Appendix 1 – Musical typology and formal and psychological analysis of the various archetypes

There follows a closer analysis of the main identified archetypes.

We will begin with the original emotional archetype due to the heartbeat under normal conditions, i.e. the calm archetype consisting of the following styleme:

The two notes are equal. They can, however, differ in mental re-workings. The styleme is usually repeated very often, almost forming the basis of a whole musical discourse.

The anxiety archetype due to the heartbeat under abnormal conditions caused by anxious stress is:

It should be noted that anxiety can be due to fear, but also to awaiting a positive event. Its context will illustrate and comment on either situation. It should be remembered that if a single (calm) archetype derives from the heart, then the other is only a mental re-working stimulated by alteration conditions.

Another original archetype is that of sobbing emitted by a newly born baby, represented as follows:


in accordance with the tempo chosen for the musical phrase containing it.

The same can be said of the steady weeping archetype. We do not know whether it becomes an archetype or whether the musical stylemes deriving from it are mental re-workings of the previous one:

For a new born baby crying may simply be a physiological need, without further implications, at least in the early stages. But with the adult this is caused by deep rooted emotions necessarily associated with pain or sadness. In the latter case it can become the sadness archetype (or re-working?) with a styleme deriving from the fusion of the previous two:

and, by means of necessary elaborations, with the harmonic intervention of minor keys and necessary chromatic passages, can fill a musical thought. It should be pointed out that crying can be caused by pain, but also by anger or joy. These sensations will be communicated by elaborations and, especially, the musical context. The weeping rhythmic stylemes can consist of notes that are either equal or differing by a falling semitone (or at most a tone) (cf. the different kinds of crying of a few months’ old baby).

Another basic archetype, though acquired from outside, is that of gentleness probably due to the first gentle call from a mother, together with the first caress. The newly born baby often utters this sound styleme in moments of joy and calm:

as can be seen, the second note always differs (usually by a falling semitone).

Mental re-working can offer us “decreasing gentleness”, made up of analogous stylemes, which, however, subsequently differ by two or more semitones. Seeing that it is present in a large number of compositions, we have classified this archetype at levels from I to XII (octave):

The “expansion” of the Ist level gentleness archetype (practically a multiple repetition) can lead to the tenderness expanded archetype (psychologically continuously repeated gentleness), whose musical styleme is:

with unlimited repetitions (up to a “trill”), whose “tactile” version is “”smoothness” and “taste” version “sweets”, the “smell” version “sweet” odours etc.).

The opposite of the gentleness archetype is that of bitterness or “hardness”, emitted or re-acquired during an “effort” or difficulty. The styleme consists of two notes at a distance of an rising semitone:

its re-workings consisting of two notes at a distance of more than a semitone. As the interval increases they express the increasing bitterness (from the I to XII levels – octave), which can become hardness, physical pain etc:

Expansion of the 1st level hardness archetype expresses harsh bitterness (“tactile” version: roughness; the “taste” one: bitter tastes; the “smell” one: nasty smells etc.). The styleme is:

The terror archetype is acquired (and usually caused) by a loud cry, whose structure it keeps:

The inescapability archetype, which, as we have seen, is imprinted during an event we cannot avoid, has the following stylemes:

The strength archetype, to be found in a great many compositions, is provided by a prolonged, frequently repeated note:

The height and depth archetypes are musically expressed by “ascent” and “descent” realised by scales of notes at a distance of a semitone or tone (“slow” ascent and descent) or more than one tone (“quick” ascent and descent):

or, on occasion, chance “jumps”:

The structural (numerical and logical) archetypes are the “skeleton” of the emotional stylemes. We can identify numerical archetypes (one, two, three, four…):

We feel justified in placing the doubt archetype among the logical ones. It is caused by the first uncertainty in life, which, as a reaction, provokes the logical need to “lean back on the nearest one before turning back on themselves”. The consequent styleme is:

where the notes are at a distance of a semitone – or in cases of lesser uncertainty – a tone.

The question-answer archetype is the basic logical one to be found in a great many compositions. The “question” can be more or less “doubtful” in accordance with the greater or lesser distance of the notes. The answer can, in the same way, be more or less “evasive”. Considering the extreme variety and complexity of this archetype, see the examples in Appendix 2.

