The title has also been misspelled Symphonie diaganale in the USA.
Eggeling began work on Symphonie diagonale in the summer of 1923. Paper cut-outs and tin foil figures were photographed a frame at a time. Completed in 1924, the film was first shown privately on 5 November. On 3 May 1925 it was presented to the public in Germany. Sixteen days later Eggeling died in Berlin.
A tilted figure, consisting largely of right angles at the beginning, grows by accretion, with the addition of short straight lines and curves which sprout from the existing design. The figure vanishes and the process begins again with a new pattern, each cycle lasting one or two seconds. The complete figures are drawn in a vaguely Art Deco style and could be said to resemble any number of things, an ear, a harp, panpipes, a grand piano with trombones, and so on, only highly stylized. The tone is playful and hypnotic.