Jaren Hinckley

Composer / Clarinetist


I’m Listening to Everything by Gabriel Fauré

November 11, 2014



TITLE: Pavane, Op. 50


I chose the subject for this post for a couple of reasons—one, it’s simply a lovely piece that is emotionally expressive; and, two, it’s an ear bug.  For those of you who may not know what I mean by “ear bug,” I will happily explain.  An ear bug is different from an ear worm.  An ear worm is a melody that you cannot get out of your head.  I invented the term “ear bug” to refer to music that SOUNDS like another piece of music, but there’s likely no real connection between the two pieces (or, in other words, I don’t believe the latter composer copied the former—it’s just happenstance).  Today’s ear bug is the theme music to the Disney Channel animated kids show “Gravity Falls.”  My kids have been obsessed with this show lately so I hear the theme song a lot.  Every time the main melody begins I can’t help thinking of Faure’s Pavane.  Again, I am not making the assertion that the composer of “Gravity Falls” was copying Fauré.  In fact, I’m positive it’s merely coincidence.  Here are some silly examples of how I hear it every time my kids watch the show.  Here’s the beginning of the theme song:

And here’s the part that is the ear bug (repeated four times, so that it really gets stuck in your head!):

Here’s the opening of Faure’s pavane, performed by orchestra (first example is a slow tempo performance, and the second example is a faster tempo):

And here’s a mash-up of “Gravity Falls” and Faure’s “Pavane.”

You’re welcome!



Fauré’s Pavane is slow, beautiful, and emotional.  Although Faure originally composed the piece for solo piano, it is much more famous for his orchestrated version. Here’s a link to a Youtube video of an orchestral performance:



If you search for it on Wikipedia you will see how frequently it has been co-opted by pop culture.  It’s really popular!






For me, the highlight is not necessarily the beautiful main melody that repeats many times throughout the piece, but is actually when that melody has harmony added to it.  It heightens the emotion of the melody and pulls the listener into the beauty of it.  And because this piece is so popular, it has been arranged and transcribed for other instrument combinations.  Here are a few brief examples:

First, the original version, for solo piano:

Then an arrangement for cello:

And an arrangement for viola:

And an arrangement for oboe (I am particularly fond of the oboe!):



A huge amount of music, but I’ll get to it!