"Wer wagt hier Theorie zu fordern": aspects théoriques du timbre chez Arnold Schönberg

Frédéric de Buzon


Schönberg’s Harmonielehre finishes on the evocation of the melody of timbre (Klangfarbenmelodie). The aim of this article is to analyse the function of timbre in relation to musical theory by establishing a parallel between the positions expressed by Schönberg and preceding classical positions, namely Jean-Jaques Rousseau’s definition of timbre and Leibniz’s concept of “clear and confused” ideas. Operating in this context, what will be shown is that timbre, according to Leibniz’s description, is a distinguishing, yet undistinguished, quality and that, precisely for this reason, timbre has a limited function in composition.


music theory; timbre; distinguishing quality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Aisthesis-14104

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