Unveiling the Poetic-Musical Narrative and the Incomplete 'Urlinie':
Recontextualizing Robert Schumann's Song 'Wehmut' Op. 39/9

Yiyi Gao, University of North Texas

I offer a new analytical approach that highlights relevant connections between bi-functional six-four chords, hypermeter, and music-text relationships. Cadential six four chords as retrospectively becomes consonant have been explored by Rothstein (1989) and Graf (2013), who consider musical factors such as voice-leading. I expand upon their research by integrating two salient elements -- the hypermetric analysis based on the theory of Lerdahl and Jackendoff (1983) and the subtleties of poetical musical correspondence.

In Robert Schumann's Wehmut Op. 39/9, a given six-four harmony can be explained as either consonant or cadential. The middleground structure is contingent upon the perception of its functionality. Even the hypermetrical position suggests its function as cadential, regarding the chord as a consonant invites a more effective analysis. Accordingly, the resultant tonal structure communicates the textual meanings in the poem. The unfulfilled desire and the unrequited love expressed in the poem are embodied by an incomplete Urlinie.