Skip to Main Content

Music 295: Music Theory III (Ricks): Schumann "Dichterliebe" Assignment

Chromatic Harmony, Jazz Harmony, Impressionism

Assignment #1

1. Read the introductory material found at the link Background Info on Dichterliebe, which also includes the texts by Heinrich Heine accompanied by English translations.

2. Listen to songs 1, 7, and 8 of the Dichterliebe song cycle—you can download the scores from the Scores tab in the drop-down menu above, and then choose a recording to listen to from the Audio Recordings or Video Recordings tabs above.

3. Answer the questions posed in the provided assignment sheet.  You can print the sheet out and write your answers with pen, or you can open up the sheet in Microsoft Word or other such program and type in your answers.

This assignment sheet is due at the beginning of class on Friday, September 14.

Assignment #2

Set the following English translation of a Heinrich Heine poem to music by composing a melody in the style of Robert Schumann that fits the text.  The melody should imply and be suited to include the following chromatic chords and other harmonic considerations:

  • at least one linear embellishing diminished seventh neighbor chord
  • at least one Neapolitan triad (in first inversion)
  • at least one augmented sixth chord
  • at least two different secondary dominant chords (in other words, which tonicize two chords with different Roman numeral names)
  • at least one modally borrowed chord


A few additional considerations to keep in mind while composing your melody:

  • Plan to create two phrases—one for the first stanza, and another for the second
  • Plan for the phrases to be closely related—the second may even be a repetition of the first, BUT the second should be different, at least slightly
  • This piece should be in A Major, and should end with a perfect authentic cadence
  • More details about the requirements of this composition will be given as part of your take-home test #1


This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Monday, September 17.


The text:



by: Heinrich Heine (1799-1856)


E'en as a lovely flower,

So fair, so pure thou art;

I gaze on thee, and sadness

Comes stealing o'er my heart.


My hands I fain had folded

Upon thy soft brown hair,

Praying that God may keep thee

So lovely, pure and fair.


This English translation of "Du Bist Wie Eine Blume" was composed by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker (1845-1904).