The breathing archetype requires separate treatment. It is certainly an original emotional archetype imprinted after birth, when “breathing” begins, but containing a breathing in and out “logic”, almost of the “question-answer” type, and being able to “vary” its duration. Its musical styleme can be represented thus:

In § 7.13 we provided ample illustration of the importance of this archetype from the psychological-musical point of view.

Appendix 2 – Examples of the use of archetypes in musical extracts from various compositions

Here we will provide a few musical examples of the insertion of archetypes and/or their re-workings. We would like to point out that a much more detailed analysis is required than what is possible here. We are only offering a “proposal” beyond the context of the general treatment provided by this book.

  1. The bitterness or harshness archetype (two notes at a distance of a rising semitone) can be re-worked mentally by increasing the distance between the two notes. This expresses “rising” bitterness which turns into hardness, physical pain, anger, rage or terror. The beginning of the fourth movement of Anton Dvorak’s 9th. “New World” Symphony contains the set of these archetypes from level I to XII:
  2. The sobbing archetype can be found in Grieg, Peer Gynt, 2nd theme from “Solvejg’s Song”: which sees the linear rhythmic styleme completed by a musical re-working highlighting its emotion. The second and third notes (and the fourth and fifth) in the first and third bars see the linearity substituted by a falling interval which increases stress. We should not be deceived by the “allegretto tranquillamente”, which is only a tempo marker without reference to emotional content.
  3. The sadness archetype (deriving from a mental re-working of the sobbing and steady weeping archetypes) can be activated in various ways. For example, in Beethoven, 3rd. Symphony (Eroica), 2nd movement Funeral March there is an effect of great solemn sadness.
    This is due to the sobbing rhythmic archetypes (bar one and second movement of bar two) followed by strength archetypes (first movement of bars 2 and 3). The second movement of bar 2 then sees a 1st level gentleness archetype superimposed on the weeping one, followed by a 2nd level bitterness one. The phrase’s “resting” on the strength archetype in bar 3 contributes to its solemnity.
    On the other hand, in Chopin, Piano Sonata n. 2 in B flat major – Funeral March, the effect is one of great intimacy:
  4. There is an “expansion” of the sadness archetype in Dvorak, Slavonic Dance n. 10 in E flat. The initial phrase:
    can be seen as a simple “expansion” of the sadness archetype (hidden in a non expanded form in the phrase):
    quite different from a mental re-working, which is usually “gathers together” several archetypes at the same time, as in c), although we could also identify the doubt archetype in the first three notes. But the context of the continuation of the dance dominated by a feeling of deep sadness and “loss of a dear one” appears to exclude this possibility.
  5. The inescapability archetype appears in Beethoven, at the beginning of the first movement of the 5th. Symphony:
    the unambiguous styleme is strengthened in its meanings by the third falling intervals between bars 1-2 and 3-4. Throughout the first movement many significant re-workings of the same archetype are to be heard. These appear at intervals between the archetype itself, making up complex phrases in which a feeling of an inescapable destiny predominates.
  6. The strength archetype differs from a simple unified numerical one since its styleme is psychologically completed by accents of colour making it less “anonymous”. It is often expressed by instruments onomatopoeically highlighting different characteristics. For example, in Brahms, 4th. Symphony, beginning of the 2nd. movement, we have:
    where, in the first movements of bars 1 and 2 we can see the first two strength archetypes followed by one of sadness, and the same is true of the following bars. The use of instruments such as French horns, flutes and oboes onomatopoeically provides a feeling grand, sacred, rather sad solemnity. An example of the use of the strength archetype in a composition foregrounding the triumphal, solemn aspect is: Handel, Music for the Royal Fireworks – beginning:
    The archetype is in the third movement of the first bar and then in the first and third movements of the following ones. At intervals there are re-workings and “bitter” gentleness archetypes falling from the 2nd to 3rd levels, which contribute to foregrounding solemnity and, when the phrase leads back to the strength archetype, a sense of triumph.
  7. Logical archetypes: the question-answer archetype. We supply two examples. The first is the beginning of J.S. Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor:

As can be seen, the “question” is contained in the first movement (first quarter). The “answer” is in the second one. In the same way, further on, there is another question in the third and a more certain answer in the fourth. Psychologically speaking, it is a “question-announcement” followed by an “answer-consent”, with no doubts or hesitation.

