The Catholic University of America

Post-Tonal French Music and Thought 

Dr. Robert Baker


Many French composers of the last century have had explicit or implicit connections to certain fellow French writers, thinkers, and philosophers. Often these relationships are overlooked or not considered in the context of a music-theoretical analysis. In this seminar we will investigate relations between music and writings by composers and figures such as Messiaen, Varèse, Boulez, Dutilleux, Grisey, Dusapin, Bergson, Deleuze, Nattiez, Kristeva, and Proust.  Our goal will be to suggest ways in which various French extra-musical theories and ideas might suggest newer modes of analysis and lead to more contemporary conceptualizations of modern French musical languages, forms, and listening experiences.


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