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BIBLIOTHEQUE-LEDUC THE TECHNIQUE OF MY MUSICAL LANGUAGE OLIVIER MESSIAEN Profesor at the National Conservatory of Music ‘Traoalated by Joun Serer = tet Volume : TEXT. -esssseesssseese Prox maj. 58 f. 2nd Volume : MUSICAL EXAMPLES. . h. ALPHONSE LEDUC Eadtions Musicales, 175, rue Saint-Honoré I TO GUY BERNARD-DELAPIERRE | Introduction to the English Translation The translation into English of Olivier Messiaen's The Technique of My Musical Language hhas been prompted by several factors. M. Messiaen’s growth in the past decade as an inter~ national figure in mid-Twentieth-Century music has demanded attention from various artistic quarters. As a contemporary musician of stature, ML. Messiaen should find a ready audience for his comments on any aspect of the current musical scene, particularly on those aspects which most affect his own production. Tolerance and appreciation of any given music are always enhanced by a microcosmic approach to an understanding of the technical procedures involved. In this relatively brief book, the composer has laid out for properly equipped readers a clear outline of certain principles of construction he has employed in composition. Made aware of these principles, the listener brings to the music a more meaningful receptiveness. ‘The cataloguing and explanation of methods of building tonal structures may strike a creative response in a student or mature composer. ‘The book is one of the growing number of works on contemporary theory and practice which will contribute to the history of music in our century. For all these reasons it has appeared desirable to make M. Messiaen's book available to those English-speaking persons to whom French is not readily aceessible. ‘The only departures from a quite literal rendition of the original text have been those occ sioned by idiomatic dissimilarities of the languages involved. For the musical examples the second volume of the French publication will be used. The few remarks thal required trans- lation in that volume are presented in table form at its beginning. My thanks are due to M. Messiaen and the house of Alphonse Leduc for their gracious encoura- gement of this project and to my friends, Carl Baxter, Robert Gould, and Frank Justice, for careful and critical reading of the manuscript of the translation, Joun SaTrenrietD. Chapel Hill, North Carolina.