Date of Award


First Advisor

John Myers

Second Advisor

Brian Conolly


Despite his near-mythological status as a composer of clear and balanced music, there are a smattering of passages in the corpus of Mozart that deviate so drastically from his typical style as to lead one to wonder what he could have meant by writing them. The present text seeks to explore this question by comparing some of these unusual musical passages, isolating what they have in common, forming opinions about the kind of expressional modality of which these examples are likely to be an example, and designating, in as clear and useful a philosophical language as possible, what their existence and function in the context of Mozart’s music can tell us about art in general. Ultimately, this work seeks to answer the question: what does the surreal in music mean to signify and, knowing this, how ought we to consider music differently?

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