Pitch contour, text setting in Anton Webern's song " Die Geheimnisvolle Floete" op. 12 no.2
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Webern composed " Die Geheimnisvolle Flöte " in the year of 1917, a period that most scholars judge representative of his mature atonal style. Prominent features in this song--the obvious absences of motivic repetitions and pitch centers--perhaps suggest that it is through composed. However, the insertions of the piano's interludes serve to accommodate the four-part verse structure of the text and the repetition of a word, Abend , in the German translation may further point to the song being reminiscent of a more typical ternary form (ABA'). Consequently, behind the superficial features of " Die Geheimnisvolle Flöte, " this paper firstly deciphers other attributes by applying structural set class theory, as well as Elizabeth West Marvin and Paul Laprade's musical contour theory in order to explore more deeply Webern's techniques for structuring form. I also analyze Webern's extraordinary techniques for musically interpreting the text. Finally, I choose a section from this song with the purpose of testing Joseph Straus's most recent theories of atonal voice leading and harmonic progression. My analysis points toward apparent strengths and weaknesses of Straus's theory in the context of " Die Geheimnisvolle Flöte. "