Maurice Ravel, Ma mère L’oye: Analysis and Discussion

Ma mère l’Oye is a piano piece that Maurice Ravel wrote originally as a duet on a single piano. The title is French for “Mother Goose”. The piano four hands version was arranged for piano solo by his friend Jacques Charlot in the same year that it was published.

The original piano suite consists of five movements

I. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
“Pavane of Sleeping Beauty”, Lent

II. Petit Poucet
“Little Tom Thumb”, Très modéré

III. Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes
“Little Ugly Girl, Empress of the Pagodas”, Mouvt de marche.

IV. Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête
“Conversation of Beauty and the Beast”, Mouvt de valse très modéré

V. Le jardin féerique
“The Fairy Garden”, Lent et grave

MusiClassroom has written on further details about how Ma mère L’oye was later orchestrated by Ravel. Known for his richly colored orchestra works, Ravel places each melody and harmony on a variety of instruments in unison.

Sponsor: Love typography? Typeface Trivia Playing Cards: 52 cards each showcasing a distinct favorite typeface

Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *