The Key to Beethoven: Connecting Tonality and Meaning in His Music (North American Beethoven Studies v. 7)

The Key to Beethoven: Connecting Tonality and Meaning in His Music (North American Beethoven Studies v. 7)

By: Paul Ellison (author)Paperback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


Building on the remarkable correlation between key and tonal affect found in his vocal music, this book establishes an understanding of the way in which Beethoven uses tonality affectively. Following an Introduction that outlines a justification for revisiting the concept of meaning in Beethoven's music, Chapter One assembles the historical case for Beethoven's knowledge of key characteristics, examining materials with which he was familiar, his own views, and various items of anecdotal evidence. The second chapter presents a survey of the keys employed by Beethoven, using evidence from contemporary writers, theorists, composers, and Beethoven's own works to establish congruency of affective meaning. Chapters Three to Five identify the significant body of empirical evidence that connects tonality and meaning in an examination of the solo songs, revealing the strong nexus between textual meaning and choice of key in almost all cases. Concepts such as the "affective spectrum," "affective modulation and tonicization," and "affective harmony" are introduced and applied to the music. The sixth chapter examines five case studies from vocal and choral music with orchestral accompaniment, in order to illustrate how tonal symbolism can function in a wider variety of contexts in Beethoven's oeuvre. Finally, Chapter Seven presents an instrumental case study, the Piano Sonata in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2, applying the semiotic of affect established earlier as the principal tool for deconstructing meaning in this work. This is the first volume to demonstrate through a combination of historical and empirical evidence that, in most instances, Beethoven does employ tonality in an affective way in his vocal music, paving the way for a future examination of the nexus between tonality and meaning his instrumental music.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781576472026
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 437
  • ID: 9781576472026
  • ISBN10: 1576472027

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly