Publication Date

Summer 2011


School of Music


Music: Piano Performance


Arts and Humanities | Music | Music Theory


Franz Schubert's Die schone Mullerin was the first true song cycle of the nineteenth century. Known for his contributions and innovations in German Lieder composition, Schubert published this twenty-song cycle in 1824. Composed as a set of songs based on a collection of poems with a continuing story line, the influence of Die schone Mullerin on the art song is still in evidence today. Schubert's use of imagery, especially in the piano accompaniment, was one of his biggest contributions to the development of musical style in Lieder. Treating the piano part as more than just a simple chordal accompaniment, he depicted emotional states in the piano part so that the listener could truly engage in the musical and poetic drama of the cycle. Schubert's masterful combination of vocal melody with dramatic accompaniments established a lasting compositional end for all who followed him in the field of art songs.

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