1.2 Ravel’s String Quartet first movement bar 24-26 All of these similarities made the quartet almost judged as plagiarism and Ravel was heavily claimed as Debussy’s imitator. The first observation to make here is that a Locrian modality seems strongly suggested. Pre-Gamelan works Danse bohémienne Danse bohémienne, written when Debussy was 18 years old, displays no unusual characteristics. Although quite an early work, the arabesques contain hints of Debussy's developing musical style. After this, however, what occurred on the first page happens again almost identically, and we as audience members wonder if the piece is coming to an end, or if this is just another pause before another section of exploration. It can also help you memorize the piece as a whole because you know what’s coming next. Locrian (natural 2), implying a Melodic Minor modality a minor third higher, or a potential 2->5->1 resolution identical to the ‘Major key’ Locrian mode. Endorsed by Madame Claude Debussy "It is so rare to hear and interpretationso scrupulously exact and comprehensive" Published by Schroeder and Gunther, Inc. NewYork 1932 Concerning Pedaling Concerning the Piano Examples Approaching Debussy Debussy in Performance, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, 225-255. A Music Animation Machine video of Debussy’s Arabesque No. There is more harmonic exploration, but eventually we get back to the familiar bookend idea of the first measure. 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. Scored for 4 C flutes, alto flute, and bass flute, this arrangement also includes optional parts for bassoon or cello to add to the bass sound if desirable. This is where many students who haven’t had time to learn the entire piece before a recital will stop. Claude Debussy. Glad you enjoyed it! 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. Polyrhythms are rhythms that don’t divide easily into each other that are sounded simultaneously. 1, I like to picture a music box featuring a ballerina in arabesque. 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. 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. 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). 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. This piece’s technical difficulties mostly lie in its polyrhythms! Claude Debussy: Arabesque No.1 Context. 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. Schelling puts it, these devices create “frozen music.”9. This 55-minute video lesson explores an in-depth look at Arabesque No.1 by Claude Debussy. In popular culture. 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. 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. This piece was in fact composed in the same period during which he was exposed to ethnic music (specifically Gamalan) for the first time in his life, and indeed features some of the earliest examples of using pentatonic scales in his composition. Pleasure is the law’. 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. Arabesque #1 New York: Norton, 793.5. This cadence contains a root motion of a rising semitone and a harmonic motion of a tritone. Music is a magic that can change the world. 1 in E major: Figures Unfolding Pianist Henrik Kilhamn looks at Debussy's 1st Arabesque in E major. 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. Ibid.10. Matthew Brown, “Tonality and Form in Debussy’s ‘Prélude à ‘L’Après-Midi d’un Faune,’” Music Theory Spectrum 15, no. An F# Dorian mode is suggested by the resolution and it seems to be a reasonably diatonic movement. LIKE 3 View Download PDF: No.1 – Complete Score ( Ko) Sheet central: Deux Arabesques (18 sheet music). “Exploring melodic sensibilities in a world of music”. Title 1, L. Simone Renzi. It is a straightforward piano work in ABA form with functional chord progressions and no unusual textures. This cadence contains a root motion of a rising semitone and a harmonic motion of a tritone. Any of these resolutions could be to a Major, Minor, or indeed, any kind of tonality at all. Debussy Arabesque no. In this post, we’ll dig into his Arabesque No. There aren’t any crazy 32nd notes, trills, or anything truly fast. We can’t know if we don’t ask him, but it’s certainly an artistic choice we can consider. The motion then, comes from the melody itself. 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. 1 is an easy piece to improvise over if you’re looking for somewhere to start, but you can just as easily use the left hand of measures 6 and 7 of this arabesque to practice writing over. “In relation to music, impressionism is an approach to composition that aims to evoke moods and sensuous impressions mainly through harmony and tone color.”4. 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. AU - Pomeroy, Boyd. Debussy, Claude. 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. It frequently draws new students to the piano with the desire of playing his most famous pieces like Clair de lune and Arabesque No. 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. Remember that in ballet, an arabesque is stretched out and suspended in time, so allow yourself time to stretch in this piece. The pitch-class D is the link to the next new harmony : a root-position D major seventh (m. 11). TY - CHAP. You have only to listen. Its descent, or fall, is what drives the piece forward, which is why, despite being built from a still scale, Debussy cannot end the piece with this motif. 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. 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 four note voicing contains (on top of the root) a ‘b3/#9’, ‘b5/#4’ and ‘#5/b13’. Although she may spin to the music, she doesn’t go anywhere or tell a story. 4, The Selection: How to Pick Piano Repertoire to Increase Momentum and Avoid Frustration, Creating Magic: Debussy's Arabesque No. This lends a great ambiguity to the chord’s harmonic and modal implication. In his tumultuous home environment, the young eight year old Debussy was 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]. Claude Debussy was born in France in 1862 into a poor family, but his economic status didn’t deter him from music. 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. Remember that the melody gives it a direction. remind the listeners of Debussy’s composition9. Debussy's Arabesque No.1 in E Major was written as a piece for the solo piano in the late Romantic period. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Book Review: Emotion and Meaning in Music by Leonard B. Meyer, Countdown to 2020: The Top 5 Posts of 2019 – Girl in Blue Music, The Power of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor, Op. There's a moment of pure harmonic inspiration in the composer's Clair de lune. “Impressionism” was first used to mock Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise, pictured below.3. Perhaps this is why his music is reminiscent of ocean waves on the shore. 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.. Again notable is a hint of the pentatonic scale. The ending of this movement is one of Debussy’s best moments. Y1 - 2003/1/1. 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. Other than this polyrhythmic figure, however, the rhythm is gentle throughout the rest of the piece. 1 early in his career, around 1888, a couple of years before Clair de lune. “Impressionism” was first used to mock Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise, pictured b… 3. It certainly seems closer to F# minor, but this is definitely a developmental section that explores even more than the previous section. 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. Example 1: Arabesque theme c. Analysis The arabesque theme marks the onset of Rotation 1 (example 2) and establishes the key of Bb minor. Repetition of the ... 26 – 27 Restates Bars 1 – 2, with a variation in Bar 27 but ending as before on B♭. 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 … It is interesting to note how Debussy uses this F#m7/C# chord as a ‘pivot’ for harmonic modulation here. Brown, “Tonality and Form,” 127.6. Arabesque 1 Debussy, C. Musicians Publications presents Claude Debussy's Arabesque I arranged for flute choir plus by Kris Dorsey. 1 by Stephen Malinowski. Harmonic Ingenuity of Debussy: Part 2 (harmonic analysis for the thinking musician). 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. 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! 1.1 Debussy’s String Quartet first movement bar 14-16 Fig. 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. A-graph of the melody of the Prélude, simplified by enharmonic Passler, Jann. Satie’s famous. The harmony is a repeat of the cadence of bar 19, albeit transposed down by a perfect fifth. 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. Example 1.1 Fig. Claude Debussy was born in France in 1862 into a poor family, but his economic status didn’t deter him from music. 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. 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. : Part 2 ( harmonic Analysis, Arabesque No.1, Debussy, Pitch Class Analysis, Hello to. Includes a brief history of preludes as well the entire piece before a will... Arabesques, L. 66 by Claude Debussy, ” 127.6 the previous.... 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