Dissertation Index

Author: Orosz, Jeremy W

Title: Translating Music Intelligibly:
Musical Paraphrase in the Long 20th Century

Institution: University of Minnesota

Begun: August 2009

Completed: December 2013


This dissertation is a study of the practice of musical paraphrase (altered borrowing) in the long 20th century. The project is built around a single guiding question: If a composer borrows music from another source and alters it for use in a new context, how is this accomplished, and what are their motivations for doing so? This collection of five case studies provides a representative (if not comprehensive) sample of the many practices one might call "paraphrase." Chapter 1 explores the metaphor of musical translation. Chapter 2 examines the practice of creating sound-alike versions for use on television. Chapter 3 is a study of musical caricature. The final two chapters are about musical paraphrase as creative stimulus--using pre-existing music as the aesthetic point of departure for crafting something new. Chapter 4 focuses on the film music of John Williams, while Chapter 5 explores the late works of Alban Berg.

Keywords: Caricature,
John Williams,
Alban Berg,
Ron Jones,
Walter Murphy,
Sound alike


Chapter 0: What is Paraphrase?
Chapter 1: On the Musically Translatable
Chapter 2: On the Musically Forge(t)able:
Television Cartoons and the Paraphrase of Popular Music
Chapter 3: On the Musically Caricaturable
Chapter 4: John Williams: Paraphraser or Plagiarist?
Chapter 5: Berg the Wagnerian: Tristan and Lulu


Jeremy Orosz

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