Dissertation Index

Author: Mooney, Kevin

Title: The Table of Relations and Music Psychology in Hugo Riemann's Harmonic Theory

Institution: Columbia University

Begun: May 1992

Completed: December 1995


Hugo Riemann (1849-1919) belonged to an era of positivism during which musicology looked to the models and methods of the natural sciences. True to his time, Riemann attempted to establish a harmonic theory on acoustical and physiological grounds. Finding these grounds inadequate, he later contrued tonal relations psychologically. Riemann's role in the history of music psychology is not well documented probably because his contributions were scattered over an uncommonly prolific and varied publishing career. In this study, we trace the emergence of music psychology in Riemann's harmonic writings, with reference to a construct that reappeared frequently in his work. This construct--the Verwandschaftstabelle, or Table of Relations--had a history prior to Riemann in the music theories of Leonhard Euler (1707-83) and Arthur von Oettingen (1836-1920). Riemann initially used the Table to summarize acoustic relations, but by the end of his career it had become a psychological hypothesis underlying a complex and idiosyncratic theory of harmony. We believe a study of the Table of Relations is corequisite to any full appraisal of Riemann's harmonic theory.

Keywords: Tonal pitch space, harmonic function, harmonic dualism, Tonvorstellung, Schritte and Wechsel, group theory, gradus suavitatis, Tonpsychologie


Chapter 1: Leonhard Euler and the "Mirror of Music";
Chapter 2: The Dual Development of Harmony and the Table of Relations;
Chapter 3: Musical Logic and Musical Syntax: Two Paradigms of Harmonic Function;
Chapter 4: Helmholtz, Riemann, and the Idea of Tonal Representation;
Chapter 5: The System of Harmonic Schritte and Wechsel


Kevin Mooney,
Faculty of Music, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario,
Canada N2L 5R6 (519) 884-1970 x2153, kmooney@mach1.wlu.ca

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