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The Importance Of Impressionism In The Art Of Claude Debussy

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Shortly after visual artists began exhibiting their work, people in other forms of art such as, literature and music, began trying to incorporate the impressionist principles into their own compositions. A group of poets known as, the Symbolists began poetry in which the words that were used were used purely for their sounds and not for their actual meaning. Symbolists tried to convey impression by suggestion instead of definition. Music compositions from the Impressionism period contained some of the same characteristics of impressionist paintings. Impressionist composers and its music at the time were breaking away from classical techniques. In the impressionism realm, Debussy is to impressionist music as Monet is to impressionist painting,…show more content…
Claude Debussy was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music but he never considered himself an Impressionist. In fact, he instead would consider himself a “Realist”(Classical 1). A realist by definition would “represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements.” Debussy’s style of music and works are closely similar to those of the impressionists. For instance, in order to achieve an effect that was comparable to that painted by the visual artists, Debussy emphasized those musical elements that could be immediately grasped and understood the instant they were heard, namely timbre and harmonic color. Claude Debussy worked very hard at creating new and interesting sounds, combining groups of instruments together the same way a painter would mix colours on their pallet. He experimented with an unusual combination of instruments and created new techniques. For example, Debussy used Tremolos, which in effect produced by the rapid repetition of the same note, often created by rapidly moving the bow of a string instrument back and…show more content…
The composition of La Mer created the depiction of the movement of the sea through the use of rapidly alternating musical imagery. Analyzing the pieces, De l’aube a midi su la mer starts with an initial dynamic building, the whole tension of the ascension suggests the rising of the sun. The composition gives a calm, ethereal tone with flowing style. Light and airy like floating on a calm sea. The music ends with a majestic buildup and resolution, which evokes an image of the vast sea with the afternoon sun shining down. In comparison to Monet’s painting, Arm of the Seine near Giverny, the depictions of the still water reflects calm and blissful tone of the main section of the movement. The soft colour palette reiterates the “calmness” that is featured in the painting. Je de vagues by Debussy imitates the many different types of waves that can occur with quick, lively runs and trills with featured instruments of the harp and flute, which help play an image of small ripples or waves breaking lightly. Further along in the composition, there is a build up of crescendos and decrescendos that play the role of the swelling waves. The sound of waves “crashing” is made by the instrumentation of crash symbols. Regatta
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