Krawitz, Justin

Committee Member

Rothmel, Edward

Committee Member

Reddick, Carissa

Committee Member

Golson, Emily


College of Performing and Visual Arts; School of Music, Collaborative Piano


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



145 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


This dissertation presents an analysis of musical elements in Olivier Messiaen’s Chants de terre et de ciel in order to facilitate performance preparation of the work. To begin, general information about Messiaen’s religious and musical upbringing is introduced, as well as relevant details of his marriage to Claire Delbos and the birth of their son, Pascal. This is followed by a discussion of the poems which Messiaen set in the Chants and their surrealistic aspects. The musical analysis begins with an examination of Messiaen’s compositional techniques as outlined in Technique de mon langage musical, followed by discussions of those elements as they appear in the Chants. The songs are analyzed according to Messiaen’s modes of limited transposition, accords spéciaux, other means of pitch organization, and rhythmic organizations. Finally, the author presents practical guidance to aid performance preparation of the Chants. This guidance addresses several performance considerations particular to Messiaen and includes specific counting and coordination strategies to assist the pianist, singer, and ensemble. The analysis of the poetry, music, and performance considerations in this dissertation aims to support performers in developing an understanding of musical organization in the Chants and devising strategies for effective rehearsal of the work.

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Copyright is held by the author.