Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)



Committee Chair

Dr. Douglas Rust

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Danny Beard

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Joseph Brumbeloe

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Edward Hafer

Committee Member 4 School



This thesis examines the contributions of tonal analysis to narrative readings of three nineteenth-century pieces. The method used originates from the work of two theorists, Byron Almén and Fred Lerdahl. Almén’s 2008 book, A Theory of Musical Narrative, outlines narrative archetypes. Lerdahl’s 2004 book, Tonal Pitch Space, provides a sophisticated approach to tonal analysis. These methods are combined to analyze striking modulations in Robert Schumann’s “Dein Angesicht” Op. 127, no. 2, tonal ambiguity in Johannes Brahms’s “Der Kranz” Op. 84, no. 2, and the lack of tonal closure in Gabriel Fauré’s “Hymne” Op. 7, no. 2. These striking features and their changes are tracked over the course of each piece. This creates the narrative analysis and allows a narrative archetype to be applied to the piece.

Included in

Music Theory Commons