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Yale University Department of Music

The Path from Tonic to Dominant in the Second Movement of Schubert's String Quintet and
in Chopin's Fourth Ballade
Author(s): Lauri Suurpaa
Source: Journal of Music Theory, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 451-485
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of the Yale University Department of Music
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3090683
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In Free CompositionSchenkerbegins the discussion of the middle-

ground level by describing differentways in which the tonic-dominant
space of the Bassbrechung,the space between the first two background
Stufen,can be filled in (Schenker1979, 29-31 and Figure 14). This inner
subdivisionof the space between I and V greatly affects the tonal orga-
nizationof music and Schenkersuggests thatit also influencesthe form.
He demonstratesthat this motion may encompass either all of the notes
located between I andV or only one or two of them.Although Schenker
speaks only about the first level of the middleground,similar space-fill-
ing patternsalso occur at more local levels. This phenomenon,therefore,
organizesthe unfolding of both local and global musical spans.
Example 1 shows three common patterns of such tonic-dominant
motions. In each of the examples lal, bl1,and Icl thereis only one note

a) b) c)

6I / I II V



Example 1. Threecommon I-V patterns

between I andV: in lal the bass traversesthe span via 3, and so the har-
monic structureis I-I6/III-V;in Ibl via 4, the harmonicstructurebeing
I-II6/IV-V; and in Icl via 2, and the harmonyis I-II-V. These funda-
mental harmonicprogressionscan govern even though there might be
notes otherthanthose shown in examples lal, lbl, and lc . This can be
seen in examples la2, lb2, and lc2, where the I-V motions are entirely
In the present study I shall discuss motivic associations created by
filled-in I-V motions in two works:the second movementof Schubert's
C-majorStringQuintet,D. 956, and Chopin'sFourthBallade in F minor,
op. 52. It would seem that in both pieces severalinstancesof a basically
stepwise I-V motion, occurringat differentstructurallevels, create mo-
tivic connections. Before such associations can be examined, however,
one must define the conditionsunderwhich these instances can arise. It
would seem dubious to grant automaticallymotivic significance to all
tonic-dominantmotions. Since such motions are so universal in tonal
music, several occurrencesof them in a given piece do not necessarily
createsignificantconnections.Thatis to say, if certainphenomenaare to
be found in a largenumberof tonal works,theiroccurrencesin one piece
do not yet create motivic associations characteristicof just that piece.
Nevertheless,if thereis somethingthatdrawsattentionto severaloccur-
rences of a common phenomenon, these events may create important
connections within a work. If, for example, similar chromaticelabora-
tions or innersubdivisionsin variousI-V motionscan be found,one may
speak of motivic factors that are characteristicof the given work. I
believe that this is the case in the two pieces I shall examine in the pres-
ent study.
But should one suggest, in the first place, that motivic associations
must reflect only somethingcharacteristicof individualpieces, as I have
hintedat above?Could one not simply statethatrepetitionof certaintone
successions would suffice to create motivic associations, no matterhow
common the succession is? One could then say that several similarly
filled-in I-V motions or 3-2-i progressions, for example, would auto-
matically create significant associations in a given piece. Some recent
studies have addressedthis question. In his article "Schenker's'Motivic
Parallelisms"'Charles Burkhartshows that in Chopin's Nocturne, op.
15/2, a 3-2-1 motion, supportedby a bass arpeggiationI-V-I, can be
found in the foregroundin mm. 1-2 and in the middlegroundin mm.
1-16. Of this phenomenonBurkhartuses the term "Ursatzparallelism."
However,in his view such parallelismalone does not sufficeto createsig-
nificantmotivic associations.Yet genuine motivic connectionsmay arise
if similarelaborationsexist between differentUrsatzreplicas.
Ursatzparallelism,since it is a structuralconcept,exceedsthe definition
of motivicparallelism.It has at times been confusedwith motivicparal-
lelism to the detriment,it seemsto me, of the latter.My objectionto mix-
ing up the two is thatthe "motive"involved-the Urlinie-is of so uni-
versal a nature, and its transferenceto lower levels so-one might
say-"automatic,"that Ursatzparallelismis virtuallyirrelevantto the
subjectof motivic parallelism,which focuses upon the "free"and the
uniqueratherthanthe general.In the presentexample,the relevantpoint
is thatthe elaborationof the 3-2-1 of [mm. 1-2 in the Nocturne]is paral-
leled in the elaborationof the 3-2-1 of [mm. 1-16 in the Nocturne].This
aspect of the repetitionis much more unusualand interestingthan the
Ursatzparallelismper se (Burkhart1978, 153).
Allen Cadwalladerhas taken a broaderattitudetowardsmotivic con-
nections than Burkhart.He has coined the term "first-ordermotive"by
which he refers to certainvery basic tonal configurationsthat appearin
deep middlegroundand that can then be copied and elaboratedat more
local levels.
Becauseof the natureof hierarchicalnetworks,first-levelprolongations
[=those prolongationsthat can occur at the first level of the middle-
ground]mustalso influencethe motivicprocessof the lowerlevels they
span.But these formationsaremoreglobalandfinitethanexpandedrep-
etitions(whichareaspectsof specificpieces),becausetheyunfoldexclu-
sively at the firstlevel andreflectthe mostbasictypesof diminution-the
most generallinearpatternsof the tonalsystem-that elaboratethe fun-
damentalline... As one tracesthe transformations of surfaceandfore-

groundconfigurationsthroughsuccessively deeper levels, the shapes
become simplerand more abstract,reducingto the finite and almost
featuresof the tonalsystem(Cadwallader1988,4-5).

What Cadwalladersuggests is thatthe origins of the motivic networkof

a specific piece can be traced at configurationsso fundamentalto the
tonal system that they transcendindividualworks: "Andhere is where
my broader view of motives departs from traditionalperspectives: at
some point, motives-in the sense of compositionalpremises-begin to
resemble and coincide with the generaland intrinsiclinear constructsof
the tonal system"(ibid., 6).3
The principaldifferencebetween Burkhart'sandCadwallader'sviews
is that in Burkhart'sopinion motivic parallelismsfocus "uponthe 'free'
and the uniqueratherthanthe general"whereasCadwalladerarguesthat
"atsome point, motives ... begin to resembleand coincide with the gen-
eral and intrinsic linear constructsof the tonal system."That is to say,
Burkhartsuggests that motivic parallelisms operate within individual
pieces whereas Cadwalladertraces the origins of motivic associations
from the tonal system itself.
In the presentstudy my standpointwill resemblequite closely thatof
Burkhart's.I shall examine in the two pieces that form the topic of this
essay how the elaborationsof a common structuralconfiguration-filled-
in space between tonic and dominant-create innerassociations.Behind
these elaborationsthereare,of course, simple motions transcendingindi-
vidual compositions, first-ordermotives in Cadwallader'sterminology.
But my intentionhere is not merelyto statethata stepwise I-V motion is
repeatedin the works, but ratherto trace how it is elaboratedand how
these elaborations,in turn,createmotivic associationsthatare specific to
these two works. In other words, I shall examine how a very common
tonal configurationreceives individualizedtreatmentin the works, and
how this treatment,then, in partunderliesthe unique characterof each
I shall concentrateon the manner in which the I-V motion of the
opening formal section is later enlargedand modified in the two works,
and specifically how it operatesin deep middleground.The subdivision
of the filled-in I-V motion occurringat deep levels often plays a crucial
role in a work's formalorganizationand its division into significantkey
areas. Owing to this fundamentalrole, those deep-middlegroundelabo-
rations of this motion that create motivic associations naturally also
greatly influence the harmonic structureof the music.4 In this study I
shall suggest that in the two works to be examinedthe mannerin which
the motion from tonic to dominantis elaboratedat the outset of each
piece greatlyinfluencesthe harmonicstructureof the entirework, as well
as its form. I do not imply, however,thatthe course of the bass would be

alike in the opening sections of the two works or that these bass motions
would laterbe elaboratedalong similarlines: indeed, there are profound
differencesin the mannerin which the I-V motion is filled in at the out-
set of these works and even more so later on. But I do argue that the
works share an importantunderlying compositional idea: in both the
overall structureof the bass enlarges and modifies the bass motions that
govern in the opening sections.
To clarify my conception of how the opening I-V motion is enlarged
andelaboratedlateron in the piece, I shall brieflydiscuss Schubert'ssong
"GefrorneTranen"from Winterreise(see example 2). As the dotted bar
lines in example 2b indicate, the form of the song divides into introduc-
tion (mm. 1-7), the main body (mm. 8-49), and the coda whose begin-
ning overlapswith the end of the main body (mm. 49-55). In the intro-
duction the bass moves from tonic to a dividing dominant.Example 2b
shows thatthis motion is subdividedas I-III-V. But before the V arrives,
thereis an incompleteneighborDLthatelaboratesthe motion fromAb to
C. Moreover,a BLis interpolatedbetween the Dl and the C. In the main
body of the song the music modulatesto ALmajor(III) in m. 14, and so
the bass has moved from F to Ab.A chord of ALmajoris then prolonged
in mm. 14-34 until the arrivalof a $ chordbuilt on DL(m. 35). The func-
tion of this Db is not immediatelyclear. It would first seem to supporta
cadential6 chord,in which case a modulationtoGL majorwould be due.
But the 4 chord does not proceed to a dominantbut to a Germanaug-
mentedsixth chord-a chordthatis enharmonicallyequivalentto a dom-
inant seventh.So the Db turnsout to be an incompleteneighborabove C,
the dominantof the main key. But before the DLdescends to C thereis a
voice exchange, and so a BLis interpolatedbetween Dl and C.5
Example 2c shows thatthe bass of mm. 1-38 enlargesthe bass of the
introduction.6But the role of the Dbis differentin the introductionand in
the mainbody.In the introductionthis note supportsan impliedDb-major
chord, whereas in the main body of the work the chord that it supports
oscillates between a dominantof Gbmajorand an augmentedsixth chord
leading to a dominantof F minor.Finally the latterof these options turns
out to be the correctone. Once the main body of the work ends, the coda
repeatsthe music of the introductionwith only small changes, and so the
importantbass motion is heardonce more (example 2c).7

Schubert: String Quintet, Second Movement

Example 3 shows the form of the second movement of Schubert's

StringQuintetand functionsas a preliminaryorientationto the organiza-
tion of the work. The movement is in ternaryform:Al-B-A2 and coda.
Both of the A sections are furtherdivided into two subsections-shown
by the lower-case letters in example 3-and a codetta. The slurs in

5 4 3 2i

| o~.--..-(antic......)?i

5 6 7 8 13 14 15 21 25 31 35 38

5 5 4 3 2

c) 1

9 j J LJ . P tj
r I I


Example2. Schubert:"GefrorneTranen"(Winterreise),voice-leading and

example 3 show that the subsections of the A parts are linked to each
otherby phraseoverlaps:i.e., the measuresthatend the previoussubsec-
tions at the same time begin the next. Each of these subsectionsare gov-
ernedby a I-V-I progressionand so the A sections basically prolongthe
tonic. In the B section, however,the harmoniccontentis highly unusual.
This section begins, with practicallyno preparation,in the very remote
key of F minor, the minor key of a lowered second degree of the main
key, E major.The music then begins to modulate toward C minor, the
dominantof F minor,arrivingat a dominantof this key (m. 33). C minor
is an apparentkey only, however, since its dominantis never properly
resolved to the tonic. The retransitionthat closes the B section leads the
music to the dominantof E major(m. 63), the main key, which prepares
the returnof the tonic chord at the beginningof the A2 section.
I shall now proceed in a somewhat unusual manner and begin the
detailed discussion of the movementfrom the middle, by looking at the
B section, whose voice-leading structureis shown in example4. The ini-
tial chordin parenthesesindicatesthattheAl section prolongsan E-major
chord with a top voice Gt, the background3. The motion from the calm
and chorale-likeAl section in E majorto the almost violent beginningof
the B section in the remotekey of F minoris very suddenandunprepared.
The only clue to this dramaticchange is the trill E-Ft (m. 28) whose Ft
provides, retrospectively,the E with a leading-tonequality,thus prepar-
ing in a subtle mannerthe F minorthat opens the B section. Once the F-
minor chord arrivesit is prolonged in mm. 29-33 with a cadentialpro-
gressionthatestablishesAb as the maintop-voice note (example4b). The
course of the music following this cadentialprogressionis highly com-
plex. In the latterpartof m. 33 the music arrivesat a G-majorchordthat
would locally seem to functionas a dominantof C minor.But thereis no
C-minorchordto resolve the dominant.Instead,the music moves in m. 35
firstto an F-minorchord,builton the lower neighborof G, andthen in m.
41 back to the G-majorharmony(example4).8
The chord of m. 41 also resumesthe dominantqualityof the chordof
m. 33, and now the music would seem to begin a cadentialprogression.
As example 4 indicates, no emphatic C-minor chord arrives,however,
andthe music regainsthe G-majorharmonyin m. 45. After excursionsto
remote harmoniesin mm. 46-48, the dominantof C minor returnsfirst
in m. 49 and then again in mm. 55-57. In each case it creates expecta-
tions of a cadence in C minor, a cadence that never occurs. Instead of
arrivingat this expected cadence, the music proceeds to an enigmatic
retransition(mm. 58-63) thatleads back to the mainkey: firstin m. 62 to
a IV chord and in the next measureto the dominant.
Incidentally,there are threeC-minorchords in the B section but none
of these functionsas a fundamentalStufeandthe resolutionof the G-major
chord prolonged in the middleground.The C-minor chord in m. 34 is

= phraseoverlap

mm. 15 15 24 24 29 58 64 78 7

al a2 codetta B retrans. a3 a

Al B A2

Keys: E:I V-V-I I V-II f:I c:V E:IV-VII I V-IJ I

Example 3. Schubert: String Quintet, second movement, forma

Mgd: I 41 (I )

( 1-28) 29 32 33 34 35 38 39 41 42 45 48/54 49/55

N ------........... ---- .
41' --------- .4

,,>; - }- -- -- J< J S. -

Fgd: E:I f: I c:V (IV) V ( 6 IV) V (IV) V4

)c xq:##A1#~ - ..0 0.. o

Example 4. Schubert:String Quintet,second movement,B section, vo

immediatelytransformedinto an applieddominantof the F-minorchord
arrivingin the next measure.The chordin m. 38 is builton the upperfifth
of the F prolongedin the bass (example4). (In spite of the emphasisthat
this chord receives in the foreground,I take it as subordinateto the
F-minorchord of m. 35. This reading seems justified, above all, by the
fact the C-minorchordis not precededby a strongdominant.So it should
not be understoodas the resolutionof the G-majorchordprolongedin the
middleground:the bass-note B~ that precedes it is a passing note within
an ascending fifth F-C-subdivided into two thirds-and is thus not to
be connected with the underlyingG-majorharmony.9)And finally, the
C-minorchordof m. 42 is a sixth chord,a relativelylocal element.10
We are now in a position to form a broaderview of the B section, and
specifically of its bass. As the beamed notes in example 4a indicate, in
mm. 1-63 the bass consists of a stepwise motion from E to B, i.e., of a
filled-in tonic dominantmotion. (This progressionis shown in schematic
form in example 4c.) This motion is not diatonic, however,for both the
second and the thirdnotes (Ft and G0) have been lowered. So both the
F-minorand G-majorchords of the B section are built on chromatically
altered notes. Example 4a also explains the voice-leading function that
the G-majorchord-the vastly prolongedlocal dominantof C minor-
plays in the large context:it is formedof a passing note in the bass and a
neighbornote in the top voice, and so it shouldbe ultimatelyunderstood
as a contrapuntalevent ratherthan as a deep-middlegroundStufe.Exam-
ple 5 furtherexplains the events of the B section, tracinga diatonic ori-
gin for the highly chromaticunfolding of the music. Example 5a shows
a fundamentalharmonicI-II-V progressionwhose II is elaboratedwith
a chord built on its upperthird;in 5b the thirdbetween the F# and A is
filled in with a passing-noteG#andthe harmonicmotion is interpretedas

