We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Form and orbital tonality in the Finale of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony.

Horton, Julian (2018) 'Form and orbital tonality in the Finale of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony.', Music analysis., 37 (3). pp. 271-309.


This article investigates questions of form in the Finale of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony, paying special attention to the reversed recapitulation as a problematic category in contemporary Formenlehre. Counterpointing Timothy Jackson's reading of the movement as a ‘tragic’ reversed sonata against James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy's critique of the concept of reversal, it seeks ways of accounting for the movement's novel form‐functional characteristics, which integrate concepts of thematic syntax with a model of chromatic tonality, drawing simultaneously on Schenkerian and neo‐Riemannian theories and the notion of the double‐tonic complex first proposed by Robert Bailey. The argument is contextualised in relation to critical debates about Bruckner's forms that originated during the composer's lifetime, especially claims of material discontinuity and harmonic illogicality, which were common in the symphonies’ pro‐Brahmsian reception and which linger in the discourse up to the present. The article's central claim is that a substantial understanding of both the Finale's form and its critical reception is attendant upon a theory of formal function, which takes seriously the difficulties of harmonic analysis that Bruckner's post‐Wagnerian idiom engenders.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Horton, Julian (2018). 'Form and Orbital Tonality in the Finale of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony'. Music Analysis 37(3): 271-309, which will be published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:05 August 2017
Date deposited:15 September 2017
Date of first online publication:27 November 2018
Date first made open access:27 November 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar