Arnold Schoenberg is usually associated with the breakdown of tonality in the early twentieth century. The present book challenges this familiar narrative by considering his Eight Songs op. 6 (1903-05) as the culmination of his tonal mastery. It is the first monograph devoted to these pieces. The songs are placed in the historical and philosophical context of turn-of-the-century Vienna, and related to the composer’s views on music, language, the musical idea, and tonality. Each of the songs is analysed from a different perspective in order to trace its generative ‘Gedanke’ or idea. Schoenberg’s treatment of tonality is ultimately seen in terms not of destruction and loss, but of creative construction and of expanding relations within musical space.