Schoenberg: Der Kranke Mond (Pierrot Lunaire)
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Music analysis of Der Kranke Mond (applied)

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Schoenberg: Der Kranke Mond (Pierrot Lunaire)
  1. Context
    1. Expressionism: early 20th century development in music, art, drama and literature
      1. distorted images in paintings
        1. heightened speech
          1. scenes of extreme violence in plays
            1. non-naturalistic colours and textures
              1. extreme chromaticism and dissonance in music
              2. Pierrot Lunaire
                1. most famous expressionist work of schoenberg
                  1. a melodrama- type of dramatic work with spoken words recited to music. Often described as a musical theatre piece
                  2. Text: german adaptation of a cycle of 50 poems by Albert Giraud in 1884
                    1. first performance in Berlin
                      1. a collection of 21 french poems, the 7th piece
                      2. October 1912
                        1. Sprechesang
                          1. composer directions: rhythms are to be strictly observed but pitches: either sing sustained pitches with portamenti reserved for slurred notes or give approximate of pitches with portamenti between notes
                            1. german translates as spoken singing
                          2. Tonality and Harmony
                            1. Atonal
                              1. All 12 chromatic notes in first 3 bars
                                1. Within first 6 bars every possible interval played
                                2. Chromatics
                                  1. Extreme dissonances
                                    1. no functional harmonies
                                      1. no cadences
                                        1. no chords, or progressions
                                        2. Melody
                                          1. Unrelated flute and vocal part- share no melodic material or harmonic functions of each other
                                            1. Angular, disjunct intervals
                                              1. Unpredictable leaps and semitone movement
                                                1. No phrasing
                                                  1. Imbalanced
                                                    1. abrupt changes of direction
                                                      1. extreme dynamic range
                                                      2. Structure
                                                        1. No traditional or formal structure.
                                                          1. Text: 3 stanzas in lines of 8
                                                            1. Music cannot be structured- madness of clown is conveyed through lack of structure
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