Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music

First Advisor

Kristin Taavola, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mitchell Ohriner

Third Advisor

Gregory Robbins


Music, French compositional style, Fauré, Ravel, Rhythm, Harmony


In this study, I examine two French berceuses for violin and piano to identify common compositional traits, specifically subtlety and familiarity in rhythm and harmony. Both Fauré's Berceuse (1878-9) and Ravel's Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré (1922) are representative of small form pieces written by French composers; in addition, the relationship of the two works is particularly striking as Fauré was Ravel's teacher. The similarities of genre and instrumentation, coupled with 40 years of separation provides a unique setting to examine aspects of French compositional practices over time. The introduction of my thesis outlines aspects of diversity within French music. The following chapters analyze traditional and extended tonality, melody, and mode, framing each discussion in the context of the small form. Here, the analytic techniques engage each composers approach towards harmonic overlap and harmonic movement. The results reveal that through surface simplicity, or familiarity in rhythm, phrase, structure, and harmony, each composer achieves a unique subtlety of harmony and harmonic movement.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Brandon Kinsey


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

87 p.



Included in

Music Commons