The first movement of Mahler’s seventh symphony, with its dissonant opening and use of piled fourths, is the most ‘modern’ music that the composer had, up to this point, attempted; foreshadowing not only Mahler’s own later works but also those of Schönberg and his pupils.

Much of  the symphony takes place in twilight. There are two Nachtmusiken (night-musics) complete with echoed horn-calls, nocturnal processions and serenades (with real mandolin and guitar!); and a scherzo, marked Schattenhaft (shadowy), crepuscular and brimming with devilish goings-on.

In the final rondo we emerge blinking and shading our eyes into a manic daylight that’s so bright and sunny as to be scary:

Course materials:

List of works

Below (some things never change!) is some general stuff – useful for intervals, key signatures, etc.


Cycle of 5ths

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