Farben chord

Farben chord
Farben chord[1] About this sound Play .

In music, the 'Farben' chord is a chord, C-G-B-E-A,[2] named after its use in Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op.16, No. 3, "Farben" (German: "color") by Arnold Schoenberg. Containing the pitch-classes 01348 (C-C-E-E-G), it is labeled 5-Z17.[3][4]

Schoenberg used the chord canonically in "Farben", while Alban Berg used the chord as one of three on which Act I scene 2 of Wozzeck is based.[4] The pentachord is, "almost octatonic," and considered, "a 'classic' atonal set type".[4] The chord relates the movement to the other movements of the piece, with it appearing as the first chord of movement No.2 and in movement No.4, "The figure in the first bar [of op.16/IV] is actually a horizontal version of the chord from the preceding movement."[5]


  1. ^ Journal of Music Theory (1995), p.219. Yale School of Music. Vol. 39.
  2. ^ Stephen Peles and Godfrey Winham, eds. (1992) Theory and practice: Newsletter-Journal, p.80. Music Theory Society of New York State, Volume 17.
  3. ^ Schuijer, Michiel (2008). Analyzing Atonal Music: Pitch-Class Set Theory and Its Contexts, p.109. ISBN 978-1-58046-270-9.
  4. ^ a b c Bailey, Kathryn (1996). Webern Studies, p.98n21. ISBN 0521475260.
  5. ^ Music Theory Society of New York State (1992). Theory and Practice: Newsletter-Journal of the Music Theory Society of New York State, Volume 17, pp.77&80.