Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The influence of J. S. Bach and Paul Taffanel on the romances for flute by Saint-Saëns and Widor
by Hirabayashi, Catherine R., M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 33; 10127015
Abstract (Summary)

The compositions of the French composer Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937) are often overlooked amongst the more well-known compositions of his time. However, over the years his teachings and music have proven to be valuable specifically, in preserving J.S. Bach’s compositional style and legacy for flute. Widor was a strict teacher and mentor with high standards for both his organ students at the Paris Conservatorie and himself alike. Alongside Widor’s instruction, the teachings of Paul Taffanel (1844–1908), a flute professor at the Paris Conservatoire and colleague to Widor, made ground-breaking impact on the study and development of the modern flute. In any ways, Taffanel solidified standard repertoire for the flute, including returning the music of J.S. Bach to the flute repertory.

In this paper, personal and professional correspondence between Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), Paul Taffanel, and Charles-Marie Widor are examined in the search to uncover Bach’s influence and legacy in today’s standard flute repertoire. The aim of this paper is to illuminate the direct influences of Bach’s flute music on later generations of composers and further solidify his significant role in music history. Though the music of Bach may be considered outdated for the modern “popular” music scene of todays current society, his writings still hold weight in all genres of music. Through the study of Baroque performance practice, history, pedagogy, and personal and professional relationships, the function of music and its compositional development through time are better understood.

This investigation into J.S. Bach’s influence on the teachings of Paul Taffanel represents an attempt to establish a foundation for the practice and development of the modern flute. The integration of Bach’s music in standard flute repertoire is both significant and essential for the overall musical and technical development of flute performance. Through this, one can clearly connect the music of Bach to later Romantic Era composers such as Camille Saint-Saëns and Charles-Marie Widor. The establishment of these connections and analysis of Bach’s influence will bring to light a a greater understanding of Baroque music for future generations of flutists.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barcellona, John
Commitee: Doyle, Alicia M., Hickman, Roger, Urso-Trapani, Rena
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Bach, Johann Sebastian, Flute, France, Paris Conservatoire, Saint-Saens, Charles-Camille, Taffanel, Paul, Widor, Charles-Marie
Publication Number: 10127015
ISBN: 9781339850535
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