Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Blyton, Carey. “Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’: The Case for the Defence.” Tempo 149 (June 1984): 19-26.

Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd is not a musical, but an opera, and has suffered by not being performed by opera companies for opera audiences. In Sweeney Todd, Sondheim shows his knowledge of the Western art music tradition through musical borrowing, leitmotif-like motivic recurrence, stylistic allusion to canonic composers and popular musics, harsh dissonance and bi-tonality, mixed meter, and other techniques. Such techniques provide the work with dramatic cohesion and musical integrity.

Works: Stephen Sondheim: Sweeney Todd.

Sources: Anonymous: Dies Irae (20, 24-25).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Nathan Landes

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