Debussy: Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune

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  • Created by: Lizzie
  • Created on: 02-04-13 12:24
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  • Debussy
    • Background
      • Paris 1894
      • Stéphane Mallarmé poem
      • Free illustration
      • Tone  poem
    • Instrumentation
      • Solo flute
        • Represents fauns pipes
      • Antique Cymbals
        • No timpani
      • 2 harps
        • Glissandi
        • Harmonics 108-109
      • Strings
        • Divisi - up to 9 parts playing at a time
        • Bowed tremolo 11
        • Pizz and arco
        • Sur la touche - over fingerboard
        • Mutes
      • Clarinets
        • A and Bb used
        • Tremolo 95
      • Horns
        • Bouche - stopped note 93
        • Cuivre - brassy tone 92
    • Structure
      • Prelude = first of a planned 3
      • Loose ternany form  + Coda
      • Poem = 110 lines    Prelude =110 bars
      • Reprise of A much shorter
      • A: 1-54               B: 55-78   A1:79-93 Coda:94-end
        • Subsection:  A1, Transition,  A2
    • Texture
      • Mainly melody dominated homophony
      • Flute solo monophonic
      • Doubling of instruments 55
      • Pedals       106-110
      • Homorhythm 107 horn + violin1
    • Harmony
      • Harmonies exist to create musical colour
      • Few formal cadences
      • Dominant 7th, 9th and 13th chords
      • Pedals       106-110
      • Chromatic harmony
      • Strings of parallel dissonances (string accompaniment 24)
      • Each entry of theme harmonised differently
      • Final cadence = little tonal tension, hazed in sound
        • D# puts in a late quiet appearance in V chord
        • Diatonic discords above dominant
      • Tritones disrupt key, bass 55
    • Melody
      • Whole-tone scale clarinet 32 +flute 33
      • Opening two bars are chromatic combo of tones + semitones and cover range of a tritone
      • Motivic
      • Pentatonic scale oboe 37
      • Opening flute melody
        • Repeated + unchanged with accomp tremolo strings 11-14
        • Decorated with demisemiquaver triplets 21-22
        • Slows melody down 79-82
    • Tonality
      • Ambiguous
        • Chromaticism
        • Whole tone scale clarinet 32 + flute 33
        • Unresolved dissonances
        • Pentatonic phrases, oboe 37
      • Opening has chromatic melody starting on submediant and falls tritone = no sense of key.
      • Begins in Emajor + end on perf cadence in Emaj
      • Middle section is in Db major
    • Rhythm
      • Fluid rhythm with slow pulse
      • Triplets 1
      • Cross rhythms 67
      • Syncopation 57
    • Metre
      • Difficult to define pulse or metre
      • Opening theme: long notes, semiquavers, triplet semiquavers = sense of freedom and rhythmic flexibility.
        • Rhythm
          • Fluid rhythm with slow pulse
          • Triplets 1
          • Cross rhythms 67
          • Syncopation 57
      • Opening metre is Compound Triple.
      • Frequent changes of metre
      • Lazy duplets and groups of 4 disguise compound time at the end
      • B Section has more stable metrical framework

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