Edouard Vuillermoz (1869-1939) was a horn player and teacher who studied and later taught at the Paris Conservatory during the early twentieth century. As did many of the professors from the Conservatory, Vuillermoz published works for the horn. Unfortunately, his name has largely faded into obscurity and most of his works are no longer in print, yet one has remained in the repertoire and is still available for purchase today—Dix Pièces Mélodiques. Published in 1927 by Alphonse-Leduc, Vuillermoz desired for his students a set of etudes that would teach mastery of transposition, but he was not a composer. The ten transposition exercises he created were selected and transcribed from a compilation of vocalises commissioned by a vocal professor at the Conservatory, Amédée-Louis Hettich (1856-1937).
Hettich desired vocalise-etudes that would able aid and inspire his students, so he commissioned over one-hundred-fifty vocalises by modern composers during the first half of the twentieth century. Composers including Bozza, Copland, Dukas, Fauré, Messiaen, Nielsen, Ravel, and Tomasi answered his call for works between 1906 and 1938. These modern vocalise-etudes have since disappeared from the vocal repertoire. Now, a century later, many of these studies have entered the public domain and are resurfacing as instrumental transcriptions and concert etudes. This study promotes awareness of Edouard Vuillermoz’s Dix Pièces Mélodiques and advocates for their inclusion in a modern revival.