Reconsidering Messiaen as serialist

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Abstract

The present study challenges prevailing interpretations of Messiaen's serial practice by arguing that it not only focused on rhythm but also was ongoing, extending far beyond the years (1949-52) in which he supposedly used and then abandoned serial techniques. Messiaen's serial practice emerged from his theological preoccupation with time and eternity and his fascination with number. His temporal ideas and efforts to express them in his music are indebted to the philosophies of Henri Bergson (1859-1941) and Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962). These precepts are examined in the context of several works dating from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-299
Number of pages33
JournalMusic Analysis
Volume28
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Music

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