1 29 33 61 62 63

3 2 11 3 2 11 3 2 11 3 DIN (.IN) 211

a) b) /IN
A '

i, n### )11! * v4* v5- 6 5

I II V 11 I II (IV)V 11 I II IV V 1 I I II IV V II

Example5. Schubert:StringQuintet,second movement,

B section, hypotheticalvoice-leading origin (exx. 5a-5c)
and deep middleground(ex. 5d)

I-II_(IV)-V; in 5c both the F# and the G# are lowered and so the har-
monies are I-II IV-V; and 5c finally shows the actualmiddlegroundof
the Schubertin which the harmonicprogressionis I-II _IV-V.
If the bass and the harmonicorganizationof the Schubertmovement
arecomplex, then so is the top voice. Examples5a-c show thatthe upper-
most voice of mm. 1-63 basically consists of an interrupted3-2 motion
thatis elaboratedwith an incompleteneighborA, a note which is, in turn,
prolongedwith a lower neighbor.In example 5d the F-minorchord that
opens the B section supportsin the top voice Ab, a note that is enhar-
monically equivalent with the top-voice G# of the opening E-major
chord.Notwithstandingthis equivalence,I readthe Ab as a chromatically
alteredincompleteupperneighborof G#ratherthanas a prolongationof
3. If one readsthe Abas continuingthe 3, one shouldtakethe openingbass
note of the B section as Et lest the readingwould suggest a prolongation
of an augmentedninth F-G#. But the trill E-F0 in m. 28, with the lead-
ing-tone quality it lends to the E, clearly indicates that the opening har-
mony of the B section is an F-minor,not an E#-minorchord.'2
Let us now move to the opening A' section whose voice leading is
shown in example 6. Both subsections (shown in example 6a by lower-
case letters) consist of a closed tonal progression I-V-I supportinga
32-1 descent in the top voice. (Owing to the phraseoverlapin m. 15, the
3 thatopens the second subsectionis superimposedabove the 1 thatends
the first.) The harmonic structure of the a' section is organized as
I-IIt_(IV)-V. The II#,which supportsa chromaticallyalteredincomplete
neighborA#, is prolonged with a IV, a chord built on its upper third.A
passing-noteG# basically fills in the thirdbetween the bass notes of the
two chords (examples 6b and 6c).13So the bass of mm. 1-14 consists of
a stepwise I-V motion shown in schematicform in example 6c.
The unfolding of the a' section shows remarkableparallelswith that
of the Al and B sections together (example 7). In both sections the bass
consists of a stepwise motion from I to V that is basically subdividedas
I-II_(IV)-V. And, in both, the II supportsa chromaticallyalteredincom-
plete neighborthatis then heardin its diatonicform when the IV built on
the upper third of the II arrives.Moreover, in both sections the space
between II and IV is filled in with a passing note. So the opening section
of the work preparesin a subtle mannerthe highly original and uncon-
ventional tonal featuresof the B section. This preparationis an indirect
one, however.In both sections the fundamentalII of the tonic-dominant
motion is a chromaticallyalteredharmonybut, whereasin the a' section
the harmonyis a II#,in the B section it is a IIP,a chord whose root has
been lowered. Nevertheless,in my view the two sections create motivic
associations.The B section assumes, so to speak, from the a' section the
basic way of filling in and subdividingthe I-V space, but then takes this
underlyingsubdivisionin a very differentdirection.This direction,then,
3 3
IN 2 IN 2 1)

7 8 9 12 13 14 15 19 22 23 24


3J . IN 2 , 3 2 I)

I .I I...v (II) V I

I I! v () v i (|iii) iv v i


o/ 0... o

Example6. Schubert:StringQuintet,second movement,A1 section,

voice-leading sketch
1 9 13 14 15

3 # 2nJiN) ;



1 29 62 63
3 t'IN (N) 211

r 'I
d r

I 0II6 (IV) V 11

Example 7. Schubert:StringQuintet,second movement,mm. 1-15

(ex. 7a) and mm. 1-63 (ex. 7b) compared

leads to the highly unusualkey scheme of the movement,with the B sec-

tion's tonicizedF minorandthe apparentC minorthatis representedonly
by its vastly prolongeddominant.
The prolonged G-major chord of the B section-an element that
greatly affects the unfolding of the music at the local levels-has also
been preparedin theA1 section (example6). In the a2section the firstgoal
of the music is a G-majorchordthatis tonicized in m. 19. This harmony
may be associated with the G-majorchord of the B section even though
the two occur in different voice-leading contexts: the shared sonority
introducesthe influentialelement of the B section alreadyin m. 19, there
in a simpler and more straightforwardsituation.The association of the
two chords is given viability by the fact that both proceed in a similar
mannerto an A-majorchord (IV) via a 5-6 5 motion (example 8).

After the A2 section thatbasically repeatsthe music of the A1 section
in a decoratedmanner,the brief coda (mm. 91-94) returnsto the F-minor
chordthatin m. 29 acted as the dramaticandunexpectedstartingpoint of
the B section. (Thematicassociationbetween the two chords is created
by an E-Ft trill whose E functionsas a local leading tone: in mm. 28-29
in an implied mannerand in mm. 91-92 explicitly.) The F-minorchord
of m. 92 is tied to the governing E-major key in a beautiful manner
(example9). In the latterhalf of m. 92 thereis a harmonythatfirstsounds
like a C dominantseventhchord,a chordthatwould seem to establishthe
tonicized F-minorharmonythat opened the measure.But as Schubert's
spelling indicates,the chord does not include a seventh Bb but ratherits

19 22
a) r

=5 6 5


57 62

=5 6 5

llli IV

Example 8. Schubert:StringQuintet,second movement,mm. 19-22

(ex. 8a) and mm. 57-62 (ex. 8b) compared
a) b \

91 94

* *


(wI-~M, I

:## Yf^N-_^

Example 9. Schubert:String Quintet,second movement,coda,

voice-leading sketch

enharmonicequivalentA#. So the harmonyis an augmentedsixth chord

and leads to the dominantof E majorin m. 93.

Chopin: Ballade, Op. 52

The formal and structuralorganizationof Chopin's F-minor Ballade

is remarkablycomplex and ambiguous.A strangely unfulfilled quality
prevailsthroughmuch of the work-an impressionthat the entire piece
consists of striving towardthe massive culminationnear the end (mm.
195-211). This impressionresults,at least to some extent, fromthe coex-
istence of several conflicting organizationalprinciples. The formal de-
sign includeselements of at least sonataform andvariationsof some sort,
but these are somewhatout of phase with each other.There are, then, no
clearly drawnboundariesthat would be articulatedby all formal princi-
ples underlying the work.'4 Moreover, the music would first seem to
greatly stress some structurallysubordinateelements over the primary
mm. 23 58 84 100 135 152 169

Sonata intr.


