There's a moment of pure harmonic inspiration in the composer's Clair de lune. This post looks at how Debussy composed this music and what that has to do with being a performer of his music as well as being a composer who would like to create similar music. “Impressionism” was first used to mock Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise, pictured b… Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Then he’s got some harmonic exploration with some chromatics (chords that are not part of the key, E major), and this section winds down with an E suspension to an E major. This piece’s technical difficulties mostly lie in its polyrhythms! Tag Archives: Arabesque No.1 August 8, 2013 Harmonic Ingenuity of Debussy: Part 2 (harmonic analysis for the thinking musician) This purpose of this post is to look a little deeper into the theory I made reference to in the last one. Composers, you don’t need to throw in crazy fast rhythms in order for a piece to sound super complex and awe-inspiring. Born on August 22. n, 1862 to Manuel and Victorine Debussy, he suffered from an unstable family life with his father sparsely present in his early years and the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (Lesure 1). Composers, let the melody lead, even if it is as simple as a series of half notes descending by step, and embellish and arrange it later. That one section of polyrhythms is impressive on its own, so Debussy allows that one to shine by diminishing the rest of the rhythms. Polyrhythms are rhythms that don’t divide easily into each other that are sounded simultaneously. 1 by Stephen Malinowski. This cadence contains a root motion of a falling tone and a harmonic motion of a rising minor third. The harmony is a repeat of the cadence of bar 19, albeit transposed down by a perfect fifth. LIKE 3 View Download PDF: No.1 – Complete Score ( Ko) Sheet central: Deux Arabesques (18 sheet music). Example 1 Tonally, this chord of resolution – Debussy notated it as Bfl at7 of course – is the root-position dominant of Dsharp, and more of it will be heard very soon. We have this as the very beginning of the piece, followed by the polyrhythmic main theme of the piece that we looked at in the harmony portion of this analysis. “Exploring melodic sensibilities in a world of music”. It almost feels like the piece could end here – indeed I’ve heard a few younger students’ recitals in which the performer would stop here – but the piece does go on, in a different key, B minor in the  harmony. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. A History of Western Music. The fact that this is the phrase that marks off sections and fundamentally drives the piece is so fascinating then because of the scale’s lack of motion. Matthew Brown, “Tonality and Form in Debussy’s ‘Prélude à ‘L’Après-Midi d’un Faune,’” Music Theory Spectrum 15, no. N2 - Debussy as a tonal composer: reception and stylistic evolution There are many possible ways to approach the question of Debussy's tonality, which over the last fifty years has inspired an unusually diverse range of critical and analytical viewpoints. Claude Debussy was born in France in 1862 into a poor family, but his economic status didn’t deter him from music. It isn’t accounted for tonally by any of the above options, but considering the chromatic root motion immediately preceding and following in addition to wide variety of implied modal and harmonic possibilities for an ascending semitone, the strong implication of an Emajor/C#Minor tonality by this point in the piece and Debussy’s well known affinity for ‘non functional harmony’, it is highly probable that he chose this chord for its timbral qualities. Debussy Arabesque no. 28 No. Thus, impressionist music is similar to program music, but instead of expressing deep-seated emotion, impressionism expresses a single mood or “fleeting sentiment.” This is why Debussy’s music is frequently described as atmospheric or magical. 