The Tristan Chord is possibly the single most famous chord in music history. In fact, we might not exaggerate if we claimed that much of Richard Wagner's fame is based on Tristan und Isolde where the Tristan Chord powerfully opens the overture. However, this chord does not only open the overture of the opera but can be found throughout the opera and forms the backbone during the Liebestot.
Now, the Tristan Chord has received attention by numerous musicologists stretching over 150 years by now. Most of these musicologists focus on the harmonic or hermeneutic analysis of the passage. However, nobody seems to show much interest in the question of the ontogenesis of the Tristan Chord passage. Although the similarity between the Tristan Chord and Liszt's Ich möchte hingehen has been pointed out within the existing literature, the fact that the Tristan Chord and its entire surrounding passage are identical with a passage within Chopin's op.68.4 has not been observed.
This paper briefly touches on the observation made by major musicologists on the Tristan Chord, and talks about pre-runners of the chord as found within the music by earlier composers. However, there will be two focus areas.
Firstly, op 68.4 by Chopin survives only in an original fragment and has undergone a complex editorial process which will be disseminated. Secondly, the question will be asked if Richard Wagner can rightly be accused of intellectual copyright theft or not. This issue itself will be divided into three question of a) whether Chopin's op 68.4 predates the opera Tristan und Isolde, b) whether Richard Wagner had access to the music and c) whether Richard Wagner would be motivated to commit copyright infringement. This last question will be supported by producing an estimated probability as to whether the Tristan Chord passage and Chopin's passage are identical by chance. It will be demonstrated that there exists overwhelming evidence to classify the Tristan Chord as a copyright infringement indeed, which puts into question who ought to profit from the Wagner logo.