Keys of
significant ic f f f B (d) f D

Example 10. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, formal chart

ones-specifically, there would seem to be no dominantsemphasizedin
the foregroundprior to the one arrivingat the culminationof the work
(mm. 195-210). The workthereforeconsists of an unusualaccumulation
of tension towardthe great outburstfollowing m. 195.
Example 10 shows two coexisting formal principlesoperatingin the
Ballade-sonata form and rotations-as well as the work'sprincipalkey
areas. (I have taken the word "rotation"from James Hepokoski and use
it here for designatingthe notion that the Ballade consists of four rota-
tions-cycles, as it were-of which each begins with the main thematic
materialin the home key and ends, the last excluded, in a similarmanner
with a weak dominant.15)While principlesof sonataform clearly under-
lie the Ballade,the workdepartssignificantlyfromthe normalprocedures
of this form. The exposition (mm. 8-99) that follows the brief introduc-
tion (mm. 1-7) consists of two principalthemes, but the way these are
treatedis farfromthe commonproceduresof sonataform.Before the sec-
ond theme arrives,the first is heardthree times (in mm. 8 ff., 23 ff., and
58 ff.). In example 10 I show thatthese occurrencesbegin rotations1, 2,
and 3, respectively.The second theme (mm. 84-99) is in an unusualkey,
Bb major, the major key on the fourth scale degree. The development
section (mm. 100-134) ends with the material of the introduction
(mm. 129-34) thatleads to the recapitulation(mm. 135-91). The begin-
ning of the recapitulationis tonally highly unstable.The end of the devel-
opmentwould seem to prepareD minoras a key areabut this key is never
stabilized.A clear home tonic returnsin m. 152 when the fourthand the
last rotationbegins.16In the recapitulationthe second theme is heardin
Dbmajor(mm. 169-91). The arpeggiatedchordsbeginningin m. 191 lead
to a powerfulcadence-designated "structuralcadence"in example 10-
occurringin mm. 195-211. The coda begins when the tonic ending this
cadence arrivesin m. 211.
Example 11 is a voice-leading sketch of mm. 1-22, the introduction
and the first rotation.The entire introductionprolongs a C-majorchord
thathas, locally, the air of a tonic. The chordturnsout to be a dominant,
however, and it is resolved into the tonic of the main key in m. 8 when
the first rotation begins. The work opens, therefore, with an auxiliary
cadenceV-I.17After the F-minorchordthatopens the firstrotationin m.
8, the music tonicizes anAb-majorharmony(III)in m. 12 (example 1la).
In m. 16 this harmonygives way to a tonicized Bb-minorchord (IV) that
then leads, in m. 22, to the dominantthat ends the first rotation.So the
bass of mm. 8-22 basically consists of a stepwise I-V motion (example
l ic). The emphasis received by the elements within this motion is very
unusual.The III is a relatively fleeting element but the IV is prolonged
for six measures, so it is clearly underlinedin the foreground(example
1lb). The dominantof m. 22, on the otherhand,receives no emphasison
the surface. Consequently the structureand foreground stress are not


* =G
1 2 3 11 12 15 16 18 22
5 6
1 2 II"

b) . . ..--- (rg.-o--.ov)

(twice' I

V I (III) IV V il

(= C: I?)

Intr. RI


~:1, v) ,, o . ..

Example 11. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, mm. 1-22, voice-leading sketch

aligned with each other:the structurallyprimaryV is so fleeting that its

voice-leading function as a goal seems undermined,whereas the struc-
turallysubordinateIV is greatlyemphasized.
The top voice of mm. 8-22 is somewhat ambiguous. The thematic
idea of mm. 8-10 is a polyphonic melody with two lines centering on
pitches c2 and f2 of which the c2 might, perhaps,at first seem to be the
more emphatic.But the precedingintroductionsuggests primacyfor the
f2: in mm. 1-7 g2 is clearly establishedas the main top-voice note, and

this g2 functions as an upperneighborof f2 (example 11). Moreover,the
e[2 of m. 11 stresses,retrospectively,the f2. F is then prolongedin the top
voice until the beginning of m. 22. (In the foregrounda reaching-over
Ab-Gb-F bringsF in m. 16 back to the actualtop voice. The Gbwill later
turn out to be an importantmotivic element establishing the structural
importanceof the top-voice F, hence the asteriskin example 1lb.) When
the dominantof m. 22 arrives,the top voice moves from F to G. But in
the same way thatthe V is underminedin the foreground,so to speak, so
the G is also not stressed:it appearsin the one-line octave, instead of in
the two-line octave in which the precedingF was heard.18
The exact structuralrole of the G is not quite clear. The V of m. 22
would seem to be a divider, or a back-relatingdominant, and so there
should be an interruptionin this measure. (The V of m. 22 so clearly
closes one structuralunit while the next measurebegins the new one that
I cannotreadin mm. 22-23 a cadentialV-I progressionthatwould make
mm. 8-23 a closed harmonicentity.)But the G (2) would not seem to be
coming from an Ab (3) above, as would be the case in a typical interrup-
tion, since thereis no Ab in the precedinggreatlyemphasizedIV.Instead,
the G appearsto be associated with the F below ratherthan with an Ab
above, and so the interruptedprogressionwould seem to be an ascend-
ing third F-G-Ab, not a descending progression. (It will later turn out
thatG will eventually,in the last rotation,functionas a partof an ascend-
ing third-progression.)But since the interruptedprogressionis an ascend-
ing one, the situationdoes not meet the requirementsSchenkerputs in
place for an interruption,so I have put the interruptionmark(II)of exam-
ple 11 in quotes.19
The second rotation(mm. 23-57) repeatsthe firstwith only minimal
embellishingvariantsall the way to the end of m. 36, which corresponds
to the firsthalf of m. 22 in the firstrotation.20Thus, in m. 36 only the final
dominantof the firstrotationremainsto be repeated,but this V does not
immediately arrive. Instead, there follows new material that basically
prolongs the IV chord arrivedat in m. 31 (example 12). The Bb-minor
harmonyreturnsin m. 57, and it is reached via a figurationpractically
identicalto the one thatled to the IV of m. 36. This chordthen continues
to a V that correspondsto the final dominantof the first rotation.The
music, therefore,very stronglycreatesthe impressionthatthe new mate-
rial of this rotationis interpolatedbetween the IV of m. 36 and the V of
m. 57, the dominantfunctioning as the ultimate structuralgoal of the
This interpolatedmaterial (mm. 37-56) expands, in a remarkable
manner,the tendencyof the firstrotationto gravitatetowardsa Bb-minor
chord. If the stress on IV createda somewhatunusualinner subdivision
within the stepwise I-V motion of the firstrotation,as discussed in con-
nectionwith example 11, this is even moreevidentin the second rotation.


a) , - .... - ~--.
. _ -
i , - L_ ....
P:6 : . , fC

H" *F

* =G[
(23-36) 38 46 53 57 ",,


Example 12. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, mm. 23-57, voice-leading sketch

In otherwords,in the openingformalsection, the firstrotation,the music

would seem to introducea quite unusualemphasison IV. This emphasis
then is furtherunderlinedin the second rotation, thus creating a clear
motivic connectionbetween the I-V motions in the firsttwo rotations.21
Mm. 37-56 also help to explain the course of the top voice. As we
have seen, in the firstrotationthe dominanceof the top-voice F, which is
suggested by example 11, was somewhat equivocal. But in the second
rotationthe new materialprolongingthe IV emphasizesthe high F, thus
clarifyingthe organizationof the top voice. In m. 38 the uppermostvoice
ascendsto Gb,an upperincompleteneighborthatretrospectivelyempha-
sizes the precedingF (example 12: asterisksagain show the GL).Andjust
before the returnof the IV in m. 57, there is a greatly stressedtop-voice
Gbthatunderlinesthe functionof F as the structuraltop-voice note of the
Bl-minor chord.
The thirdrotationbegins in m. 58, now with quite extensive melodic
embellishments.As we saw in example 10, this rotationis far longer than
the firsttwo: the second theme,the development,andthe beginningof the
recapitulationall occur within it. Also, the emphasison the subdominant

now becomes greater.The IV arrivesin m. 66, correspondingto mm. 16
and31 in the previousrotations(example 13).This harmonythenproceeds
to its dominant,prolongedin mm. 68-83.22In the top voice, the F is pro-
longed, in mm. 68-74, with a neighbor-noteGb, and so this pitch class
stresses,again,the top-voice F (see the asteriskin example 13b). The Bb-
majorchordthatopens the second theme arrivesin m. 84 (example 13).
The role thatthe Bl-majorchordof the second theme plays in the third
rotationis remarkable.Even though m. 84 begins a distinct new formal
section (the second theme) and key area (Bb major),the Bb-majorchord
of m. 84 prolongsthe situationreachedearlier.As example 13 shows, this
harmonyis connected to the chord attainedin m. 66, and the basic har-
monic content is IV-4. So the thirdrotationbrings the expansion of IV
much furtherthan the first two: this harmony now underlies the sec-
ondarykey area of the exposition. Owing to this prolongationof IV, the
second theme forms an integralpartof the thirdrotation:it belongs to an
interpolationwithin a prolonged IV, and so its structuralfunction is
somewhatsimilar to that of mm. 38-56 in the second rotation,although
the scale on which the interpolationoccurs is now much greater.


