\"\"
Piano Forum logo

Debussy Info (Read 9062 times)

Offline steve jones

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1380
Debussy Info
« on: June 27, 2006, 06:00:16 AM »

Just wondered if anyone had any good sources for technical info on Debussy's music. Im interested in his impressionistic style, and would like to learn more about it. A couple of things have jumped out at me (like the blatent parallelism, whole tone and other scales).

But I dont have enough info to really get an understand of this music. I was listen to La Mer earlier on, and theres a fantastic moment around 2.00min into the first movement that sounds like nothing Iv heard from previous composers. Id love to read a good analysis paper on this passage!

SJ
 

Offline Derek

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1884
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #1 on: June 28, 2006, 02:29:15 AM »
Hmm. Interesting you mention paralellism, my own music is often compared to Debussy and Ravel, maybe those comparisons at least objectively have some truth in them.

Offline steve jones

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1380
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #2 on: June 28, 2006, 03:16:53 AM »

Indeed, Iv noticed alot of that technique.

Listen to his prelude No 10 Bk 1 (La cathedrale engloutie). The opening is basically a load of 1, 5, 8 chords playing pentatonic runs. Sounds nice though, kind of oriental (which make sense considering how their traditional music is cut!).

SJ

Offline Derek

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1884
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #3 on: June 30, 2006, 04:25:58 PM »
Debussy rules. Have you heard his Reverie? He has some consecutive fifths in some of the chord progressions...considered "wrong" by common era practice,  but when I listen to this passage (the long rolling 9th chords and romantic melody which climaxes with a big augmented chord)...its one of the most gorgeous moments in all piano music I think!

Offline steve jones

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1380
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #4 on: July 01, 2006, 05:57:29 PM »

Yeah, totally. His style is growing on my big time. Also, Ravel and Sibelius pull some similar tricks.

Debussy's La Mer has to be the ultimate. What a thoroughly AMAZING piece of music!

SJ

Offline Tash

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2248
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006, 11:48:12 PM »
actually there's an entire book on la mer, i randomly saw it when i was on a search for debussy books for a musicology presentation like 3 years ago. i can't remember who it was by, but i'm sure if you look on amzon or anywhere you'll find it.
'J'aime presque autant les images que la musique' Debussy

Offline cjp_piano

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 02:52:02 AM »
I love Debussy!  So much that I did a research project in grad school titled "Harmony and Tonality in Debussy's Piano Music." 

It addresses some of his influences (musicians - Bach, Rameau, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner; impressionistic painters - Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissaro; symbolist poets - Verlaine, Mallarme)

There are musical examples of his use of harmonic progressions, both traditional ( ii V I ) and non-traditional ( I iii bIII I ), the whole-tone scale and augmented chords, modes, polytonality, pentatonic scale, non-functional dominant seventh chords, etc.

I wanted to understand the ways Debussy was able to create certain sounds.  It's interesting because Debussy himself said, "Let us maintain that the beauty of a work of art must always remain mysterious; that is to say, it is impossible to explain how it is created . . . let us not attempt to destroy or explain it" (from Debussy Letters).

Debussy's close friend Rene Peter said, "to judge by his works, and by their titles, he is a painter and that is what he wants to be; he calls his compositions pictures, sketches, prints, arabesques, masques, studies in black and white.  Plainy it is his delight to paint in music" (from Images; The Piano Music of Claude Debussy).

Anyway, if you are interested, I can maybe email you my findings, but i have a whole host of musical examples, maybe I could scan them in or make a pdf or something. 



Offline steve jones

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1380
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #7 on: July 02, 2006, 03:00:31 AM »
I love Debussy!  So much that I did a research project in grad school titled "Harmony and Tonality in Debussy's Piano Music." 

It addresses some of his influences (musicians - Bach, Rameau, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner; impressionistic painters - Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissaro; symbolist poets - Verlaine, Mallarme)

There are musical examples of his use of harmonic progressions, both traditional ( ii V I ) and non-traditional ( I iii bIII I ), the whole-tone scale and augmented chords, modes, polytonality, pentatonic scale, non-functional dominant seventh chords, etc.

I wanted to understand the ways Debussy was able to create certain sounds.  It's interesting because Debussy himself said, "Let us maintain that the beauty of a work of art must always remain mysterious; that is to say, it is impossible to explain how it is created . . . let us not attempt to destroy or explain it" (from Debussy Letters).

Debussy's close friend Rene Peter said, "to judge by his works, and by their titles, he is a painter and that is what he wants to be; he calls his compositions pictures, sketches, prints, arabesques, masques, studies in black and white.  Plainy it is his delight to paint in music" (from Images; The Piano Music of Claude Debussy).

Anyway, if you are interested, I can maybe email you my findings, but i have a whole host of musical examples, maybe I could scan them in or make a pdf or something. 


Yeah, that would be superb! Much appreciated.

tm957904@yahoo.co.uk

SJ

 

Offline tommypeters

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 4
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 05:55:46 PM »
Hey - I love http://www.remixdj.co.uk/remixes/clair-de-lune/ too - so much that I dedicated an entire page of my website to both original and contemporary remixes. Have I gone a step too far???
T. Peters

Offline brianvds

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
Re: Debussy Info
«Reply #9 on: June 06, 2012, 07:09:03 AM »
It addresses some of his influences (musicians - Bach, Rameau, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner; impressionistic painters - Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Pissaro; symbolist poets - Verlaine, Mallarme)

It was my understanding that he didn't particularly like impressionist art and hated to be called a musical impressionist (and Manet didn't want to be called an impressionist either!). Still, it is almost impossible to listen to some of Debussy's works without thinking of impressionist painting.

Reflections on the water:



Fêtes:



Had Debussy decided to take up art as hobby, and had he become proficient enough at it to successfully express himself that way, it might have been very instructive to see what he would have painted. :-)