Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Music History

Degree Program

Music with a concentration in Music History and Literature, MM

Committee Chair

Christensen, Jean

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Shinnick, Julia

Committee Member

Shinnick, Julia

Committee Member

de Zeeuw, Anna Marie

Author's Keywords



This paper discusses the Kafka Fragments for Soprano and Violin, a work of forty movements composed by Hungarian composer, Gyorgy Kurtag, in 1985 through 1987. The piece is based Kurtag's own compilation of fragments written by Franz Kafka, which were taken from Kafka's diaries, personal letters, and Blue Octavio Notebooks. They are some of the most personal and intimate examples that exist within Kafka's body of writing. The paper primarily addresses Kurtag's compositional process as illustrated through the Kafka Fragments and attempts to provide insight about his especially unique qualities as a composer. The main topics of the paper include a discussion of Kurtag's sensitivity to Kafka's text, a proposed analysis of Kurtag's compositional procedures, and an investigation of the extra-musical elements that effect Kurtag's overall process. In conclusion, this study finds Kurtag to be of positive value to study as a model of contemporary composition because of his particularly "organic" way of creating and developing a musical idea.

Included in

Musicology Commons