Date of Award

Spring 2023

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Molly Breckling

Committee Member

Dr. John Grau

Committee Member

Dr. Daniel Crozier


Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, whose literary and musical works have an undeniable effect on the history of Western music. Specifically, Berlioz’s most famous orchestral work, the Symphonie Fantastique, transformed how music could be utilized in an orchestral setting because it was the first programmatic symphony, which is a symphony with music set to a written narrative. The Symphonie would inspire German composer Richard Wagner to create what is now recognized as the leitmotif, a musical phrase used to identify an idea. In modern Hollywood film music, Wagner is credited with establishing the techniques that have become staples of the genre, such that Berlioz’s contributions were unjustly overshadowed as time went on. This project will be applying the written and musical works of Hector Berlioz to the modern Hollywood film score for the purpose of demonstrating how the techniques and creative intentions behind film compositions are indebted to Berlioz’s literary and musical works.

Rights Holder

Enrique Alberti