6 A) Introduction 8 B) Scales 8 C) Modes 12 D) Chords 17 E.) Scales, Modes and Chords : A summary of their overall effect on Debussy's melody and harmony. In this post, we’ll dig into his Arabesque No. A harmonic analysis of Clair de lune by Claude Debussy, in case you've ever wondered what the chords to this piece are. I’m going to talk about the ‘five unique cadences’ previously mentioned in theoretical terms, and I’m going to discuss the harmony ‘somewhat’ abstractly of any overarching cultural and harmonic implications of the piece as a whole. Appendix B—Approach to Melodic Analysis Debussy’s use of Sameness and Continuity in Melody Fig. Reflets dans l’eau by Debussy from Images Book 1. This 55-minute video lesson explores an in-depth look at Arabesque No.1 by Claude Debussy. Additionally, the root motion and modal implication set up the first transposed instance of the ‘m3b5#5’ chord. Claude Debussy, in full Achille-Claude Debussy, (born August 22, 1862, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France—died March 25, 1918, Paris), French composer whose works were a seminal force in the music of the 20th century. The most obvious ones to pick from being one tone down, one semitone up, a major third up or a perfect fifth up. I will be sharing my progress and posting thoughts which present themselves throughout the process via this blog! 1 in E major: Figures Unfolding Pianist Henrik Kilhamn looks at Debussy's 1st Arabesque in E major. Feel the back and forth of the harmonies, the leading of his melodies, his complex rhythms that aren’t over the top. New York: Norton, 793.5. Fig. The one simple chord that shows Claude Debussy was a harmonic genius. Another melody of note comes from the very beginning, the first two measures: At first, it seems like the melody is quick, like it could be every note in every triplet, but at its second entrance, we get a better glimpse at the actual overlying melody. The takeaway for performers is that understanding the repeated harmony patterns can help you learn the piece much quicker, especially the left hand arpeggios, as there are plenty. Because the Arabesque was written by Debussy, the piece indicates the beginnings of the impressionistic music; however, because impressionism itself stems from Romanticism, it retains many Romantic qualities. Ibid., 128.7. Although she may spin to the music, she doesn’t go anywhere or tell a story. results of the analysis are presented in Table 1 and discussed in more detail below. We can’t know if we don’t ask him, but it’s certainly an artistic choice we can consider. This cadence contains a root motion of a rising semitone and a harmonic motion of a tritone. Despite all theories, both old and new, we are still not sure, first, why it is consonant, and second, why the other chords have to bear the stigma of being dissonant.”7. It is a straightforward piano work in ABA form with functional chord progressions and no unusual textures. Satie’s famous Gymnopédie No. Brown, “Tonality and Form,” 127.6. After a build-up beginning at 3:00, the sound fizzles out via whole-tone scales (a type of scale consisting of only whole steps, 3:56) into some lush chords. The First Arabesque has strong antecedents in Bach. Arabesque 1 Debussy, C. Musicians Publications presents Claude Debussy's Arabesque I arranged for flute choir plus by Kris Dorsey. Locrian, implying a Major modality a semitone higher, or a potential 2->5->1 resolution to Minor or Major tonality a tone or minor sixth below. In every entrance after the first one, we see a descending series of half notes: A, G#, F#, E: a lovely and simple melody that was actually hidden in the beginning. TY - CHAP. This is where many students who haven’t had time to learn the entire piece before a recital will stop. Debussy arabesque 1 analysis essay - missleightonlondoncouk Arabesque essay analysis Debussy 1 Debussy arabesque 1 analysis essay - lbfamilyreunioncom Debussy arabesque 2 analysis essay - staypurrfectcom Uk companies act 2006 strategic report essay ... Debussy, Arabesque No1 Harmonic analysis … 2001.4. Debussy’s music has that ineffable *something* that makes listening to it a bit like this: In challenging preconceptions of ornament as marginal and meaningless, this essay shows how arabesque became endowed with structural and expressive significance at the début du siècle. Debussy in Performance, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, 225-255. 1 Andantino con moto from Deux Arabesques, L. 66 and see how we can apply these ideas to our own music as both composers and performers. Of course, Debussy pulls the harmonic rug out from under us once again before we finally reach the new key centre.. but that’s a topic for another blog post! In this arabesque, Debussy favors more back and forth motion, alternating between only two chords for long stretches of time. Impressionism, with its focus on color over form, doesn’t use functional harmony, which means the composer does not seek to go from dominant (V) to tonic (I). Indeed, the next chord in the harmonic progression is an E7/B, and although the harmony is interpolated by a Bm7, the next root motion is to a very clear A7 chord, creating a complete VI7–>iim7–V7–>I7 cycle of fifths. Composed between 1888-1891, Claude Debussy’s