The same archetype is quite different in Dvorak, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra op. 104 – first movement – beginning, where the question (first and second movements of bar 1) is doubtful and in contrast with the certainty of the answer:

nevertheless, for a detailed analysis of this archetype, see the note at the end of Appendix 3.

Appendix 3 – An example of archetypal-psychological analysis of a symphonic composition (the first movement of Anton Dvorak’s Cello Concerto)

Our choice of this composition was deliberate, owing to its psychological transparency, both from the historical (since it was written at a very special stage in the composer’s life) and emotional-personal points of view (since it was written under the influence of a special emotional drive). Dvorak’s transparency was probably due to inclusion of almost intact archetypal components kept separate from the re-worked ones. Let us go into details.
The B minor Cello Concerto Op. 104 is Dvorak’s last great symphonic work and perhaps his masterpiece. The first version had been completed at the end of February 1895, during the last months of the composer’s stay in America. Revision began (particularly of the third movement) after his return home and was completed in April 1895. This work could count as Dvorak’s spiritual legacy: an echo of the most significant moments in his life, a statement of his most profound ideas and feelings, and, lastly, the prelude to a painful, dramatic farewell.

General Outline

Dvorak’s stay in America was drawing to a close. This was probably the most significant period in his life. His artistic career had reached its climax, with his decisive contribution to the birth of the American School of Music. It was in this climate that the B minor Cello Concerto (§ 8.4-1) was conceived.
Nevertheless, the meaning of the work needs to be examined in the context of a decisive event in the composer’s life: his secret love (which would become a source of inspiration throughout his life) for his future sister-in-law Josefina Cermàkovà, to whom he had given piano lessons thirty years before, and whose younger sister he married. Dvorak dedicated a “Song” Op. 82/1 to her and, in his youth, had written a sketch of an A major Cello Concerto (1865) which was never orchestrated nor performed in public. She fell seriously ill just before Dvorak began to compose his Concerto in New York, but left her permanent mark on the work. The second theme of the first movement certainly celebrates the appearance of love (and thus of Josefina) in the composer’s life. The second movement returns to the Song Op. 82 (rewriting it in three quarters), which had been composed for her. It is also probable that Dvorak brought his return home forward, so as to see her alive, and, on her death, a month later, he probably decided to partially alter the Concerto, adding some quotations from the Song to the third movement and also sixty new bars near the end. These are certainly the most dramatic and herald his farewell.
When an artist expresses himself like this, he need add no more. The Concerto is like an intimate final conversation with her. Here the composer ideally consecrates his whole life to her, a life in which the crucial importance of this love is newly underlined by his music. It was no coincidence that the cello was chosen in the composer’s youth to exalt his first unfinished love song, and it was no coincidence that the cello places the final seal on a song of death, the artist’s farewell.

Archetypal – Psiychological Analysis

Analysis of the Concerto’s first movement will be attempted here on the basis of archetypes and identifiable re-workings. The detailed analysis of particular passages, required for full understanding of the work, will be completed by contextual background and psychological considerations and interpretations of emotional states expressed in the various parts of the work, about which we are relatively certain.
The Concerto’s first movement runs through the high points of the composer’s life. The cello gives voice to introspection, during which Dvorak tries to find answers to fundamental questions posed by life, alternating this with phases of emotionally charged recollection.
We will hear the soloist, at times in harmony and at times in contrast with the orchestra like the composer’s contrasting calm and dramatic dialogue with his consciousness.
An orchestral score is required to follow the development of the musical discourse through the archetypal stylemes.

