Patterns, Containment, and Meaning in Hugo Wolf's Mörike-Lieder
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This dissertation focuses upon patterns and concepts of containment within selected Lieder from Hugo Wolf's Mörike collection. More specifically, I focus upon melody as a way of understanding how these found patterns and movements within melodic containers provide meaning. I focus on the melody for two reasons. First, my research here is the first to present such a detailed analysis of the melody. Second, the manuscripts of the Mörike-Lieder indicate that the melodic line was often an important referential point for Wolf. In my analysis, I focus upon six songs: "Der Knabe und das Immlein," "Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag," "Frage und Antwort," "Lebe wohl," "An eine Äolsharfe," and "Das verlassene Mägdlein." Two central questions guide my analysis. First and most important, how can our knowledge of musical patterns reveal meaning within selected songs of the collection? Each song analyzed presents numerous melodic patterns that enhance our understanding of the poems. Second, how can these patterns lead to a better understanding of some of the ways that the individual songs of the collection relate to one another? As we will with the analysis of "Der Knabe und das Immlein," "Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag," "Frage und Antwort," and "Lebe wohl," I propose that these four songs form two pairs. Here, the pair of "Frage und Antwort" and "Lebe wohl" create a newly identified song pair. The analysis follows a four-pronged approach applying Steve Larson's theory of musical forces, Candace Brower's theory of musical meaning, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson's cognitive metaphor theory, and Schenkerian analysis. Looking at the Mörike-Lieder from this vantage point will allow us to see how melodies flow in such a way as to suggest motions or metaphors as they relate to the poetic ideas. Known as the "Poet's Composer," I hope to illustrate that Wolf portrayed great sensitivity when setting the poetry and created unique links between specific songs.