Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Cynthia Anderson

Committee Co-Chair

John Weigand

Committee Member

Alison Helm

Committee Member

Mikylah Myers

Committee Member

William Haller


This research document contextualizes the compositional influences found within Francis Poulenc’s oboe sonata. In his lifetime, Poulenc was an extremely well-connected individual, often dedicating his works to his close friends and patrons. The Sonata for Oboe and Piano, in particular, is one of these compositions dedicated to his friend and famous composer Sergei Prokofiev. Written in 1962 toward the end of Poulenc’s life, he glanced back to the start of the twentieth century for inspiration and source material. The oboe sonata is then a collage of sorts—it takes on the shared contextual principles of Les Six in which he was a member, direct thematic material from Sergei Prokofiev, and self-quotations of his other two late works for winds. This document explores these influences and attempts to source the thematic and extramusical elements found within by performing a comparative analysis using research compiled from Poulenc scholar Keith Daniel, theorist Pamela Poulin, and feminist scholar and oboist Margaret Grant. The document also explores a subsequent “Poulencien” influence on modern neoclassical oboe settings by reviewing oboist Siobhán Ciulla’s research document, “Two Examples of Neo-Classicism in France from the Early and Late Twentieth Century: Francis Poulenc's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano (1926) and Jean Françaix's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon, and Piano (1994).” Finally, this research document aims to aid performers in actualizing a better understanding of Poulenc’s oboe sonata that can translate into a more authentic performance.