Dissertation Index

Author: Vachon, Pierre

Title: Study of titles in the Piano Works of Robert Schumann, their function and meaning

Institution: Universite de Montreal

Begun: September 1994

Completed: May 1998


The Nineteenth Century is marked by an important debate: that of program music vs. absolute music. Those who defend program music believe that the source of inspiration of a musical work is linked to an idea, a topic or a program of litterary or pictural nature. On the contrary, the defensors of absolute music beleive that the music is not conditioned by any idea or programm of any nature. The relation between text and music goes back several centuries and find its full expression in the piano music of Robert Schumann, which entails numerous titles drawn from litterature. Then, what is the relation between the title and the music, its form and meaning? Have titles an influence on the music as such?

Keywords: Piano music, extra-musical, titles, hermeneutics, semiology, semantics, analysis, Robert Schumann


Pierre Vachon
470, avenue Walnut
Saint-Lambert (Quebec) J4P 2T6 Canada
Tel.: (514) 466-4226 FAX: (514) 466-9905

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