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This thesis seeks to communicate the ways in which supernatural beings were musically depicted in dialogue Lieder of the Romantic era. Through analyses of a selection of nineteenth-century German art songs featuring both human and non-human participants within the textual conversations, this study endeavors to identify musical techniques composers used to distinguish between supernatural and mortal speech in songs presented as dialogues while composed for a solo singer. The document is organized into three sections. The first establishes a historical framework for the supernatural dialogue Lied through discussion of the context of German Romanticism, the roots of the prevalence of supernatural themes and subjects in nineteenth-century poetry and music, and the elements of the dialogue text format. The second section examines three songs by Franz Schubert that each include a personification of death as the non-human participant in the dialogues. The third section considers three songs by the later Lied composers Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Mahler, each of which features a character whose supernatural nature is revealed through the dialogue’s progression. The closing statement provides a summary of the musical techniques used to portray non-human characters and discusses the historical and artistic significance of the small yet intriguing subgenre of nineteenth-century supernatural dialogue Lieder.
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