Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music


Gabriel Dobner

Eric Ruple

Kevin McMillan


Musicians have held differing views regarding the art of transcription. Purists, who are against the very idea of transcribing existing works, think of the genre as being disrespectful to the composer(s) of the original work. Conversely, musicians who appreciate the art of transcription welcome the opportunity to perform works not originally written for the piano. This document will examine Lieder (German art songs) transcriptions, which is is a valuable genre for transcription. The Lied has historically appealed to many composers, particularly Liszt and his contemporary, Leopold Godowsky, as a source of transcription material.

Chapters one and two will primarily compare similar Lieder transcriptions by Liszt and Godowsky, in particular Wohin and Litanei. Since both Lieder are in strophic form, it would be most suitable to compare and establish the different practices of Liszt and Godowsky as they transcribe. Chapter three will focus on the virtuosic aspects of transcription. Lieder by Strauss (Ständchen) and Mendelssohn (Frühlingslied) will be analyzed. Technical embellishments that feature the performer, while also highlighting the text, will be elaborated. Chapter four will contrast the first three chapters and prove that Liszt and Godowsky can create transcriptions that is not their standard procedure.

Liszt and Godowsky offer different approaches when writing transcriptions. Yet, both managed to remain close to the original works in their distinctive ways. Liszt and Godowsky transformed different elements in their transcriptions, and somehow remained authentic to the original Lied demonstrates how much they valued and respected the art of transcription.



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