Title

The Mind of Messiaen

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Year

1996

Abstract

In the course of this study I have accomplished my initial goal of looking into the mind of Mesiaen. It is a fascinating and colorful mind, filled with beliefs and theories which are evident throughout all his works. It appears that his surroundings influenced his believe system, and that it was, in turn, his believe system which influenced his incredible compositional style. Some aspects, such as that of sound-color association, appear to be aspects that he was born with, while other aspects, such as that of rhythm, are aspects which he absorbed in the process of his studies and in the attempting to assert himself as an original composer. Aspects such as bird calls and his religious faith came from the deeply rooted loves that he developed as a child, and all of these mixed together in an occupation which was, as far as he was concerned, his calling in life. It is understandable that such a devoted person would mix all of his experiences together in pursuit of that which he believes to be his life's plan and purpose, and when this is understood, the rich and exotic style in which Messiaen wrote can also become clearly understood.

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