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The Invention of the Oboe and its Spread through Europe

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the events surrounding the creation of the oboe and its rapid spread throughout Europe during the mid to late seventeenth century. The first section describes similar instruments that existed for thousands of

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the events surrounding the creation of the oboe and its rapid spread throughout Europe during the mid to late seventeenth century. The first section describes similar instruments that existed for thousands of years before the invention of the oboe. The following sections examine reasons and methods for the oboe's invention, as well as possible causes of its migration from its starting place in France to other European countries, as well as many other places around the world. I conclude that the oboe was invented to suit the needs of composers in the court of Louis XIV, and that it was brought to other countries by French performers who left France for many reasons, including to escape from the authority of composer Jean-Baptiste Lully and in some cases to promote French culture in other countries.

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2015-05

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Mel Bonis: six works for flute and piano

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The end of the nineteenth century was an exhilarating and revolutionary era for the flute. This period is the Second Golden Age of the flute, when players and teachers associated with the Paris Conservatory developed what would be considered the

The end of the nineteenth century was an exhilarating and revolutionary era for the flute. This period is the Second Golden Age of the flute, when players and teachers associated with the Paris Conservatory developed what would be considered the birth of the modern flute school. In addition, the founding in 1871 of the Société Nationale de Musique by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) and Romain Bussine (1830-1899) made possible the promotion of contemporary French composers. The founding of the Société des Instruments à Vent by Paul Taffanel (1844-1908) in 1879 also invigorated a new era of chamber music for wind instruments. Within this groundbreaking environment, Mélanie Hélène Bonis (pen name Mel Bonis) entered the Paris Conservatory in 1876, under the tutelage of César Franck (1822-1890). Many flutists are dismayed by the scarcity of repertoire for the instrument in the Romantic and post-Romantic traditions; they make up for this absence by borrowing the violin sonatas of Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) and Franck. The flute and piano works of Mel Bonis help to fill this void with music composed originally for flute. Bonis was a prolific composer with over 300 works to her credit, but her works for flute and piano have not been researched or professionally recorded in the United States before the present study. Although virtually unknown today in the American flute community, Bonis's music received much acclaim from her contemporaries and deserves a prominent place in the flutist's repertoire. After a brief biographical introduction, this document examines Mel Bonis's musical style and describes in detail her six works for flute and piano while also offering performance suggestions.

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2013

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Twentieth Century morceaux de concours for Oboe: A Study of Works Performed from 1920-1999

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ABSTRACT

The annual concours, or examens de fin d’année, of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) is a centuries-old tradition that began in 1797. It serves to determine each participating student’s readiness for graduation. For

ABSTRACT

The annual concours, or examens de fin d’année, of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP) is a centuries-old tradition that began in 1797. It serves to determine each participating student’s readiness for graduation. For each competition from 1797-1999, specific pieces were assigned for each instrument. Through much of the nineteenth century, conservatory professors wrote these pieces for their students. In the twentieth century, the practice of assigning works previously written by other composers or commissioning new works by (usually) French composers became the norm. Oboists outside of France tend to associate terms such as “conservatory pieces” or “concours pieces” with pieces assigned during the nineteenth century, while generally overlooking twentieth century morceaux de concours. The purpose of this paper is to bring these forgotten pieces to light and provide background information to help oboists determine the suitability of these pieces for their own performance contexts.

Because research regarding the pieces selected during Professor Georges Gillet’s tenure (1882-1919) is already available, this paper focuses on the pieces selected from 1920-1999. A list of required pieces for oboe from 1824-2000, obtained from CNSMDP archive manager Sophie Lévy, made possible the compilation of an annotated bibliography of morceaux de concours for oboe from 1920-1999. (The annotated bibliography ends with the 1999 concours because, since 2000, oboists have been required to select their own programs.) The bibliography lists every piece that was performed, but only gives detailed descriptions of (1) twentieth century pieces that were specifically commissioned for the concours and (2) twentieth century pieces selected, but not specifically commissioned, for the concours, that are not considered to be part of the standard oboe repertoire. A brief description of trends observed within this set of contest pieces follows the bibliography, along with appendices intended to facilitate more productive use of the bibliography.

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2020