Claude Debussy and the Javanese Gamelan

Claude Debussy and the Javanese Gamelan Essay example
High school
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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Claude Debussy and the Javanese Gamelan Claude Debussy, a French composer, was born on the 22nd of August 1862. Debussy was a prominent figure in impressionist music, being made a Legion of Honour Chevalier in 1903. He was a vital figure in Western music’s transition to modern times, remaining one of the most influential composers of all time.


Its instruments are tuned to play together, and as such different gamelan instruments are not interchangeable. It derives its name from the word gamels, which means to hammer or strike. The suffix,”an” makes the word a collective noun. This paper aims to study Debussy and gamelan, and how Debussy incorporated gamelan figurations into his own music. The paper seeks to discuss the capabilities of the piano, as well as its limitations, and touch on orchestral music. It also seeks to explain why Debussy was so fascinated by the Javanese gamelan as to stop developing his impressionistic music in a western manner. Debussy’s family was destitute, being sustained by his paternal aunt. This led to his much reputed awkward social skills and egotism. He received lessons in piano from Madame de Fleurville, who was a pupil of Chopin. In 1889 at the Paris Universal exposition, Claude Debussy who at the time was a young composer getting his spurs and getting his first works published had a real revelation (Lockspeiser 67). At this exposition, groups from around the globe displayed their countries’ best art, culture music and the way of life. The Eiffel tower was the expositions centrepiece. The musicians visiting the exposition were especially fascinated by the exhibit from the Malay Archipelago of java. ...
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