Understanding How Wagner Fits Into Our History Of Western Classical Music

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Organising a concrete form for a style such as Wagner’s is difficult given that the music lies on the edge of what was common practice in the 19th century. The music does not easily organise itself into the neat forms that we recognise from the classical and baroque time periods, but instead goes beyond the confines of form and tonality that today’s listeners are not familiar with. This gives the music some unique qualities such as being unpredictable, unending, and for some, brings less attention to the music and more attention to the drama that is being presented. Given this ambiguity, there will certainly be different analyses and interpretations that will result in different organisations and conclusions. Despite this however, I will attempt make a few overarching statements about the excerpt’s form, tonal organization, sequential processes, motivic use, and drama as a whole on this multifaceted analysis of this excerpt in the hope to better understand how Wagner fits into our history of western classical music. The excerpt may be best understood in two sections, however I would like to present the music as instead having three sections. I have this labeled on my form chart as sections A B and C. The organization we discussed in class presented the music as having a binary form with the important section divider happening in 187/1/5 on the half cadence, and new music continueing on the the next measure (187/2/1). This beginning area leading to the first defined dominant

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