and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Event of Music History, Ideology in Britten’s Operas, The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism, and Edward Elgar, Modernist.

    Oliver Chandler is an Academic Professor at the Royal College of Music and stipendiary lecturer in music at Keble and Hertford Colleges, University of Oxford, UK. He is the author of A Twelve-Tone Repertory for Guitar: Julian Bream and the British Serialists, 1956–1983.