Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Keyboard Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Tian Ying

Second Committee Member

Santiago Rodriguez

Third Committee Member

Evelyne Brancart

Fourth Committee Member

Charles Mason


This essay is a study and performance guide for pianists that compares the orchestral and pianistic elements of Marius Constant’s "Gaspard de la nuit" for orchestra with Ravel’s "Gaspard de la nuit" for solo piano. The study of orchestration and instrumentation can shed light on the variable timbres, colors and different interpretations that pianists can utilize in their learning and interpreting of a piece. The effect of Constant’s choice of timbres, layering and the organization of the latter pushes the boundaries of what is on the written page. This study is based on studies of the historical, literary, and compositional approach of Ravel’s creative process seen in "Gaspard de la nuit" and on the comparison of Constant's orchestra version with Ravel's piano version. This performance guide offers an interpretation inspired by the orchestral effects, as well as technical suggestions for pianists seeking ease in communicating the story of a work of such technical and musical magnitude.


Gaspard de la nuit; Maurice Ravel; Marius Constant; piano; orchestration; performance guide