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. It certainly seems closer to F# minor, but this is definitely a developmental section that explores even more than the previous section. 2 (19931001): 127–43.3. On the other hand, Debussy had a The motion then, comes from the melody itself. Instead, as F.W.J. The transition into the impressionist style required Debussy to have strong opinions and to stand by them. This cadence contains a root motion of a rising semitone and a harmonic motion of a tritone. 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.. 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). 2001.9. 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. 1. In this early and famous work, beautiful figures and patterns unfold in lines up and down over the piano register. This lends a great ambiguity to the chord’s harmonic and modal implication. 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. Grout, Donald Jay, and Claude V Palisca. 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. 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. 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. In this arabesque, Debussy favors more back and forth motion, alternating between only two chords for long stretches of time. 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. Remember that the melody gives it a direction. There's a moment of pure harmonic inspiration in the composer's Clair de lune. In this post, we’ll dig into his Arabesque No. Whole/Half Diminished, implying no diatonic tonality in particular, but facilitating a huge number of potential resolutions. 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. It is a straightforward piano work in ABA form with functional chord progressions and no unusual textures. The pitch-class D is the link to the next new harmony : a root-position D major seventh (m. 11). A harmonic analysis of Clair de lune by Claude Debussy, in case you've ever wondered what the chords to this piece are. The arabesque is a term originally used to describe architecture or painting that featured complex ornamental designs that trailed off into curlicues that could connect, such as in tile work. Arabesque no. 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. . I will be sharing my progress and posting thoughts which present themselves throughout the process via this blog! Ibid., 128.7. Harmonic Analysis of Debussy’s Prélude à l’Après-midi d’un faune. I enjoyed reading this article and appreciate the images you used as well! 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. Debussy’s music has that ineffable *something* that makes listening to it a bit like this: There aren’t any crazy 32nd notes, trills, or anything truly fast. A History of Western Music. For composers, the takeaway is that one way to create magical pieces is by stilling the movement of time by repeating two chords. One final way to understand the arabesque is through ballet. Example 1: Arabesque theme c. Analysis The arabesque theme marks the onset of Rotation 1 (example 2) and establishes the key of Bb minor. “A propos de ‘Muguette’.-Au Concert Lamoureux,” Gil blas, 23 March 1903, in Lesure, ed., Monsieur Croche, 129-30; Lesure and Smith, Debussy on Music, 155.8. Debussy illustrated signs of innovation from an early age. 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. A-graph of the melody of the Prélude. 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. 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. Yet there’s more in the music then its contours. 3. This piece’s technical difficulties mostly lie in its polyrhythms! Let’s dig into how Debussy creates this mood by looking at the basic elements of Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, and Growth. This is where many students who haven’t had time to learn the entire piece before a recital will stop. Let these ideas be a part of you as you seek to create your own magic by playing these pieces on the piano or by composing similar pieces. It is based on a simple motif, which is developed in a variety of ways. Additionally, the root motion and modal implication set up the first transposed instance of the ‘m3b5#5’ chord. 2001.4. AU - Pomeroy, Boyd. 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. 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. After this, at the end of the first full section (mm. Taking his cue from the baroque arabesque form (a popular French dance), both of these works have something resembling a danceable form - something clearly noticed by US R&B singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, whose song 'Like The Sea' samples Debussy's first arabesque. The takeaway here is that despite sounding more atmospheric than most classical motif-driven pieces, melody still plays a fundamental role in this piece. 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. 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. This four note voicing contains (on top of the root) a ‘b3/#9’, ‘b5/#4’ and ‘#5/b13’. 4. The purpose of this thesis is to discuss and give a descriptive analysis of twelve of the twenty-four preludes written by Claude Debussy. Fig. This now supports Csharp in the ﬂ ute melody as a strong dissonance. About 'Arabesque No.1' Artist: Debussy, Claude (sheet music) Born: 1862 , St Germain-en-Laye Died: 1918 , Paris The Artist: Among the most important 20th century composers, and the most influential. “Claude Debussy,” Biography, accessed July 2, 2019.2. Music is a magic that can change the world. Debussy, Claude. We feel our way back as the section ends with an E suspension that resolves to E major. 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. Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Claude Debussy had a huge influence both in his native France and on European composers more generally. 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. TY - CHAP. The most obvious ones to pick from being one tone down, one semitone up, a major third up or a perfect fifth up. It is interesting to note how Debussy uses this F#m7/C# chord as a ‘pivot’ for harmonic modulation here. LIKE 3 View Download PDF: No.1 – Complete Score ( Ko) Sheet central: Deux Arabesques (18 sheet music). 4, The Selection: How to Pick Piano Repertoire to Increase Momentum and Avoid Frustration, Creating Magic: Debussy's Arabesque No. Other than this polyrhythmic figure, however, the rhythm is gentle throughout the rest of the piece. T1 - Debussy's tonality. Glad you enjoyed it! Harmonic Ingenuity of Debussy: Part 2 (harmonic analysis for the thinking musician). “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. 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. Composers, you don’t need to throw in crazy fast rhythms in order for a piece to sound super complex and awe-inspiring. Tags: Analysis, Arabesque No.1, Debussy, Pitch Class. 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. Title 1, L. Simone Renzi. In popular culture. “Arabesque (i).” Grove Music. The first observation to make here is that a Locrian modality seems strongly suggested. The suite is one of the very early impressionistic pieces of music, following the French visual art form. The theme consists of two main elements: a descending scale which outlines the sixth Bb-Db, and a complete neighbor motion Bb-C … Reflets dans l’eau by Debussy from Images Book 1. The ‘un’ tritone inverted version of the altered chord would be rooted on an F#; when considered like this, the previous F#m7/C# can be looked at in new light. Pleasure is the law’. This cadence contains a root motion of a falling tone and a harmonic motion of a rising minor third. We’ll talk a little more about the importance of harmony in the order of events when we look at growth. That one section of polyrhythms is impressive on its own, so Debussy allows that one to shine by diminishing the rest of the rhythms. 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. 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. For a recent view of the arabesque, see Jann Pasler, ‘Timbre, Voice-Leading and the Musical Arabesque in Debussy’s Piano Music’, in: James Briscoe (ed.) Debussy Arabesque no. 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. 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 … 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. 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). 1, I like to picture a music box featuring a ballerina in arabesque. Remember that in ballet, an arabesque is stretched out and suspended in time, so allow yourself time to stretch in this piece. Composed between 1888-1891, Claude Debussy’s set of two arabesques were some of the composer’s earlier works. 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. For composers, the takeaway is that one way to create magical pieces is by stilling the movement of time by repeating two chords. Debussy in Performance, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999, 225-255. 1. This purpose of this post is to look a little deeper into the theory I made reference to in the last one. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. 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. 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. Forms come down to noticing how many times an idea repeats and in what keys these repeats occur. Recall the first two measures and its simple melody that we discussed in the melody portion of this analysis: This and the later versions of it, with the half-note descending scale, act as bookends for each section of music. 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. 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..). Polyrhythms are rhythms that don’t divide easily into each other that are sounded simultaneously. Brown, Maurice J. E. and Kenneth L. Hamilton. 1 in E major: Figures Unfolding Pianist Henrik Kilhamn looks at Debussy's 1st Arabesque in E major. It frequently draws new students to the piano with the desire of playing his most famous pieces like Clair de lune and Arabesque No. 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. Again notable is a hint of the pentatonic scale. 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. Claude Debussy. The one simple chord that shows Claude Debussy was a harmonic genius. 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!