set of two arabesques were some of the composer’s earlier works. Now that you have a better idea of what makes Debussy’s work sound magical, go look at some of his other pieces like Clair de lune and see if you can identify the same ideas. The tempo is marked andantino con moto, which means “a little faster than walking pace with motion.” Thus, performers, this is not a race, don’t play it as fast as you can just because you can. Satie’s famous. Once more, it doesn’t adhere to any of the above suggestions for modal or harmonic implications, but there are some interesting observations to make. For example, he wrote at length to rally against the “musical establishment and conventional compositional practice.”5 He questioned the reasoning behind traditional compositional rules like the avoidance of parallel chords and chromatic exploration.6 He even questioned consonance and dissonance: “Nothing is more mysterious than a consonant chord! Harmonic Ingenuity of Debussy: Part 2 (harmonic analysis for the thinking musician). Brown, “Tonality and Form,” 128. An arabesque in ballet is a position in which the standing foot goes on point, the working leg is rotated outward and extended back behind the dancer, and the arms stretch equally outward, like the curlicues of the ornamental pattern. Back in measure 6, the two against three polyrhythm gives the piece its whimsical and buoyant feel, like an autumn leaf gently gliding to earth or a music box ballerina poised in an arabesque and spinning away. An arabesque is a design featuring intricately interweaved lines and patterns, characteristic of Arabic culture, and the texture of this charming composition certainly fits that description. In his tumultuous home environment, the young eight year old Debussy was Although it is mildly unusual in for cadences to move in thirds, the voicing maintains the established structural-intervalic theme and notion of parallelism and continues a logical root motion whilst fitting within accepted notions of Debussy’s non-functional impressionist treatment of harmony. Analysis of Syrinx, pour flûte by Debussy The structure of this piece seems to be very free, almost like an improvisation. A Music Animation Machine video of Debussy’s Arabesque No. Debussy illustrated signs of innovation from an early age. On the other hand, Debussy had a Let’s dig into how Debussy creates this mood by looking at the basic elements of Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, and Growth. The transposed sequence continues into the repeat of the B# b5 #5 before breaking the pattern by cadencing via the same root motion to Bm7; the first root position voicing in this series of resolutions. In music analysis, the category of growth many times covers the topic of the form of a piece, such as sonata-allegro, rondo, or strophic. We feel our way back as the section ends with an E suspension that resolves to E major. Another key observation here is that all the voicings in this passage contain a close interval in the middle register, thus giving incentive for the fifth in the bass which places the major 7 and root in the middle of the voicing whilst maintaining the timbral qualities of the previous resolution. T he Claude Debussy First Arabesque, composed in 1888 in the key of E major, is like an arabesque, an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines. The takeaway here is that despite sounding more atmospheric than most classical motif-driven pieces, melody still plays a fundamental role in this piece. Harmonic Analysis of Debussy’s Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un faune. 1. Following this is a clear key change; even the key signature changes to A major or F# minor, and the overall mood changes: The tempo here is marked “rubato,” meaning freer, so the overall mood is more thoughtful than flowy as before. Remember that the melody gives it a direction. Arabesque no. Ibid.10. 1 was the theme music to PBS’s show Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer. In music, arabesque refers to the use of three compositional devices: These devices act as the curlicues that extend from each musical idea and intertwine with one another. Perhaps this is why his music is reminiscent of ocean waves on the shore. Let’s look at these cadences one at a time. At the age of 11, he entered the Paris Conservatory to study piano.1 He’s remembered as a “quiet revolutionary” for his role in “breathing new life” into the music of the nineteenth century.2 The term “impressionism,” commonly used to describe the music of this era, first found its roots in the visual art of Claude