Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


The composer Maurice Ravel described his three-song cycle Chansons madécasses as containing "a new element, dramatic -- indeed erotic, resulting from the subject matter of [Evariste] Parny's poems." This paper explores the disparate and sometimes conflicting 'voices' -- of cultures, of instruments, of ideologies – arising from the depictions of exoticism, racial violence, gender and sexuality within both music and text. These 'voices' and the conflicts of which they speak are also examined in the context of Ravel's overall oeuvre, with an emphasis on his career-long preoccupation with the exotic in art.

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