Analysis of Schubert's "Der Erlkönig"

214 views 2 pages ~ 298 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The Characters in the Song

The song vocalist portrays four characters: the boy, the narrator, the father, and the Elf king.


On the introduction part, the music is accompanied by the piano whose rhythm is in a singling drive which stimulates horse's galloping. This is also applied throughout the piece. Basically, the song does not have main melodies because notes rise fast and BUM is repeated severally. The harmony of the song keeps changing between the characters, this is determined by who is singing at the moment. For instance, the harmony between the father, son, and Elf king. For instance, when the son cries out three times calling his father on a high note in line with dissonance. The story in the song is portrayed with a solo voice texture which maintains the same melodic line throughout.

Dynamics and Timbre

The dynamics of the song are normal until when Elf king beckons in a major key and lures the son away. However, the music is mostly in a minor key and a repeated triplet figure is used to assist in conveying tension. The timbre portrayed in the music is somehow sinister and with dark colors. Before the final line, the piano stops with a perfect authentic tempo.

Characterization of the Four Characters

In order to depict the four characters so clearly with one vocalist, Schubert uses a minor and medium voice to characterize the narrator, the father is portrayed with a low voice range and also in both major and minor modes, the son is portrayed in a very high and a minor voice especially when he cries aloud. For the Elf king, the voice is seductive and soothing, the lines of the character are sung in an easy-going dynamic.


Franz Schubert, Carl Czerny. "Schubert erlkonig." 1815.

October 05, 2023

Art Music



Number of pages


Number of words




This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro