Debussy Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune analysis

Mind map analysis of one of the set works for 2013

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  • Created by: William
  • Created on: 30-10-12 14:38
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  • Debussy 'Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune'
    • Impressionism
    • Form
    • Texture
  • Ternary Form - A:B:A
    • Form
  • Style of Music in which atmosphere created by colour, tone and texture is more important than clearly defined phrases and structures
    • Impressionism
    • Texture
  • A: 1-54 B: 55-78 A: 79-93 Coda: 94-End
    • Ternary Form - A:B:A
    • Tonality + Harmony
      • Debussy 'Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune'
        • Sharp keys centred on E major
        • Chords used for the colours they create (non-functional harmony)
        • Section B centred around D flat major
          • Sharp keys centred on E major
      • Rich Colourful Harmony that seems to obscure the key rather than define it
        • Tonality + Harmony
          • Chords used for the colours they create (non-functional harmony)
          • Section B centred around D flat major
        • Avoids clear tonal direction
          • Very few root position chords, mostly chromatic + uses dissonance freely
            • Bar 24: strings of parallel dissonances
              • Melody
                • Melodic variation rather than motivic development
                • Bar 21: lengthens first note and decorates melody of third bar
              • Debussy's main interest is not in developing melodies , but in presenting the same theme in various rhythmic + melodic variants and in different textures + harmonizations
                • Melody
                  • Melodic variation rather than motivic development
                  • Bar 21: lengthens first note and decorates melody of third bar
                • Rhythm + Meter
                • Use of whole tone scales e.g bar 32
                  • Bar 11: repeat of fawns theme with tremolo strings
                    • Bar 26: ends phrase with fast version of first bar
                      • Bar 79: Augmentation - slows whole melody down
                        • Subtle Orchestral Textures
                          • Rhythm + Meter
                            • Complex rhythms disguise regular pulse - rhythms are as fluid as an impressionist's brushstrokes
                              • Instrumentation
                                • Opens with distinctive bottom octave of flute
                                • Style of Music in which atmosphere created by colour, tone and texture is more important than clearly defined phrases and structures
                                • Bar 4: Timbre Change
                                  • Instrumentation
                                    • Opens with distinctive bottom octave of flute

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