Dissertation Index

Author: Hussey, William Gregory

Title: Compositional Modeling and Quotation in the Works of Johannes Brahms: An Application of Harold Bloom's Theory of Influence to Music

Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Begun: September 1995

Completed: December 1996


The extent and manner in which composers are influenced by one another continues to be a concern of music theorists and musicologists. Some analysts such as Kevin Korsyn and Joseph Straus have appropriated Harold Bloom's literary theory of influence for music in an attempt to address these concerns. Although Bloom's theory of influence has been applied in many other fields besides literature, it has been criticized for describing artistic originality as a result of Freudian psychological processes in later artists as well as for the sexist language in which Bloom expresses his theory. This dissertation will attempt to do the following in analyses of works by Johannes Brahms: 1) explore the advantages of Bloom's theory for comparative music analysis between different works without Freudian psychological implications; 2) apply the theory to the finale Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 as a work structurally modeled upon Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37; 3) apply the theory to musical quotations from works of other composers as well as by Brahms himself in later works by Brahms; 4) analyze the influence of several works on the finale of Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 83.

Keywords: Brahms, Influence, Bloom, Quotation, Piano Concertos, Songs, Solo Piano Works


Chapter 1: Introduction to Bloom's Theory
Chapter 2: Compositional Modeling in Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
Chapter 3: Quotation and Influence
Chapter 4: Multiple Influence Analysis on Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat, Op. 83.


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