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Many movements from Schumann’s piano cycles have open-beginning structures and open-ended structures. There is no doubt that these open structures facilitate the nature of local connection and further unify the individual pieces to create a larger context. Unfortunately, open structure does not simply translate to a missing tonic chord at the beginning or end of the piece. It implies a structural meaning, in which the tonal definition of a piece is weakened in some way and influences or is influenced by the entire form of each piece. In this study, I explore the paradoxical nature of the Romantic fragment (complete and yet not complete), and examine the special features of Schumann’s piano cycles, in particular the fragmentary character of the individual movements as a primary component of piano cycles. The analysis of individual movements presented in this study supports the fragmentary character resulting from the ambiguous tonal shape which is based on relative mode relationships. The characteristic harmonic progression resulting from the tonicization of the relative mode may occur both in local level progressions of individual movements and large-scale tonal progressions. In small-scale events, it can be used as a common-tone relationship between tonic and relative modes through the reharmonization of a melodic line or an enharmonic relationship. In the large-scale progression, the tonicization of the relative mode not only reflects local harmonic events, but it also influences the tonal and formal shapes of the given movement.