Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Cooper, Barry. Beethoven and the Creative Process. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Within a wider survey of Beethoven's compositional methods, the author discusses the composer's reworkings of his own previous material (chapter 5, 59-74). Beethoven's distinctive style can be said to derive to a large extent from a stock of musical ideas that recur throughout his work; these may be rhythmic motives and harmonic progressions, or larger-scale tonal patterns and formal devices. Consideration of sketch material is particularly helpful in understanding this, as it shows how many ideas that were initially rejected in one piece would be "salvaged" for the purposes of another. Beethoven tended to borrow in a more detailed fashion from unpublished material, whereas reference to previously published works was usually considerably more general.

Works: Beethoven: Piano Sonata in E Major, Op. 109 (62), String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132 (62), Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 (64), Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 53 ("Waldstein") (65), Bagatelle in A-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 7 (66), Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (66).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: J. Sterling Lambert

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