Messiaen produced a range of writings on the subject of his own works and those of composers he admired, and penned his thoughts on an array of musical and non-musical topics. Although he was far from the first, or last, composer to leave a record of personal insights into his own music, the scale and detail of his writings are extraordinary. His written output, dominated by the Traité de rythme, de couleur, et d’ornithologie, can be divided roughly into three categories:

• treatises • analyses of other composers’ works • presentations and conferences.