INTEGRATION OF SCHENKERIAN ANALYSIS AND NEO-RIEMANNIAN TRANSFORMATIONS IN LISZT’S TRANSCENDENTAL ÉTUDE NO. 1


Multiple analytical approaches exist to examine tonal music and the establishment of innovative paradigms allows one to associate repertoire with the evolution of compositional style. Schenkerian analysis is one of the examples of such applied theory that surveys the structure of a tonal work and studies the surface of the piece from the standpoint of harmonic functions and elaborations (Cadwallader, 2011). On the contrary, Neo-Riemannian theory presents transformational relationships and shifts between numerous major and minor harmonies, resulting in a distinct model of voice leading in a tonal context (Cohn, 1996). This research combines both theories and employs them to dissect the function of harmony in Liszt’s Transcendental Étude No. 1. The Schenkerian view of the étude presents a ^3-^1 Urlinie line as a background structure with interruption before the initialization of the B-section in m. 14, as well as explains the gravitational dominant-tonic pulls that occur in mm. 7-8 between G Major and C Major, and E Major and A minor. The Neo-Riemannian approach presents a theory behind the interplay of the three harmonic regions of A minor, C major, and F Major, interrelated by the R (relative) and L (leading tone) transformations, seen in mm. 16-23 in the final descent of the Urlinie. The integration of Schenkerian and Neo- Riemannian approaches generates a theoretical model that solves the significant analytical queries in harmony of the opening Transcendental étude.