This book is a music-theoretical and critical-theoretical study of late tonal music, and, in particular, of the music of Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.

First, in terms of music theory, it proposes a new theory of tonal function that returns to the theories of Hugo Riemann to rediscover a development of his thought that has been covered over by the recent project of neo-Riemannian theory. Second, in terms of its philosophical approach, it reawakens the critical-theoretical examination of the relation between music and the late capitalist society that is sedimented in the musical materials themselves, and which the music, in turn, subjects to aesthetically embodied critique. The music, the theory, and the listeners and critics who respond to them are all radically reimagined.

This book will be of interest to professional music theorists, undergraduates, and technically inclined musicians and listeners, that is, anyone who is fascinated by the chromatic magic of late-nineteenth-century music.

chapter |6 pages


chapter 2|15 pages

Waltraute's Plaint

Riemannian Tonal Function and Dramatic Narrative 1

chapter 4|18 pages

The Multiple Lives of Seventh Chords

chapter 5|13 pages

‘Here Time Becomes Space’

Schenkerising Riemann/Riemannising Schenker