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Mackenna Beattie, MUS 303: Music History 2
Faculty Mentor: Professor Carolyn Guzski, Music

My project focuses on Franz Peter Schubert and his final song cycle, Der Winterreise [Winter Journey], which was composed and published shortly before his passing. I analyze three specific Lieder, or individual songs for voice and piano, from the twenty-four that make up this celebrated Liederkreis [song cycle]: “Gute Nacht [Good Night]”, “Einsamkeit [Loneliness]," and “Der Leiermann [The Hurdy-Gurdy Man].” The musical concept for “Gute Nacht [Good Night]” is expressed through modal shifts that occur in the melody throughout the song. In “Der Leiermann [The Hurdy-Gurdy Man]” I focus on the specific instrument Schubert evokes: the hurdy-gurdy, which is used as a drone sounded by the piano as the singer expresses despair amidst his slowly deteriorating mental state. I use examples from the musical score to show specific musical events during the course of the song cycle, along with background biographical knowledge on Schubert himself and details of his compositional technique. My project goal is to communicate a sense of how and why Schubert composed in the Lieder genre so prolifically and masterfully, through a better understanding of specific examples within his final song cycle.

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Arts and Humanities

Franz Schubert and His Final Song Cycle Journey
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