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Debussy and Orientalism - Essay Example

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This essay describes the creative career and impact of Achille-Claude Debussy. Achille-Claude Debussy was one of the most accomplished French composers of the 19th and 20th century. He was renowned for what critics termed as impressionist music. …
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Debussy and Orientalism

This essay "Debussy and Orientalism" outlines the life of the Debussy and his impact on the music of the 20th century. In the midpoint of his career was the last years of the 19th century were he released the three nocturnes, which was sharply contrasting with Wagnerian opera. After ten years of work, his Pelleas te Melisande proved to be his only complete opera which was based on a play by Maurice Maeterlinck, it was an instant hit and it influenced many young composers such as Maurice Ravel, his works brought to new rhythm and fluidity and color that had been retrospectively absent in western composition. In the La mer Essays, between 1903 to 1905, the music had a more philharmonic format with an ending whose subjects were borrowed from the initial thought to the intermediate period. According to his critics, this was seen as a less subtle step in his progress, to some it was even perceived as negative. True to his pupil perchance for trying new things and gravitating from the conventional, he let himself be influenced by a new type of music in the west that most modern composers would rather have kept from their scores. This was Javanese gamelan; an oriental style that he found to be both appealing and intriguing. The orchestra, which composed bells gongs and percussions, mesmerized him so much that his style noticeably changed as he implemented parts of this composition in his later music. He did not refer to the gamelan scales or ensemble; however, his sensitive and refined melodies were overtly achieved with the application of oriental exotic scales. ... Read More
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