8 6 7 1
1 5-7 6)6 5

(58-67) 68 71 74 80 84 (86-87)
* =Gb

I IVo - -i

Example 13. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, mm. 58-84, voice-leading sketch

The second theme consists of two large overlappingphrases (mm.
84-92 and mm. 92-99). In the first phrasethe top voice descends from
the F prolongedin the deep middlegroundinto a D~,andin the second the
line continues to a Bb (example 14). Thus, the second theme consists of
a local 5-1 descent in Bb major.23In the developmentsection thatfollows
the second theme (mm. 100-134), the first significantharmonicgoal is
the Ab-majorchordthat is tonicized in m. 113. As example 14 indicates,
this harmonyis a neighbor-notechord whose top-voice Eb (reachedvia
an extended reachingover) is a lower neighborof F, with the bass-note
Ab a neighborbelow Bb.24
The firmly tonicized Ab-majorharmonyis followed by highly com-
plex music that is of great importancefor both the structuralunfolding
and the formalorganizationof the Ballade. In m. 129 the materialof the
introductionreturns,now prolonginganA-majorchord.The cadenza-like
figurationof m. 134 includesneighboringD-minorharmonies,so thatthe
underlyingA-major chord has conferredupon it clearly the status of a
dominant,the function that the correspondingC-majorchord had at the
beginningof the work. In m. 135 the recapitulationwould seem to begin
in the local key of D minor,but this key turnsout to be an apparentkey
only since it has no tonic. So the thematicbeginningof the recapitulation
is not underlinedby a stableharmonicsituation,which createsan impres-
sion thatthe formalboundarybetween the developmentand the recapit-
ulation occurs within a largerstructuralarch. Instead of establishingD
minor as a significantkey, the beginningof the recapitulationrepeatsits
openingthematicidea threetimes, firsttonicizingF major(mm. 137-38),
thenAb major(mm. 141-42), and finally Bl minor(mm. 144-45). With
the last of these tonicizations(m. 145) the music returnsto materialcor-
respondingto m. 16 in the firstrotation.The following mm. 146-51 then

84 88 92 96 99 103 107 113- 121


=B: I IV V I IV V I )


Example 14. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, mm. 84-121,

voice-leading sketch

58 66 84 113 129 145 151 113 125 128 129 133 138- 142 145-

(rg.-ov.) (rg.-ov.)

I (III)IV-- V 11

(129-134) 135 138 142 145

=G - ------ - --------

* -

#3 #3 #3\ 3h \

Example 15. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, thirdrotation,

voice-leading sketch

repeatmm. 17-22 of the firstrotation,thus bringingin m. 151 the music

to the dominantthatcloses the vastly extendedthirdrotation.
Example 15a gives an overview of the voice leading of the thirdrota-
tion.As alreadymentioned,the Bbchord,arrivedat in m. 66, is prolonged
with a neighboringAb-majorharmony(m. 113). Withthe A-majorchord
of m. 129 both the top voice and the bass of the precedingAb-majorhar-
mony are raised, and the resultingE4 andAMhave a built-intendency to
move forwardto F and Bb.This is indeed what happensat deep levels in
m. 145 when a Bl-minor chord arrives.So the music from m. 135 to the
beginning of m. 145-i.e., the opening of the recapitulation-consists
ultimatelyof contrapuntalevents within a prolongedA-majorchord.
As example 15a indicates,at the remotestlevels mm. 66-150 all pro-
long a Bb-minorharmony.In this mannerthe thirdrotationbrings much
furtheran idea alreadyexpressedin the two previousones. In each rota-
tion the bass basically consists of a stepwise motion from I to V. This
goal, however, is underminedin the foreground,whereas the IV chord
thatprecedesit is greatlyemphasized:to such an extent, in the thirdrota-
tion, that it swallows the second theme, development,and the beginning

of the recapitulationwithin its prolongation.This emphasis on IV, then,
draws a motivic connection between the stepwise I-V motions of the
individualrotations.Moreover,in the second and thirdrotationsthe pro-
longationof the subdominantforms an interpolationbetween the attain-
ment of the IV and the V functioningas the structuralgoal.
Examples 15b and 15c give more details of the motion from the Ab-
majorchord of m. 113 to the BL-minorharmonyarrivingin m. 145. The
chromaticmotion in parallelfifths, shown in example 15a, is elaborated
with interpolatedsixths: the underlying contrapuntalstructureis thus
5-6 5-6 5 (example 15b). This structureshows subtleenharmonicfea-
tures.The first5-6 progression(mm. 113-28) takes place above an Ab in
the bass: the top-voice Eb ascends to Fb. When the A-major chord of
m. 129 arrives,the Fb is enharmonicallyreinterpretedas Et (this enhar-
monic relation is shown in example 15b by the E-majorsixth chord in
parentheses).The second 5-6 progressionleads to the briefly tonicized
F-majorharmonyof m. 138. Example 15b also clarifiesthe contrapuntal
functionof the tonicizedAL-majorharmonyof m. 142: it gives consonant
preparation(5^?5) for the Eb that in m. 145 functions as the seventh of
the V of Bb minor.
The third rotationcontinues to underlinethe importanceof the top-
voice F. We have seen thatin the firstrotationthe course of the top voice
was quite ambiguous and that in the second rotation two prominent
neighboringGbsemphasizedF, hence somewhatclarifyingthe course of
the top voice (see asterisks in example 12b). In the third rotation the
prominenceof F is also suggested at deeperlevels. After the foreground
emphasisgiven to it by a neighboringGbin mm. 71-74 (see the asterisk
in example 13b), F is prolongedin the second theme by a fifth-progres-
sion descendingfrom it (example 14). At a still deeperlevel, F receives a
lower neighborELthat proceeds, via a chromaticpassing-noteE~, back
to F (example 15a). Rightbefore F returnsin m. 145 as the top-voice note
of the IV prolongedat deep levels, the uppermostvoice has a prominent
Gb,a pitchthatdrawsattentionto motivic associationswith earlieroccur-
rences of IV with a top-voice F (see the asteriskin example 15c).
The fourth and final rotationbegins in m. 152 with heavily embell-
ished thematicmaterial.This rotationincludes both the recapitulationof
the secondarytheme in Db major(mm. 169-91) and the following great
culminationof the entire work (mm. 195-211). Example 16a is a voice-
leading sketch of mm. 152-211. The overall structureof the fourthrota-
tion differsfromthe earlierthreein one crucialrespect:whereasthe dom-
inantformingthe goal of the firstthreeis underminedin the foreground,
the fourtharrivesat a powerfuldominantin m. 195. Moreover,this V is
not a dividingdominantbutratherpartof an extensive cadencethatleads
to the tonic in m. 211.25
The finalrotationresolves muchof the tensionthathas heretoforepre-

