Week 9: Franz Schubert, “Tragic” Symphony, Finale (F18)

Last modified on August 4, 2023

This week we will focus on applying techniques of tonal rhythm and Sonata Theory to the final movement of Schubert’s “Tragic” symphony.

Listen to the Vienna Phil performing this symphony. Movement I is at the beginning of course; Movement IV begins at the timestamp 23:54.


Try listening both with and without the score. You may choose to look at the full score, or if that is too intimidating, you might prefer to look at the piano reduction, which I’ve uploaded in our scores folder, and added measure numbers to.


  1. Listen to the recording with the score several times.
  2. Mark in your score:
    • Expostion
      • P
      • TR
      • S
      • C
    • Development
      • retransition
    • Recap
      • P
      • TR
      • S
      • C


Add a comment to this page with one original question for the presenters to answer. Note: your comments are public!

Presenters only

Prepare a 5–10 minute presentation on some aspect of the first or fourth movement, as assigned below:Dawn Seto, Ga young Lee, Justin Miller, Christen Soos, Nigel Tangredi, Geoff Sawyer, Mark Irchai, Francis

mvt 1 mvt 4
Dawn Ga Young
Nigel Geoff
Justin Francis
Mark Christen


You must incorporate either theories of tonal rhythm (as summarized by ) or Sonata Theory according to  (as summarized in my handout). You may also include the broadly applicable techniques from Unit 1.

Some thoughts to inspire you:

  • How does Schubert play with the hypermeter throughout this movement?
  • How does the hypermeter interact with the form of the piece?
  • What Type of sonata do you think this is (Type 1, Type 2, etc.)?
  • Did you have trouble locating the MC/EEC/ESC? If so, why?


  • Have some kind of visual aid ready to demonstrate your main point(s). You can project papers (e.g., an annotated score) using the document camera.
  • Bring an extra copy of your visual for me to keep, or scan and email it to me.
  • I expect this to be informal, but you should still have your thoughts collected. Know what your main points are, and drive them home.
  • 5–10 minute presentations go by quickly! Do not ramble! I will cut you off if I have to.


Hepokoski, James A., and Warren Darcy. 2006. Elements of Sonata Theory: Norms, Types, and Deformations in the Late Eighteenth-Century Sonata. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

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