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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Music (M.M.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Many scholars have discussed Austrian music theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935). While discourse has mainly focused on Schenkerian analysis, recent scholarship has started to examine the role of Schenker as a person (e.g., Schenker as a Jewish individual, Schenker as a racist, etc.), and how these identities influenced his views on music. Yet, within these new explorations and discussions, the aspect of disability and Schenker as an individual with a disability have not been as seriously examined. After examining his biography through the lens of disability in the introduction (Chapter 1), this thesis discusses disability's influence on Schenker through two additional chapters. The second chapter explores disability within the social context of fin-de-siècle Vienna and attempts to deduce, from the opinions of Schenker’s contemporaries, what Schenker's own views on disability might have been. The third chapter then demonstrates, through statistical analyses, that disability affected the everyday mechanics of writing for Schenker and how this in turn influenced his style of prose. The thesis concludes (Chapter 4) that there was a correlation between Schenker’s disability and the different writing styles observed in his earlier work and his later, post-disability work. By shedding light on Schenker’s disability, the thesis aims to provide a platform for future discussion on this subject, either in the field of musicology, music theory, or disability studies.


First Advisor

Emiliano Ricciardi

Second Advisor

Jason Hooper

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License