152 160 169 177 191 194 195 202211 160 169 177 182 190 191 194 195

a) o t e r un f

D6 -------.- .---- ----------

I (III)IV (VI) V4 B3

minor chord 16. Chopin:
(m. 160). this
So Ballade, op. 52, mm.
proceeds 152-211,
like the earlierthree up
voice-leading sketch

vailed in the Ballade. The course of the music beginning in m. 152 fol-
lows thatof the earlierrotationsuntil the arrivalof IV, the importantB-
minor chord (m. 160). So this rotationproceeds like the earlierthree up
to the attainmentof the harmony whose prolongationconstituted the
interpolationsin the second and third
interpolations rotations.
rotations.The Bb-minorchord is
firstprolongedwith its dominant(mm. 162-68), a harmonythat contin-
ues directly to a DL-majorchord that opens the second theme in m. 169
(example 16b). Since the
Dp-major chordhas no preparation,it shouldbe
understoodas subordinatto t the precedsing -minor harmony:struc-
turally it is built on the upper third of B6 (example 16a). The course of
the top voice in the second theme differs from that encounteredin the
exposition.As we saw in example 14, in the exposition the second theme
consisted of a local 5-1 descent which the two phrasessubdividedas 5-3
and 3-1. Now the second theme does not show a fifth-progression. As
example 16 indicates, it rather consists of two neighboring motions
above F Both phrases of the second theme (mm. 169-77 and 177-91),
therefore,exhibit the prominentpitch-class G ithroughout
that has the
work gravitated toward the top-voice F, hence securing the function of F
as the primarytop-voice note.26
The culminationof the work begins with the arrivalof the Dl-major
chordin m. 191, when the texturechanges to arpeggiatedchordsextend-
ing throughseveral octaves. Example 16b indicates that above the bass-
note Dl there is an ascending chromatic line A -At-Ba-B.s With the
arrival of the B^ (m. 194) the harmony changes into an augmented sixth
chord, which is resolved in the next measure into a cadential 4 chord.
Here the music reaches for the first time in the entire work-or at least
since the introduction-a strong and powerful dominant.27
Example 16 indicates that the augmented sixth chord-the element
that finally leads the music to the underlined dominant that has so far been

* =Gb

195 202 211 195 197 199 202 205 211

a) b)

X 6 5 6 5
6-5 6- -5
V4-3 I V4- -- I

(=V2 16 II6 V)

Example 17. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, structuralcadence,

voice-leading sketch

avoided-is intimatelyconnectedto the extendedprolongationsof IV and

to the somewhat ambiguous top-voice F, features that have both been
prominentin the work.The diagonallines in example 16 indicatethatthe
augmentedsixth chord prolongs the IV of m. 160 with a chromaticized
voice exchange.28So this fourthrotation,too, includes an extendedpro-
longationof IV.This prolongation,however,differsin one crucialrespect
from those of the second and thirdrotations(cf. examples 12, 15a, and
16a). Wherethe prolongationof IV ends in the two earlierrotationswith
a Bb-minorchordleadingto a weak dominant,here the prolongationends
with a powerfulaugmentedsixth chord.Now the music must, so to speak,
proceed to a strong dominant:the long crescendo, the brillianttexture,
and the expectationof a resolutioncreatedby the augmentedsixth chord
all suggest thatthe goal of the music must be a structurallyimportantV.
In short, in the fourth rotationthe prolongationof IV necessitates the
attainmentof a significantdominant.
The augmentedsixth chord and its resolution are also importantfor
the top voice. As example 16 indicates, the top voice of the augmented
sixth chord is a G that leads to an AL when the cadential 4 chord is
reached.I readthis Ab as the background3, a note whose arrivalhas been
postponedup to this point. Thus the top voice consists of a very unusual
extendedinitial ascent thatreaches the Kopftononly in m. 195.
Since the Ballade has up to m. 195 attemptedto arriveat both a strong
dominantand the Kopfton,the eventual attainmentof these cannot lead
to a fast and straightforwardcadence: this would not balance the some-
what unfulfilled quality that has prevailedthroughoutthe Ballade as a
consequence of the structurallysignificantbut rhetoricallyweak domi-
nants at the end of the firstthreerotations,and the interruptedascending

top-voice motions from F.29As example 17 indicates, the structuralca-
dence that the dominantof m. 195 initiates spans mm. 195-211. Mm.
195-202 basically consist of a harmonicprogressionV4, with the back-
ground3 descendingto 2. Example 17b shows thatpriorto the definitive
arrivalof the VI in m. 202, there are two attemptsto reach this harmony
(mm. 196 and 198). Both times the V3 continues to a local I6 that turns
out to be directly connected to the underlyingdominant.Althoughthese
attempts to make a cadence do not yet definitively arrive at a VI that
would lead to the tonic, they are importantfor the dramaticunfolding:
they make it clear that the music is about to make a structurallysignifi-
cant cadence-a feature so far avoided-and so anticipate,in an asso-
ciative sense, the final arrivalof the tonic in m. 211.
The two attemptedcadences also draw an importantmotivic associa-
tion to the precedingmusic in the Ballade.Example 17b indicatesthatthe
motionto the local 16chordsin mm. 197 and 199 consists, in the top voice,
of an AL-G-F progression.The G is not, however, approacheddirectly
from the Ababove butratherfrom an innervoice via an F-Gb-G0motion.
So the motivically importantpitch class Gbappearstwice (see the aster-
isks in example 17b). But now that we have finally arrivedat the struc-

I (=3 IN 2

(195-210) 211 217 221 223 227

3 2 1
_,I[ (=23
IN 2

p 1

1 l 16 V I
V4-3 I

Example 18. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, mm. 195-227,

voice-leading sketch

8 16 22 23 31 57 58 66 84 113 145 151 152 160 169 194 195 202 211 218 223

(V) I (IV)V"1" I IVV "I"I IV -- V "" I IV V4 3 I (V I)

Rotations: Ri R2 R3 R4

Example 19. Chopin:Ballade, op. 52, an overview

turaldominant,Gbno longer gravitatestowardsF but, rather,ascends to

G4.Thus the music recalls the factorthathas earlierplayed an important
role in establishingthe prominenceof the top-voice F, but now this pitch
class is tied to the governingdominantand the top-voice GO.
As the parenthesesin example 17 indicate, m. 211 does not yet bring
the background1to the actualtop voice. Rather,a subordinate3-2-1 pro-
gression is heardin mm. 211-23, and the definitivei is reachedonly in
m. 223 (example 18).30These measuresthat postpone the arrivalof the
structural1play an importantrole in the work.The bass-noteBb, the fac-
tor that earlierhad supportedthe vastly prolonged IV that was empha-
sized much more than the structurallyprimaryV, is heardthreetimes in
these measures,each time clearly subordinateto the dominant(example
18). In m. 218 Bb leads to the dominant,and in m. 219 and mm. 221-22
it occurs as a lower neighborof C. The arrivalof the tonic with the top-
voice 1 in m. 223 leads to the harmonicprogression I-IV-V-I, heard
twice in mm. 223-27, that furtherindicates the secondary role of the
bass-note Bb and the IV. This subordinatefunction that the Bb now has
retrospectivelycorrects,so to speak,the greatemphasisgiven in the first
three rotationson IV, the element that was basically part of a stepwise
filling in of the I-V motion but that was stressed beyond this structural
The strangelyunfulfilledqualityof the Ballade, to which I referredat
the beginningof the discussion of the work, can be seen as resultingto a
great extent from the relation between IV and V in the first three rota-
tions. (See example 19, which shows an overview of the voice-leading
structureas well as the division of the work into four rotations. This
example should be studied togetherwith example 10, which shows the

formaldesign in more detail.) Since the structurallyprimaryelement (V)
is highly fleeting on the surface,whereasthe subordinateprecedingIV is
increasingly emphasized, the music creates an impression of not being
able to reach the goal of the I-V bass motion in a satisfactorymanner
before the fourthrotation.This inner subdivision of the stepwise tonic-
dominantmotion, togetherwith the emphasisreceived by the individual
elements within this motion, greatly affects the dramatic and formal
articulationof the work. The course of the top voice follows in a subtle
mannerthis idea of firstnot arrivingat the goal. F is initially emphasized
as the governingtop-voice note in the work, and its attemptsto ascend to
Ab are interruptedat the end of the firstthreerotations.The Ab,the back-
ground3, finally arrivestogetherwith the emphaticdominantin m. 195:
the work thus reaches at the same time both the melodic and the har-
monic goals towardwhich it has so far been aiming.The impressionthat
the music is at first not able to arrivewhere it is aiming is underlinedby
the fact thateach of the rotationsbegins with the same thematicmaterial:
it is as if the music begins each time anew the process it had earlierfailed
to complete. There is thereforean accumulationof tension that is finally
resolved in the culminationof the work, the structuralcadence.


