François-Bernard Mâche (born April 4, 1935 Clermont-Ferrand) is a French composer of contemporary music. He is a former student of Émile Passani and Olivier Messiaen and has also received a diploma in Greek archaeology (1957) and a teaching certificate (Agrégation de Lettres classiques, 1958). He has composed electroacoustic, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal and piano works. He has been a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts since 2002 and occupies the chair of the late Iannis Xenakis.
Mâche's Music, Myth and Nature, or The Dolphins of Arion (Musique, mythe, nature, ou les Dauphins d'Arion) (1983, 1992 ISBN 3718653214), which as a whole argues for a return in composition to mythic thought, includes a study of "ornitho-musicology" using a technique of Nicolas Ruwet's Language, musique, poésie (1972) paradigmatic segmentation analysis, shows that birdsongs are organized according to a repetition-transformation principle. One purpose of the book was to “begin to speak of animal musics other than with the quotation marks” (Mâche 1992: 114), and he is credited by Dario Martinelli with the creation of zoomusicology.
The book also describes the conception and composition of pieces by Mâche, where, "As a starting point, he borrows a tonal model from reality which he then submits to a highly intricate process leading to abstraction." This technique leads Daniel Durney to describe Mâche as "one of the rare exponents of the naturalistic trend in music." Models often include human speech and bird song.
Works include Eridan, String Quartet op. 57 (1986), written for the Arditti Quartet.