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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Monotonality and chromatic dualism in Richard Strauss’s Salome Boulay, Jean-Michel


This study of Richard Strauss's Salome, one of the most important works of the turn of the century, concentrates on the principles of its dramatic and tonal organization and on the structural and aesthetic problems posed by the coexistence in it of different types of music. In Chapter 1, the three different types of music used in Salome are identified. Then, the technique of chromatic surrounding, which I see as the main principle underlying the tonal organization of the opera, is presented. Chapter 2 looks at the formal and tonal structures of the opera. Its first part is devoted to certain structural aspects of Oscar Wilde's play and Strauss's adaptation of it. The second part presents a complete analysis of the opera's tonal organization. This analysis attempts to show the extreme importance of chromatic surrounding for the large-scale structure of this work. Chapters consists of a detailed analysis of the scene between Salome and Jochanaan from the first part of the opera. This scene is one of the best examples of the first type of chromatic music introduced in Chapter 1. The analyses rely heavily on linear models of tonality, with the adjustments made necessary by the extreme chromaticism of this work. Many analyses also attempt to explain complex structures as transformations of more standard ones. Chapter 4 will look more closely at the relationship between octatonic structures and chromatic harmony in Salome. The discussion concentrates on two major aspects of late-tonal octatonicism: the use of alternative bass tones for the

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