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Comment on the images in the song cycle Die Schne Mllerin.

Show how Schuberts music represents each image.


Die schone Mullerin is a cycle of twenty songs for solo voice and piano, with poetry by Wilhelm Muller and music by Franz Schubert. The lyrics tell a romantic story of a young miller who befriends a brook which leads him to a mill. He falls madly in love with the miller's beautiful daughter who eventually rejects him. In misery, the young miller drowns himself in the stream, which has been his friend throughout the story. The images that I will focus on which were present in the song cycle are the brook/stream, impatience The stream or brook was quite prominent in the song cycle. It first appeared in the 2nd song where the young miller first meets the brook then at the 20th song when the brook is singing to lullaby to the dying young miller. Schubert uses an ongoing rhythm of flowing, soft tuplets or semiquavers in the piano accompaniment to mimic the flowing brook. In the second song, we see the treble consist of only tuplets, in the fourth song, we can see that the right hand has only semi-quavers grouped in fours with no pause at all except for a quaver in line 6 bar 1. The semiquavers in fourth song could also portray the constant turning of the mill, as the tempo of the piece is not hurried like the 2nd. The brook comes back in the 19th piece where the young miller is talking to it. The first page is made up of just two or three note chords in the piano, as the miller talks. However, on the 2nd and 3rd page, the constant semiquavers return as the brook replies. The semiquavers are just like the water flowing over the pebbles that sit at the bottom of the brook. However, the lullaby sung by the brook in the last song is completely different. It is mainly made up of chords with no ongoing drive at all. It could stand for the young millers passion for the maid disappearing as he dies. The image Ungeduld impatience occurs in the 7th and 11th song. This is when the young miller gets frustrated and restless as nothing is happening between him and the maid. Schubert uses chord triplets in simple time to portray the restlessness in song 7. There is no real rhythm in the accompaniment from page 1, line 1, bar 1 to line 2 bar 2 and also page 2,line 1, bar 4 to the end of the song. This effect just further enhances the young millers impatience. The use of tone also contributes to the feeling. The accidentals which create an augmented or diminished interval like in page 1,

line 2, bar 3, first beat of the bar. The D to A# is an augmented 5th which doesnt allow to listener to settle in, like they would with perfect chords. Also the tempo Etwas geschwind somewhat fast, just pushes the piece along at an incredible speed. Song 11 is the young miller saying that the maid is his and he cannot wait. The song is in cut time, and does not use triplets. It stays with the more orthodox 2 minim beats per bar. This piece is more of a positive impatience rather than a negative like song 7. There is a perfect 4th on the word Fruhling spring, on page 2, line 4, bar 2 from F to Bb. It is the exact same as the first interval in the whole song cycle. Schubert uses again, an ongoing rhythm of constant quavers in the piano accompaniment to not let the listener settle. There is at least a hint of despair and sadness in songs 2, 4, 8, 19 and 20. The despair and sadness mainly happens as a result of the maid not showing any affection for the young maid. Song 2 consists of the uncertainty of where the brook is taking him. The young miller is wandering happily, until he has some doubts. This is shown by implied modulations from G major to A minor and E minor. The first sign of A minor comes in at page 1, line 4, bar 1 with a G# and also a ACE chord. The next sign of E minor is on page 3, line 1, bar 4 with a D#, with the following bar having a EGB chord. In song 4, the piece also starts on G major and gloom is foreshadowed in two ways. The piece modulates to G minor on page 2, line 1, bar 2. Also, the diminished 5th on page 1, line 3, bar 3 from C# to G foreshadows the tragedy. Song 8 has the feeling of sadness and separation. The song starts in C major but in line 3, bar 1, the song modulates to G minor for a line, which is shown by the Bb. The separation is shown by the voices melody repeated a bar later in the piano accompaniment which gives the feeling of the young miller and the maid never getting on the same track as each other. Song 19 starts on G minor when the Mller speaks, but then modulates to G major where the brook comes in on page 2. The piece stays and finishes in G major, which gives a false sense of security as the brook is trying to comfort the young miller, although the maid rejected him. In conclusion, Schubert used a variety of musical techniques to help get the mood and image across to the listener. The images in each piece is represented clearly and definitely helps making the storyline more interesting.