The Compositional Techniques of Messiaen’s Le Merle Noir

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Irna Priore, Associate Professor of Music Theory (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Olivier Messiaen infused compositions with a love of nature and the Catholic faith. Messiaen (1908-1992) stayed away from fashionable trends and schools, opting to develop a highly personal style for rhythmic complexity, rich tonal colors, and unusual harmonic language. Written in 1951 as an examination piece for the Paris Conservatory Le Merle Noir, an example of Messiaen's compositional process, combines additive rhythm with materials derived from bird calls. Messiaen commented that he used bird songs either as an exact musical portrait or compositional material.

Additional Information

Flute Talk Magazine, Volume 20, No. 8, April 2001, 11-13
Language: English
Date: 2001
Olivier Messiaen, Le Merle Noir, flute, piano

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