Traumerei is a solo piano piece written by Robert Schumann. It was composed in 1838 during the early romantic period. It is part of a series of pieces called Kinderszenen and it is number 7.
Traumerei means to daydream, this is why this piece is reminiscent of a chidhood daydream. This piece is composed in four voices, allowing for the facilitation of several contrapuntal motifs, particularly in the lower voice which helps to move along the piece; this is particularly effective in reflection to the daydreaming theme of this piece, which would lack in sense of complexity should it be composed in binary form. This piece is in F major which is an appropriate choice of tonality due to its relatively simplistic key signature which is reflective of the simplicity of Schumann’s musical idea and title; furthermore, the key of F major easily allows for a smooth transition into its notoriously sad relative minor (D minor), which facilitates Schumann’s use of several underlying melancholy hues, which add colour and variety to the piece. At the beginning of the piece, on the anacrusis, the dynamics are piano; this is symbolic of the beginning of the dream, slowly guiding the listener to the small slurred crescendo climax going into the second bar.
Schumann also employs ostinated crescendi going into the first beat of bars providing a flowing sense of gracious and light movement similar to when you are dreaming. Other than that piano marked at the beginning, Schumann does not employ any further explicit use of dynamics; this informs the performer that the piece should be played relatively piano throughout, leaving the exact magnitude of the crescendi to the interpretation of the performer. This piece is characteristic of the romantic style utilising one main theme and the use of pedal and the use of very large triadic chords as well as the use of an imperfect cadence defining this piece as in the romantic style- though it has strong classical and baroque influences, particularly through the style and works of Haydn. As well as the strong use of ritardando and fermati to create very strong variation in the tempo of the music, to an extent that would be extremely uncharacteristic of most prior and latter compositional styles.