Monet. This cadence contains a root motion of a rising semitone and a harmonic motion of a tritone. The B# b5 #5 arrives smoothly from the preceding F#m7/C# chord by the same root motion and a very similar harmonic (the transposed relative minor) motion to how the F* b5 #5 is approached, we then hear the same chord in a new light as it ‘rocks’ back to the F#m7/C#, a sound which the ear has been prepared for in bar 19. This cadence contains both a root motion and harmonic motion of a descending semitone although the B# could be considered a tritone inversion, which would create a harmonic motion of a perfect fifth (more on this later..). “Claude Debussy,” Biography, accessed July 2, 2019.2. Additionally, Dr. Josh Wright also has a helpful 55-minute tutorial that covers “tone quality, creating color, melodic and harmonic shaping, how to properly execute 2 against 3 polyrhythms, variety in shaping similar musical figures, interpretation, long lines, creating space and atmosphere within the lines, and impressionist stylistic elements to help you become as efficient as possible in your practice sessions” — he describes the more technical aspects of playing this piece in video format that I simply can’t in a written format like this! For example, in the main theme that that first appears in measure 6, the left hand arpeggiates an E major chord, then C#/E, back to E major, then C#/E again. Any of these resolutions could be to a Major, Minor, or indeed, any kind of tonality at all. Music is a magic that can change the world. 4 Debussy to Dukas (concerning the Nocturnes), 11 February 1901: ‘Il est même inutile que la musique fasse penser! 1.1 Debussy’s String Quartet first movement bar 14-16 Fig. Also of importance to note is that these tactics do nothing to propel the piece forward. Gerluz. These cadences begin from the fourth bar of this score: Let’s first discuss briefly the chord that each resolution starts with. You have only to listen. “Arabesque (i).” Grove Music. One final way to understand the arabesque is through ballet. C) Harmonic Tonality 4 CHAPTER II SCALES, MODES AND CHORDS : Their Relationship to Melody and Harmony in the Preludes of Debussy. 1. He developed a highly original system of harmony and musical structure that expressed in many respects the ideals to which the Impressionist and Symbolist painters and writers … The purpose of this thesis is to discuss and give a descriptive analysis of twelve of the twenty-four preludes written by Claude Debussy. 22 August 2016, 17:14 . This purpose of this post is to look a little deeper into the theory I made reference to in the last one. Elements of correlation Pour les arpeges composes (1915)/ Claude Debussy, and the last song I listened to was Steady Study on the Boogie (1993)/ Cops Problem SolvingCops Problem Solving The style more closely resembles some of Debussy’s later works. August 8, 2013 Harmonic Ingenuity of Debussy: Part 2 (harmonic analysis for the thinking musician) This purpose of this post is to look a little deeper … The first in particular has remained a popular piece amongst audiences and performers alike. The fifth in the bass also alludes to the parallelism which is very prevailant in compositions from the expressionist era; see for example the four bars preceding for another occurrence of diatonic parallel voicings. Claude Debussy was born in France in 1862 into a poor family, but his economic status didn’t deter him from music. For composers, the takeaway is that one way to create magical pieces is by stilling the movement of time by repeating two chords. A-graph of the melody of the Prélude. The motion then, comes from the melody itself. Debussy's Arabesque No.1 in E Major was written as a piece for the solo piano in the late Romantic period. Analysis Essay Arabesques Deux Debussy. Pre-Gamelan works Danse bohémienne Danse bohémienne, written when Debussy was 18 years old, displays no unusual characteristics. Claude Debussy: Arabesque No.1 Context. Over the next month for my Masters Degree studies, I am going to be performing an in depth analysis of Debussy’s ‘Arabesque No.1’, [I’m testing out a new app to post updates from my phone, bear with me if some of the links don’t work]. Like the closing bars of the first arabesque, this arabesque closes in a similar fashion. 