Award Date

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Committee Member

Alfonse Anderson

Second Committee Member

Tod Fitzpatrick

Third Committee Member

Linda Lister

Fourth Committee Member

David Weiller

Fifth Committee Member

Joe Bynum

Number of Pages



This document argues that the defining stylistic features of Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 can be directly traced through an evolution of style in the following works: Christian Gottlob Neefe’s “Das Todtenopfer” from Bilder und Träume (1798); Beethoven’s “Busslied” from Sechs Lieder von Gellert (1803); and Beethoven’s An die Hoffnung, Op. 94 (1815). This document focuses primarily on the stylistic features of fermati, modulations, changes in tempo and texture, and text setting. These features are examined through comparative musical analysis within the historical context of single affect poetry and Lieder composition of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It was found that An die ferne Geliebte successfully answered Goethe’s aesthetic problem of how to pair multiple single affect poems together as a coherent whole, without violating the aesthetics of the poetry. The results of the analysis further distance An die ferne Geliebte from the German Romantic song cycle compositions that followed chronologically, and place An die ferne Geliebte at the pinnacle of single affect Lieder composition.


An die ferne Geliebte; Beethoven; Goethe; Neefe; Christian; Ries; Ferdinand


Music | Theatre and Performance Studies