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Von Fremden Landern Und Menschen by Robert Schumann Analysis


Part of Kinderscenen, Op. 15, Von Fremden Landern Und Menschen or 'Of Foreign Lands and Peoples' is a piano piece composed by Robert Schumann (1810-1856). This piece can be considered a piano minature because of the shortness of the piece. During the time of this piece's creation was the early romantic period. This was a great time for the piano with the invention of the iron frame for the piano and the use of felt to cover hammers rather than leather. Below is a complete analysis of the piano minature, Von Fremden Landern Und Menschen which was Number 1 in the Kindescenen. Feel free to skip to the parts most relevant to you.

Structure

  • The piece is in the structure of rounded binary form. This is where there are three main sections to the piece: A: BA excluding the repeats.

Section A 

  • The tempo start off in 108 (108 crochet beats to a minute).
  • The first two notes in the right hand, a B and G is the leitmotif of the piece. It is a thematic feature of a rising minor 6th then resolves through descending conjunct motion.
  • Section A is in the key of G major
  • There is the use of diminished chords on the root of C sharp ion the second beat of bar 1 and 3.
  • Although section A has three main textural layers, the texture of the section is homophonic. 
  • When talking about the rhythm, there is the use of triplets (three quavers in the time of two) and dotted rhythms all the the way through the piece. This makes it a feature of the piece.
  • At bar 7, there is a G suspension that resolves to a F sharp a beat later. 
  • The ending of section A is at bar 8

Section B

  • The whole of section B is in E minor: the relative minor of G major.
  • The melody in the right hand is in thirds while the bass line acts as a counter melody (second melody).
  • The bass line borrows features of the opening melody.
  • There is a descending sequence at bar 9-10.
  • At bar 11 on beat 2, there is a G major chord without a third. This questions whether it is major or minor as if major, the B would be natural. If minor, the B would be flattened.
  • The end of section B is at bar 15.

Quick Summary

  • The piece is in rounded binary form (A:BA).
  • Section A is in G major while section B is in the relative minor of E minor. 
  • There are three textural layers but the texture is melody dominated homophony.
  • The leitmotif of the piece is the rising minor 6th of the B to G.
  • The features of the piece rhythmically is the use of dotted rhythms and triplets.
Be sure to check out the other pieces I have analysed on Ask Will Online.

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

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