Elektra chord: E B D♭ F A♭. .mw-parser-output .side-box{margin:4px 0;box-sizing:border-box;border:1px solid #aaa;font-size:88%;line-height:1.25em;background-color:#f9f9f9}.mw-parser-output .side-box-abovebelow,.mw-parser-output .side-box-text{padding:0.25em 0.9em}.mw-parser-output .side-box-image{padding:2px 0 2px 0.9em;text-align:center}.mw-parser-output .side-box-imageright{padding:2px 0.9em 2px 0;text-align:center}@media(min-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .side-box-flex{display:flex;align-items:center}.mw-parser-output .side-box-text{flex:1))@media(min-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .side-box{width:238px}.mw-parser-output .side-box-right{clear:right;float:right;margin-left:1em}.mw-parser-output .side-box-left{margin-right:1em)).mw-parser-output .listen .side-box-text{line-height:1.1em}.mw-parser-output .listen-plain{border:none;background:transparent}.mw-parser-output .listen-embedded{width:100%;margin:0;border-width:1px 0 0 0;background:transparent}.mw-parser-output .listen-header{padding:2px}.mw-parser-output .listen-embedded .listen-header{padding:2px 0}.mw-parser-output .listen-file-header{padding:4px 0}.mw-parser-output .listen .description{padding-top:2px}.mw-parser-output .listen .mw-tmh-player{max-width:100%}@media(max-width:719px){.mw-parser-output .listen{clear:both))@media(min-width:720px){.mw-parser-output .listen:not(.listen-noimage){width:320px}.mw-parser-output .listen-left{overflow:visible;float:left}.mw-parser-output .listen-center{float:none;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto))    Elektra chord  Elektra chord as arpeggio then simultaneously Problems playing this file? See media help.
Elektra chord: E B D F A.
Elektra chord
Component intervals from root
diminished fourth
minor second
diminished seventh
perfect fifth
Forte no. / Complement
5-32 / 7-32

The Elektra chord is a "complexly dissonant signature-chord"[1] and motivic elaboration used by composer Richard Strauss to represent the title character of his opera Elektra that is a "bitonal synthesis of E major and C-sharp major" and may be regarded as a polychord related to conventional chords with added thirds,[2] in this case an eleventh chord. It is enharmonically equivalent to a 7#9 chord : D-F-A-C-E and a 6b9 chord : E-G#-B-C#-F.

Elektra chord implies an E major and C♯ major chord together (C♯ E♯ G♯ = D♭ F♮ A♭)     Each chord separately as arpeggio then both simultaneously   Problems playing this file? See media help.
Elektra chord implies an E major and C major chord together (C E G = D F A)

In Elektra the chord, Elektra's "harmonic signature" is treated various ways betraying "both tonal and bitonal leanings...a dominant 4/2 over a nonharmonic bass." It is associated as well with its seven note complement which may be arranged as a dominant thirteenth[1] while other characters are represented by other motives or chords, such as Klytämnestra's contrasting harmony. The Elektra chord's complement appears at important points and the two chords form a 10-note pitch collection, lacking D and A, which forms one of Elektra's "distinctive 'voices'"[3]

Motivic elaboration of Elektra chord     Elektra chord as motive   Problems playing this file? See media help.
Motivic elaboration of Elektra chord

The chord is also found in Claude Debussy's Feuilles mortes, where it may be analyzed as an appoggiatura to a minor ninth chord, and Franz Schreker's Der ferne Klang, and Alexander Scriabin's Sixth Piano Sonata.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Lawrence Kramer. "Fin-de-siècle Fantasies: Elektra, Degeneration and Sexual Science", Cambridge Opera Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2. (Jul., 1993), pp. 141-165.
  2. ^ a b H. H. Stuckenschmidt; Piero Weiss. "Debussy or Berg? The Mystery of a Chord Progression", The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 3. (Jul., 1965), pp. 453-459.
  3. ^ Carolyn Abbate, 'Music and Language in Elektra', in Richard Strauss: Elektra, ed. Derrick Puffett, Cambridge Opera Guides (Cambridge, 1989), 107-27. Cited in Kramer (1993), p.156.