1. Laterin Free CompositionSchenkerdoes, however,indirectlyexamineI-V mo-

tions at morelocal levels;see Schenker1979, 87-88 andFigure109.
2. For furtherdiscussionon the filled-inI-V motion,see Schachter1981, 130-31.
See also Schenker1996, 8.
3. CadwalladerandPastille1992 furtherdevelopsthe notionspresentedin Cadwal-
4. This is not absolutelynecessary,however.CarlSchachterhas suggestedthatin
mm. 23-30 of Schubert'ssong "Aufdem Flusse"from Winterreisethe motivic
featuresdo not affectthe harmonicstructure.In these measuresthe motivicfac-
torssubdividethe stepwiseI-V spaceof thebass1--5 whereasthevoice-leading
structureis subdivided1-A-5.Hencethe motivicassociationscreatedby the bass
motionarehere so strongthatthey even contradictthe harmonicorganizationof
thepassage.(See Schachter1990, 176-79.) ButthemeasuresSchachterdiscusses
formonly a quiteshortexcerptof the song,andso theirI-V motiondoes nothave
a form-definingfunctionsimilarto bass motionsoccurringin the deep middle-
5. WalterEverettinterpretsthe voice leadingdifferently;see Everett1990, 162-63.
Themaindifferenceis in the factthathe does nottakemm.39-48 as a parenthet-
ical eventpostponingthe resolutionof the structuraldominantarrivedat in m. 38,
butratherreadsthesemeasuresas prolongingtheAb-majorchordof m. 15. More-
over,his interpretationof thetopvoice differsfrommine.He readsa prolongation
of 5 all the way to mm.45-48, wherehe locatesthe structural 4-3 descent.I find
thisreadingof thetopvoice-as well as one thatwouldtakethe4-3 descentof the
corresponding mm. 35-38 as partof the Urlinie-problematic,sinceboth4 and3
wouldbe supportedby a dissonantsonority:4 by a 4 chordand3 by anaugmented
6. In the autographof Winterreisethis enlargementis even clearer.In it thereare
threemeasuresinterpolated betweenmm.5 and6 of thefinishedsong.Thesemea-
suresprolongan Ab-majorchordand theirthematicmaterialresemblesthat of
mm. 30-33. So the thematicmaterialwouldassociatethe Ab-majorchordof the
introduction, whosebasscontinuesto theDb,withthemusicthatin themainbody
of the workprecedesthe arrivalof the Dbof the bass. In the autographSchubert
has, however,crossedout thesemeasures.See Schubert1989, 10.
7. I believethattherepetitionsof thebassmotion,as well as thechangingroleof the
Db,arerelatedto the textof the song. In the poemtherealworldandthe protago-
nist's innerfeelings arein strongopposition:the tearsfreezein the cold aireven
thoughthe narrator feels thatthey springfromhis hotbreastandshouldtherefore
melt all the ice of winter.This oppositioncan be seen as being mirroredin the
ambiguousfunctionof theDbin themainbodyof the song:in the samewayas the
protagonistis confusedby thefactthathis hottearsturnintoice, themusicis con-
fused,so to speak,by the ambiguityof theDb'sstructural role.Thisinterpretation
is supportedby the eventsof mm. 39-48. The dominantreachedin m. 38 is not
immediatelyresolvedto a tonic;the musicof mm. 30-38-the measuresduring
which the ambiguousDb appears-is first repeated.It is as if the protagonist
refusedto believethatthe tearsreallyturninto ice, andso he returnsto the con-

tradictionbetweenhis feelingsandthe realworld,a contradictionsymbolizedby
the ambiguousDb.The bass motionsof the introductionand coda, on the other
hand,can be seen as symbolizingthe realworld.The singeris silent-and so his
innerfeelingsarenotpresent-and the functionof the importantDbas an incom-
pleteneighboraboveC is clear.
8. At the beginningof m. 35 thereis actuallyno F-minorchordbuta D,-majorsixth
chord.Inmy view thisharmonyresultsfroma 5-6 motionaboveF whosefifth(C)
has been elided.Owingto this elision, the chordthatopensm. 35 is not a stable
pointof arrival.Thisis significantfor the interpretationof the structuralstatusof
the chord.Hadtherebeen a clearandunderlinedF-minorharmonyin m. 35, one
shouldprobablyconnectthischordwiththeharmonythatopenstheB section.So
the G-majorchordof m. 33 wouldbe a local II1,in the key of F minor,leadingto
the dominantof this key (m. 34). In such an interpretation the chordof m. 33
would not, therefore,begin an extendedprolongationof a G-majorharmonyas
shownin example4. But the unstableharmonicsituationin m. 35 andthe sudden
pianodynamicleadme to interpretthe chordof m. 35 ratheras subordinate to the
G-majorchordof m. 33 thanas thereturnof thelocaltonic.DavidBeachdoes not
sharethis interpretation. He connectsthe chordof m. 35 with the F-minorchord
thatopens the B section.He concedes,however,the harmonicambiguityof the
passage:"[T]hereis a suggestionalreadyat thispoint[m.35] thattheF minorhar-
mony functionsas the subdominantin the key of the dominantin additionto its
roleas localtonic.Thatis, thestabilityof F minoras thelocalcontrollingtonic ...
is underminedalmostimmediately"(Beach 1995,31).
9. DavidBeachreadstheC-minorchordof m. 38 as a deepmiddleground Stufe,a V
in F minor;see Beach 1995, 34.
10. CarlSchachterhasa valuablediscussionon apparentkey areas,like C minorhere,
thatarenot establishedby a structural tonic chord;see Schachter1987, 295-98.
11. The firstmovementof Mendelssohn'sE-minorStringQuartet,op. 44/2, showsa
somewhatsimilarsituation.Herealso a harmonythatwouldinitiallyseemto func-
tion as a dominantestablishinga stronglytonicizedkey turnsout to be a passing
chord.The expositionmovesfromI to III (G major,mm. 53 ff.) butthe IIIis not
precededby its own dominant.Instead,it is approachedvia an Ft dominantsev-
enthchord(mm.39-52) thatwouldseem to preparea B-minorharmony,a chord
thatwouldmost likely function,if it arrived,as the tonic of the exposition'ssec-
ondarykey.Insteadof movingto a B-minorchord,however,theFt dominantsev-
enth chord continuesto a G-majorchord-a chord that is subsequentlytoni-
cized-and so the Ft of the bass acts as a passingnote. Locally this harmonic
progressionis firstunderstoodas a deceptivecadencein B minor.
12. DavidBeachinterpretstheAt of the top voice as prolongingthe Gt of theexposi-
tion, statingthat "[o]verall,of course, it is Gt/Ab(3) that is being prolonged"
(Beach1995,34). IreneMontefiorLevensonoffersa differentinterpretation of the
voice-leadingstructureof the entiremovement;see Levenson1981, 104-8.
13. In example6b thebass noteof the E-majorchordof m. 12 is E, andthe Gt above
it is in parentheses.The contrapuntaloriginof the bass in mm. 9-13 is, however,
a passing-motionF$-G1-A.TheE of m. 13 is a noteaddedbelowtheprimaryG$,
and it providesthe chordof m. 13 with the qualityof an applieddominant.For
Schenker'sdiscussionon "additionof a root,"see Schenker1979,90. Foranactual
analysisby Schenkerthataddsa rootbelow a passingnote, see his interpretation

