Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2020

Department 1



In his poem describing a performance of a Baldassare Galuppi toccata, Robert Browning uses music theory terminology and historical context to explain the emotions inspired by the piece. Browning’s 19th-century narrator reflects on the lives of past audiences and on his own mortality as he addresses the deceased composer. This paper analyzes the use of musical references in explaining the narrator’s response to the performance. The analysis includes an examination of Galuppi’s compositional period and a discussion of the specific terminology that Browning uses to convey his narrator’s wariness of death.


Written for ENG 230A: Introduction to Nineteenth-Century British Literature