First Movement

The orchestra begins with the two fundamental themes of the first movement (those of Life and Love, bars 1-86) preparing the general scenario for the listener. The first theme contains an initially mild version of the question-answer archetype in the first four notes (bars 1-2), the question all human beings ask themselves at times of maximum introspection about the worth of their own lives and actions: have I had something to say? have I had something to give? The answer given by the following four notes is a proud, unhesitating ‘yes’. Considering the importance of this archetype, we decided to add a short section with a more detailed analysis of it. The same archetype is expressed again (bars 9-10) and then again but more forcefully (bars 17-18), though with doubts (was living and making one’s mark useless?) and even despair, as expressed musically by the temporary switch from B minor to its dominant (F sharp major). After four bars of preparatory re-working, the same archetype is expressed with confident solemnity (bars 23-24). Immediately after this a rhythmic musical thought follows (something of an exposition of real experiences) leading, in the end, to the double repetition of the same archetypal theme (bars 45-46, and 47-48) and the subsequent “expansion” (bars 49-56), as if to prefigure a moment of contemplation, before the beginning of the second theme, which is split into two parts: the first from bar 57 to bar 64, the second from bar 64 to bar 74. At this point it is important to remember that Dvorak himself stated that he was unable to listen to this theme without being deeply moved. Here optimism, tenderness and purity no doubt witness a desire to express (first part) the arrival of love in the composer’s life, admittedly, on this occasion, mixed with a feeling of nostalgia and pain for what could have been but had never and would never be. Then we have (second part) the need to react with bitterness, because life goes on, even though fate has weighed the composer down with the highly charged, terrible burden of unrequited love. The last two bars of the second part prepare listeners for the announcement of the inescapability archetype slightly re-worked (bars 75-86) and toned down in the finale.
Now we have “quasi improvvisando” (as the score instructs) the entry of the solo cello (bar 87), which repeats the first (question-answer archetype) theme vigorously and confidently. The musical discourse continues intimately and with a certain feeling of suspense as far as the doubly re-worked analysis of the question archetype alone (bars 110-111 and 112-113) followed by two moving moments of self justification (bars 114-115 and 116-117), which after calming down (bars 118-119) end up in four sad gentleness archetypes repeated twice (bars 120-121) and re-worked with dramatic vigour (bars 122-127). They precede the repeated return of the question-answer archetype (bars 128-129 and 130-131), where, however, the answer is doubtful and pessimistic (expressed in G minor with subsequent resolution in E minor), even though it precedes and introduces the second theme which is a pure love song. The song, though in the extremely positive key of D major, remembering how it had been announced by the orchestra in bars 54-74, and how it now accompanies and comments on (strings alone) the cello solo, it appears, especially in the second part particularly moving and consciously without hope. Actually, after the first exposition (bar 140 ff.) whose second part (bars 147-156) is impregnated with regret and sadness, the subsequent variations (bars 158-165) seem an attempt at explanation and rationalization of an affective disappointment and logically lead to (bars 166-169) a doubtful re-working of the question archetype, which is transformed into an attempted reaction (bars 170-171), followed by (bars 172-176) two expanded growing inescapability archetypes and, finally, the reaffirmation of the individual’s freedom to live his/her life with dignity (bars 177-179), even though the search for a few moments of calm and tenderness (bars 180-181: expanded gentleness archetypes) is frustrated by the reappearance of inescapability (bars 182-183) followed by moments of painful introspection (bars 186-192). The Orchestra, however, returns us to the earlier questions (192-222), while the re-working of the second answer (bars 195 and 199) means uncertainty and lasts until the re-entry of the cello solo (bar 223), which repeats an exaggeratedly expanded version of the question-answer archetype. This means transforming doubt into a long, painful, existential lament up to bar 238, seeing that after this (bars 240 ff.) anguish appears in the orchestra, made more intense and dramatic by the cello’s minute self criticism which is mildly superimposed. Even if the scenario appears to have been restored (bars 243-245), subsequently, an even more anguished and dramatic crescendo repeats the customary questions (bars 252 and 254). However, this time, the absence of an answer is the cause of a violent reaction (bars 256-260) in which the cello, after silencing the orchestra, is forcefully highlighted, almost as if claiming the right to an independent, creative life, though lived in affective loneliness. This reaction calms down and takes on concrete form in the solemn proclamation of eternal love, announced fortissimo by the orchestra (first part of the second theme – bars 265 ff.). A second part follows, announceed by the cello more positively than at bars 61-64, with an intensity reaching its climax at bar 281 (first movement) then calmly introducing the introspective variations (bars 285-292) similar to the previous ones (bars 158-165), followed (bars 297 ff.) by the same psychological reactions, viz inescapability, tenderness etc. with reference to acceptance foregrounded by a different key (B major – the final key of the movement – the previous one was D major, the movement beginning in B minor). Immediately afterwards (bars 319-320) the orchestra repeats the question-answer archetype, this time solemnly and optimistically (in B major) associating the cello (bars 322-324), which answers in the same way, as if every doubt had been overcome, suffering accepted without reservations, a return to intellectual independence accomplished. The following bars (325-342), almost joyously and decisively express the same concepts, while, when the cello falls silent, the orchestra for the last time, solemnly reaffirms the value of life experienced and choices made.
This outline deals with the basic feelings that the composer placed at the foundations of the exposition and analysis of his own life. To understand the message correctly and exhaustively it should be remembered that the archetypes present in the work are in constant dialogue with the mental re-workings appearing both in the orchestral texture and the solo cello part, almost as if to complete the catalogue of the main events in the composer’s life with all possible conceptual subtleties.

