Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



First Advisor

Herndon Spillman


Guy Bovet, b. 1942, has a compositional output including over 130 instrumental and vocal works. His organ compositions are comparatively few. Nonetheless, these are of great value to the recital organist looking for new material, the church organist looking for material, the church organist looking for meritorious psalm- and hymn-tune settings, and for the organ student of one to three years needing challenging but not-too-difficult music (some of which can be played on one manual with no pedals), clearly marked with registration instructions. This composer/performer/teacher/writer/scholar, winner of numerous competitions in performance and improvisation, was born into a family well-known in Swiss musical circles. He is active in many Swiss musical societies, and is keenly interested in historical organs and organ music of Latin countries. This interest has led not only to three series of recordings but also to sponsorship of first the Swiss government, then the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, for a survey of Mexican and Brazilian organs of the early Colonial period. This paper is a descriptive presentation of Bovet's organ works. Chapter One is a biography; Chapter Two is a descriptive listing of (1) larger organ works (concertos, works for two organs, solo works for one organ; and (2) 95 smaller organ works for organ solo (chorale settings, psalm tune settings, brief descriptive pieces, free pieces). Chapter Three is a brief consideration of stylistic features in the organ works. The composer's forms often derive from late Renaissance/early Baroque forms, particularly the Spanish diferencias. He uses chromaticism, polytonality, and polymeter within the framework of classically balanced phrases that are often lengthened by virtuosic ornamental passages to which this writer has applied the term glosas, after the New Harvard Dictionary definition. The descriptive listing for each work includes title of piece, date of composition, premiere information if available, length in pages and measures (for individual movements), commentary, and brief musical examples from each movement of each work, with the exception of the music in Intonations and the 1972 Pieces d'orgue. From these two collections, a few representative examples have been quoted at greater length.