Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Music



Major Professor

Rachel M. Golden

Committee Members

Leslie C. Gay, James Fellenbaum


This thesis explores the eighteenth-century aesthetic of the sublime in application to Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 Jupiter, K. 551. Using Immanuel Kant’s definition of the mathematical sublime and Johan Georg Sulzer’s idea of the sublime, I argue that Mozart achieves this aesthetic through the synthesis of stylistic opposites: the learned and the galant. The culmination of such is best articulated in the fugue found in the Coda of the fourth movement. In this segment, Mozart combines five galant motives into a learned fugue; this intricate combination of stylistic opposites creates an elevated effect, one in keeping with eighteenth-century philosophies of the sublime. Drawing from my own experiences, I further argue for the subjectivity of the sublime and discuss its occurrence both in composition and as emotion.

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Included in

Musicology Commons