Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Mark Spicer

Second Advisor

Catherine Coppola

Academic Program Adviser

Phillip Ewell


J. Peter Burkholder’s typology of musical borrowing provides new ways of thinking about and understanding how composers and musicians incorporated influential ideas into their own compositions. This paper explores two cases of musical borrowing in order to gain a deeper understanding of the compositional styles of the chosen subjects. In the first study, I explore Béla Bartók’s use of Paraphrase, Modeling and Stylistic Allusion in his Second Piano Concerto, demonstrating how Bartók used borrowing as a compositional tool to develop his own innovative ideas. In the second study, I investigate how Luciano Berio’s compositional style influenced the Grateful Dead’s approach to live improvisation. I begin by analyzing Berio’s Différences guided by the composer’s own commentary on his ideas of transformation, musical identity and tension. By examining a representative work by the Dead through Berio’s conceptual framework, I demonstrate the Dead’s similar approach to dealing with dissonance and form.



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