Dissertation Index

Author: Hoffman, Stanley M.

Title: Extended Tonality and Voice Leading in Twelve Songs, Op. 27 by Alexander Zemlinsky

Institution: Brandeis University

Begun: September 1990

Completed: February 1993


Alexander (von) Zemlinsky (1871-1942) was not only a renowned composer, but was also highly regarded as a conductor. Although he was Schoenberg's teacher and brother-in-law, and a friend to both Webern and Berg, Zemlinsky never composed twelve-tone music. His compositions reflect an individualistic reaction to several of the prevailing modes of composition during a time of great political, social, and artistic upheaval. Zemlinsky's late compositions employ extended tonality and voice leading in a personal way. No published theoretical writings offer a detailed analytical approach to the mature compositions of this post-Romantic composer.

For this reason, as well as for the music's beauty and integrity of craftsmanship I wrote on Zemlinsky's Twelve Songs, Op. 27 composed in the years 1937 and 1938. This work offers twelve microcosmic examples of his mature compositional style. Each song posesses unique musical qualities worthy of analysis. The major topic for discussion in this paper will be Zemlinsky's use of extended tonality, with considerable emphasis placed upon voice leading considerations. Other issues covered will include the contention that Op. 27 is a song cycle, not merely a set of twelve songs, and that tonal forces govern the organization of the piece as a whole. The form of each song, including phraseological interpretations, the possible expressive motivations behind the choice and ordering of the texts, and the word-painting will be addressed. In addition, differences between Zemlinsky's manuscript and the published score will be discussed.

Keywords: tonality, modality, intervalic, phrasing, cyclic, word-painting African-American, Sanskrit, German, Jewish


Chapter 1 - Song 1, Chapter 2 - Songs 2-6, Chapter 3 - Songs 7-9, Chapter 4 - Song 10, Chapter 5 - Song 11, Chapter 6 - Song 12


Stanley M. Hoffman
Voice: 617-893-0702
Fax: 617-437-0222
E-Mail: Smhoff@aol.com
The UMI order number for this doctoral dissertation is 9317084

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