Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts



Committee Chair

Paulina Villarreal

Committee Member

Josef Hanson

Committee Member

Mary Wilson

Committee Member

Matt Burns


Ben Moore's comedy songs have found favor as the final song on recitals due to their humor. In addition to those themes, the songs have continued a compositional style using music-borrowing techniques. J. Peter Burkholder was the first researcher to codify a set of specific techniques outside the designation of "quotation" or "parody." Using the methodology of Burkholder, Moore's comedy songs and their uses of existing music can be analyzed and situated in the musical borrowing field of study. The techniques found in Moore’s songs include paraphrase, quotation, stylistic allusion, quodlibet, and interjection. Paraphrase is when the borrowed music is altered from the existing music through changes in words, rhythm, or melody. Quotation occurs when a direct extrapolation from the original source is included in the new piece. Stylistic allusion references the music of a particular historical period or composer rather than a specific work. Quodlibet is when several borrowing techniques are used simultaneously or in quick succession. Interjection, a technique I defined, is when borrowed music interrupts the flow of the music and is short in duration. Though Moore's contemporaries also use borrowing techniques, his comedic intent is unique to his songs and sets him apart from other contemporary composers of art songs. Analyzing each comedy song's range, tessitura, and composer's interpretation notes, in addition to defining and outlining the various music-borrowing techniques, demonstrates the differences in these compositions. This document will provide a performer's guide to each piece by showing the intent of each borrowing technique, thus allowing the performer to understand the comedic moments more thoroughly.


Data is provided by the student.”

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access