of the first movementexpositionof Mozart'sG-minorSymphony,K. 550, in
Schenker1996, 60 (especiallyFigs. la and lb).
14. This coexistenceof severalformalprincipleshas been notedin Rothstein1994,
23-27; andSamson1992,62-68. CharlesRosen,on theotherhand,is skepticalof
theapplicabilityof theconceptsof sonataformin connectionwiththeBallade;see
Rosen 1997,394-95.
15. My use of the termrotationdifferssomewhatfromHepokoski's.He definesrota-
tion in the contextof the music of Sibelius:see Hepokoski1993, 23-26. Most
importantly, I base my divisionof the Balladeintofourrotationsprimarilyon the
returnof themainthematicmaterialwhereasHepokoskidiscussesmoreextensive
thematicrepetitions:"Second(andany subsequent)rotationsnormallyreworkall
or mostof the referentialstatement's[=thefirstrotation]material... Eachsubse-
quentrotationmaybe heardas anintensified,meditativereflectionon thematerial
of the referentialstatement"(Hepokoski1993, 25). In spite of this difference,I
feel thatthe wordrotationdescribesin the Balladethe impressionof new begin-
ningsandreturnto thepointof departure, suggestedby thereturnof the mainthe-
matic material,betterthanmore neutraltermslike "cycle"or "section"would.
Recentlythe term rotationhas been appliedalso to relativelystraightforward
sonata-formmovements;see Darcy1997,264-67.
16.WilliamRothsteinuses the termsthemeandthreevariationsto describethe sec-
tionsI call thefourrotations;see Rothstein1994,23-26. I preferthetermrotation
since it does not createallusionsto the classicalproceduresof themeandvaria-
tions.Also, JimSamsonandDavidWittennotethatthe returnof the maintheme
is an importantorganizingfactor,theformerreferringto themeandvariationsand
thelatterusingtheletterA forthesereturns(Samson1992,67;Witten1997, 180).
Theirreadingsdiverge,however,frommine,as well as fromthatof Rothstein,in
thatthey readthe thematicreturnat the beginningof the recapitulation as a sig-
nificantnewpresentation of themaintheme-hence suggestingeithera beginning
of a newA section(Witten)or a new presentationof the themein the set of varia-
tions (Samson)-whereas I interpretthis thematicreturnas occurringwithinthe
17. The governingkey areais not altogetherclearin the introduction-i.e., the ques-
tion of whethertheC-majorchordsoundsas a dominantor as a tonic-and there-
fore I haveputquotesaroundthe C in example10 andgiventwo harmonicinter-
pretationsbelow example 1lb. But the prolongationof a C-majorchordseems
unequivocal,no matterwhatthe initialimpressionof its roleis. (Fordiscussionof
the ambiguityof key area in the introduction,see Cone 1994, 140-42; Rosen
1995,338-39; andWitten1997, 162.)
18. Inthemiddleground theF-G motionof thetopvoice (m. 22) createsparallelfifths
withtheBK-Cmotionof thebass (example1la). Thesefifthsareeliminatedin the
foreground,however:atthebeginningof m. 22 thetop-voiceF is onlyimpliedand
the top-voiceG of the dominantchordis heardin a lowerregisterthanthe pre-
19. In principlethe G of m. 22 couldbe interpretedas a neighbornote, too. But this
readingwould, in my view, disregardthe impressionof an interruption thatthe
dominantof m. 22 creates.If one wantedto show a standardinterruption in mm.
8-22, it wouldtheoreticallybe possibleto reada 3-2 IImotionandsuggestthatAb,
supportedfirstby I andthenby III,wouldproceedto an incompleteneighborBe

whenthe IV arrives,andthatB, wouldthenmove directlyto G. But this reading
wouldnot,in my view,reflectwell the courseof the foreground,withthe F hang-
ing muchof the time abovethe othernotes.WilliamRothsteinovercomesthese
problemsby suggestingthattheV of m. 22 is not a dividingdominantbutpartof
a V-I cadence.So he readsa 5--3 progressionin mm. 8-23, anda renewalof 5
in m. 23. Accordingto this interpretationthe4 functionsas the top voice common
to both IV andV, the contrapuntal progressionbeing 8 7. (See Rothstein1994,
25.) I findthis readingproblematicsince it overlooksthe impressionof an inter-
ruptioncreatedby the dominantof m. 22.
20. In the secondrotationthe musicof the firstis shiftedby half a measure.Fordis-
cussionof this feature,see Rothstein1994, 29-31.
21. Severalcommentators havesuggestedthatthe increasingemphasison IV is a sig-
nificantstructuralfeaturein the work. See Rothstein1994, 26; Samson 1992,
64-67; andWitten1997, 164 and 170.
22. In example13bthe secondnoteof the sixth-progression Al-F shownin mm. 68-
74, Bbb,is a loweredBb, so it shouldbe understoodas a passingnote ratherthan
as prolongationof the enharmonically equivalentprecedingAt.
23. WilliamRothsteinoffersa differentinterpretation of the secondtheme(see Roth-
stein 1994,44-49). Most importantly, he readsa local 3-1 descentinsteadof the
5-1 descentshownin my example14.Moreover,he takestheV of m. 91 as a divid-
ing dominantof an interruption.
24. On the musicalsurfacethe emphasison the top-voiceEbis impliedratherthan
explicitlyexpressed.As example14 demonstrates,this note is heardin the fore-
groundonly as an anticipation,since the top voice has descendedto C whenthe
Ab-majorchordarrives.On the surfacethepitchclass Ebis keptvibrant,although
not structurally prolonged,by threeV-I cadences(mm. 115, 116, and 117-21) in
whichthe Ebis emphasizedin mm. 115, 116, and 117.
25. By sayingthatthedominantsendingthefirstthreerotationsareundermined in the
foregroundI do not wish to suggestthata brief harmonycould not in principle
functionas a backgroundelement.I am merelyreferringto the meagerrhetorical
emphasisthesedominantsreceiveon themusicalsurfacein spiteof the significant
structuralrole they play in the middleground.For a valuablediscussionon brief
backgroundelements,see Schachter1976,290-98.
26. Thereasonfor takingthe F (thelocal 3 in Dbmajor)as the maintop-voicenotein
the secondtheme,ratherthantheAb (the local 5) as in the corresponding section
of the exposition,lies in the largercontextin which the Db-majorchordoccurs.
The Bb-minorharmonyandits dominantthatprecedethe secondthemeestablish
F as themaintop-voicenote,andthecadencethatcloses thesecondthemein mm.
190-91 also underlinesthis pitch (see example 16b). In the exposition,on the
otherhand,the local 5 (F) is connectedto the precedingF as well as to the fol-
lowingneighboringEb(see examples13 and 14).
27. Theavoidanceof a structural dominantso farin theBalladehasbeennotedby Jim
SamsonandDavidWittenwho bothargue,moreover,thatsucha postponementis
a featurecharacteristic of all Chopin'sballades.See Samson1992,67 and78-81;
andWitten1997, 119-20, 170, and 181-82.
28. This voice exchangehas also been mentionedby CarlSchachter;see Schachter
1988, 231.
29. CarlSchachterhas explainedthe somewhatsimilardramaticsituationat the end

of Chopin'sFantasyop. 49: "Ina piece whosemaintonicarrivesonly aftera long
struggleand whose largeformalcomponents,almostwithoutexception,fail to
achieve closure,a quick and facile final cadencewould be disastrouslyout of
place"(Schachter1988, 251).
30. JimSamsonandDavidWitten-and apparentlyalsoWilliamRothstein-disagree
with this readingof the top voice, suggestingthatthe subordinate3-2-1 progres-
sion thatI readin mm. 211-23 wouldactuallybelongto the Urlinie:see Samson
1992, 80-81; Witten1997, 180-82; and Rothstein1994, 23. Moreover,Witten
andRothsteinsuggestthatthe 1 arrivesonly in m. 227, not in m. 223 as I show.
(Wittengives, perhapsby mistake,bothm. 227 andm. 229 as the ones in which
the Urlineis completed;cf. his examples5.98 and5.99. Samson,in turn,gives no
measurenumbers.)Inmy view the3-2 motionin mm. 195-202 is so powerfulthat
I wouldrathertakein m. 211 an impliedbackground1,whosearrivalis thenpost-
ponedin the foregrounduntilm. 223, thanreada 5-4-3 descentin mm. 195-211.
Moreover,I readthe arrivalof 1in m. 223 ratherthanin m. 227, in spiteof thefact
thatthe chordof m. 223 is a majorchordwitha seventh.I takethe seventhof this
chordas comingfroman elidedoctave-i.e., (8-)7-and the AMas comingfrom
an elidedAb-i.e., I(). Fora remarkable instancewhere,in a minor-modework,
a similarmajor-modetonic with a seventhconcludesa structurallysignificant
cadencenearthe end of the movement,see mm. 173-74 in the slow movementof
Beethoven'sBb-majorPianoSonata,op. 106.

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