Calculating and Singing the Melody Sequences in Fauré's Song “Les Matelots”

Miriam Fradera Gajo
Proceedings of Bridges 2011: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2011)
Pages 631–632


This workshop explores a song by Gabriel Fauré, Les Matelots, Op. 2, No. 2, composed ca. 1870 and first published in 1876. The song's text is by Théophile Gautier and gives a picture of the sailor’s life, that is, the music of a trip. Throughout the song, the music explores regions that are distinct from the original key (modulations). These modulations sometimes are repetitions of the melody on a higher pitch. We are going to observe, calculate and sing these repetitions, called sequences. The music trip in this trip music gets to its destination as it reaches the final tonic chord with the French word ``Dieu'' at the peak and end.