Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Hinton, Stephen. "'Matters of Intellectual Property': The Sources and Genesis of Die Dreigroschenoper." In Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera, ed. Stephen Hinton, 9-49. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Because of the speed with which it was written and the collaborative nature of the project, the true origins of The Threepenny Opera are difficult to trace with precision. Nominally the work is a parody of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, which had enjoyed a successful revival in London from 1920 to 1923. In fact the publisher Schott had contacted the young Paul Hindemith with the idea of providing new music for this play. Weill retained only one of the 69 melodies from the original Beggar's Opera, but several other tunes may have been patterned after specific models.

Works: Kurt Weill, The Threepenny Opera (13, 36-40).

Sources: Johann Christoph Pepusch: The Beggar's Opera (13, 36); Eduard Künneke: Der Vetter aus Dingsda (36); Puccini: Madame Butterfly (40); Engelbert Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel (40-41).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Felix Cox

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