Lawrence Kramer

in Interpreting Music

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267053
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947368 | DOI:

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There are many examples of musical influence. The young Ludwig van Beethoven was influenced by Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but cut loose, became himself, and influenced everyone else thereafter. Dmitri Shostakovich's symphonies were influenced by Gustav Mahler, and his string quartets by Beethoven, but the voice in all of them is distinctively his own. The word most likely to be associated with “influence” today is “anxiety.” Like “deconstruction,” “the anxiety of influence” is a term that passed into common use after its literary currency had faded. In both its traditional and Bloomian versions, influence appears as the negative form of cultural transmission. This chapter examines musical influence and considers the fugal portion of “Cool Fugue” from Leonard Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story that begins with the opening motto of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge and stays with it for quite a while.

Keywords: musical influence; Ludwig van Beethoven; anxiety; cultural transmission; Cool Fugue; Leonard Bernstein; Gross Fugue

Chapter.  6772 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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