Analysis of the initial “question-answer” archetypal styleme

Since the initial styleme is a question-answer logical archetype, its meaning can only be gathered from its context and general motivations of the work it belongs to. We mentioned that this concerto is a kind of spiritual testament or confession, a dialogue between the composer and the dying Josefina. The first movement foregrounds on his life and on love, on deep suffering for her failure to love him and acceptance of this situation. The re-workings of the archetypes express detailed rational-emotional analysis of the questions the composer asks himself. We underlined the fact that the initial styleme, which is re-expressed in various forms to highlight, as we will see, different subtleties, centres on the fundamental questions all human beings ask themselves when summing up the worth of their lives: “have I had something to say? have I had something to give?”
The question-answer archetype is built up as follows: the question is contained in the first bar, the answer in the second. The breathing archetype is contained in the first and second bars (first and second movements: breathing in; second and third movements: breathing out).
The question clearly contains a “doubt” (a composite archetype?) expressed by the distance between the second and third notes (one semitone), while the answer expresses certainty (second and third notes of the second bar, at a distance of three semitones), by means of a gentleness archetype of the third degree, often used in Slav-Bohemian music. A (superimposed) strength archetype appears in the first and third movements of both bars indicating (from the first bar) the intimate, positive certainty of the answer to the basic question. The question-answer archetype is repeated and varied several times. For example, when uttered by the cello at bar 87, the question is not doubtful (a distance of two semitones between the second and third notes), as at bar 91, while a light doubt returns with the orchestral repetition at bars 103 and 105 and in those by the cello solo (bars 128 and 130). They are both followed by doubtful and hopeless answers at bars 129 and 131, since they introduce the theme of unshared love. The same archetype follows in a positive form in the orchestra at bars 192, 193, 194 and 195 and the following four bars. The answers are vague from bars 204 to 207. The archetype is repeated in a drawn out, dramatic manner by the cello a from bars 224 to 227, and, as the movement approaches its conclusion, positively by the orchestra from bars 319 to 320, positively again by the cello at bars 323 and 324 and, finally, in a grand, positive manner by the whole orchestra from bars 342 to 345ff as far as the end of the movement.

Author profile

Fabio Uccelli was born in Florence. He was a researcher at the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) from 1960 to 1970, and a fellow of the CERN Centre in Geneva and the Italian Centre for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) at Frascati. He was awarded a PH.D in physics in 1969. He was Professor of Physics at the University of Pisa from 1976 until his retirement in 2002. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Teatro Comunale Opera House in Florence and President of Conservatoire “G.Puccini“ in La Spezia. He has researched in the fields of particle accelerators, solid state physics, renewable energy technologies and musicology.


A fascinating, scientifically well founded hypothesis accompanying the most daring epistemological synthesis attempted up to now. A book for specialists in cognitive science and the genesis of the artistic phenomenon, musicians, musicologists, musical therapists, psychologists and for all those readers ready to think and, above all, feel.