Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Jeffrey Gilliam

Publication Date



It may come as a surprise that Brecht has highly developed and original ideas about how music should serve the text in his songs. Even more surprising is the willingness of these professional composers with whom he collaborated, notably Kurt Weill, Paul Dessau, and Hanns Eisler, to accept Brecht as a musical mentor. The present document seeks to show specific ways in which these composers applied Brecht's ideas on song organization, rhythm, and melodic shape. The study also shows how Dessau and Eisler adopted Brecht's musical aesthetics as the cornerstone of their careers as composers. Weill, however, turned to America for musical inspiration during the Hitler era, and his later songs on Brecht texts no longer follow Brecht's principle.

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