1988. Debussy arabesque 1 analysis essay - easyyardsalesinfo Debussy arabesque 1 analysis essay - cbsechampscom Deux arabesques analysis essay - stgeorgevacationhomecom How to Play and Teach Debussy - stevepurcom Arabesque Analysis - scribdcom Debussy First Arabesque Amplified - Grand Piano Passion Debussy, Arabesque No1 Harmonic analysis work in. Looking at measure 6 again (pictured above), if you put the notes in order from the low E to the higher E, you get E, F#, G#, B, C#, and back to E: This is a major pentatonic scale (steps 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 from a regular major scale), which doesn’t inherently possess a desire for motion, as it doesn’t contain the leading tone. 1, I like to picture a music box featuring a ballerina in arabesque. Brown, Maurice J. E. and Kenneth L. Hamilton. 2001.9. Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Claude Debussy had a huge influence both in his native France and on European composers more generally. It frequently draws new students to the piano with the desire of playing his most famous pieces like Clair de lune and Arabesque No. Arabesque No. 1 early in his career, around 1888, a couple of years before Clair de lune. She merely uses her presence to create a whimsical and peaceful mood. Whole/Half Diminished, implying no diatonic tonality in particular, but facilitating a huge number of potential resolutions. T1 - Debussy's tonality. T2 - A formal perspective. These are what make his melodies sound so airy: there’s a lot of space in between each note. Repetition of the ... 26 – 27 Restates Bars 1 – 2, with a variation in Bar 27 but ending as before on B♭. There aren’t any crazy 32nd notes, trills, or anything truly fast. We’ll talk a little more about the importance of harmony in the order of events when we look at growth. Yet there’s more in the music then its contours. Example 1.1 Fig. 1, Twinkling Possibilities: Performance Tips and Theory Tidbits for Mozart's 12 Variations on 'Ah vous dirai-je, Maman,' Part 1, 5 Ways to Avoid Frustration While Practicing an Instrument, Harmonies that rapidly change without urging the piece forward. The minor to dominant parallel motion now seems to suggest a secondary dominant functionality which sets up a very clean VI7(F#)–>iim7(B) cadence. In this case, the B# b5 #5 could be considered a tritone inverted Altered voicing which resolves down a semitone through the continued chromatic bass motion. “Impressionism.” Grove Music. There is more harmonic exploration, but eventually we get back to the familiar bookend idea of the first measure. If the piece were longer, I imagine Debussy might have included this idea as chapter headings for each episode, but it is a fairly short piece overall, so he ends here with a delightful and cheery coda section built of the material from the beginning: The entire piece ends clearly with a repeated E major triad, so although Debussy didn’t use traditional functional harmony, we definitely feel “home” when we get to the end. Remember that in ballet, an arabesque is stretched out and suspended in time, so allow yourself time to stretch in this piece. Y1 - 2003/1/1. PY - 2003/1/1. 4, The Selection: How to Pick Piano Repertoire to Increase Momentum and Avoid Frustration, Creating Magic: Debussy's Arabesque No. Two great editions with helpful fingerings and historical notes: Henle | Alfred. Grout, Donald Jay, and Claude V Palisca. Debussy rejected these traditional forms, so luckily we don’t have to go into the history of all of these and their many evolutions.10. This cadence contains a root motion of a falling minor third and a harmonic motion of a rising tone. Example 1: Arabesque theme c. Analysis The arabesque theme marks the onset of Rotation 1 (example 2) and establishes the key of Bb minor. It is interesting to note how Debussy uses this F#m7/C# chord as a ‘pivot’ for harmonic modulation here. . Depressing all the notes in a major pentatonic scale at the same time sounds pleasant (like when you tell a kid to just play on the black notes, because they don’t sound bad together). Although quite an early work, the arabesques contain hints of Debussy's developing musical style. Then, we have the beginning figure again, except with the half-notes overtop of it: This is followed by an exploratory section, where there isn’t a clear key center. The Two Arabesques (Deux arabesques), L. 66, is a pair of arabesques composed for piano by Claude Debussy when he was still in his twenties, between the years 1888 and 1891.. AU - Pomeroy, Boyd. At the age of 11, he entered the Paris Conservatory to study piano.1, He’s remembered as a “quiet revolutionary” for his role in “breathing new life” into the music of the nineteenth century.2 The term “impressionism,” commonly used to describe the music of this era, first found its roots in the visual art of Claude Monet. Title 1, L. 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