Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Musicology, Performing arts studies

Publication Details

Thesis Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Philosophy degree, Technological University Dublin, Conservatory of Music and Drama


Having experience a large increase in concert activity in recent years, one would assume that the works of J.K. Mertz (1806–1856) would haveexperience the same level of attention within academic circles, however research is still limited. As a result, this thesissetsout to understand in what areas do Mertz's works differ fromother guitar works in the first half of the nineteenth century—specifically Mertz's set of character piecesfound in hisBardenklänge, op. 13. This thesiswill address shifts in culture, aesthetics and the increasing interest in the ‘Folk’c.1800–1850 that led to the composition of Mertz’s Bardenklänge. Published in 1847, these works are unique in theirinstantiationofRomanticism, with few solo guitar works from the time fitting the mould of character music. The works draw inspiration from Macpherson's Ossian,Goethe's Willheim Meister, and many common poetic themes being exploredby artists at the time such a love, longing, children, nature, andthe supernatural. Connection to Mertz's piano contemporaries within these works is quite evident, particularly the likes of Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Chopin. These connections will be discussed under the context of Mertz's adaptation of a Romantic style for guitar. Following from an understanding of the contextual background, this thesiswill highlight literary, stylistic and compositional devices withintheBardenklänge that Mertz employs to compose in a uniquely Romantic style for guitar.