Analysis of Franz Schubert's "Der Lindenbaum" Analytical Essay by LisaLove

A look at the musical techniques in Franz Schubert's song "Der Lindenbaum."
# 151731 | 1,006 words | 0 sources | 2006 | US
Published on Sep 07, 2012 in Music Studies (Classical and Baroque) , Music Studies (Composers)

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This paper explores and analyzes the Franz Schuber's song cycle "Winterreise", further highlighting the most famous song in this group, "Der Lindenbaum." First, the paper notes that "Der Lindenbaum" is Wilhelm Mueller's poem put to music. Then, the paper describes the structure and tonality that Schubert used in this song. Additionally, the paper discusses how Schubert based much of his work on German folk songs, known as lieder. The paper also explains how Schubert wove distinctive motives and melodies into these songs that painted a musical landscape matching the images in the poem, as exemplified in "Der Lindenbaum." The paper concludes by stating that "Der Lindenbaum" displays many characteristics of the budding Romantic movement in music, especially the sudden shifts in mood that are a hallmark of Romantic music.

From the Paper:

"Schubert chooses the key signature of E major for this particular lied. This key is one that is often associated with themes of nature and the outdoors, and this piece is a prime example (another famous example being Vivaldi's "Spring" from The Four Seasons). This choice of key is quite appropriate for a setting of this poem, whose narrator, in the first two stanzas, is reminiscing about previous springs and summers spent dreaming under the linden tree and carving words of love about his then-girlfriend into its bark. When he revisits the area the following winter after breaking up with her, however, the climate is cold and harsh, and the third stanza describing it is set in the parallel minor, implying a gloomy, unfriendly environment. The fourth stanza shows the narrator feeling drawn back to the tree, as if it were beckoning him to return, and the major mode, with its springlike tone, is called up again. The fifth stanza describes a cold wind blowing on the young man's face, and Schubert chooses an extended augmented sixth chord to convey the tension he feels--should he return to the tree, thereby succumbing to the cold..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Schubert, Franz. "Der Lindenbaum."

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