Pagodes - Debussy

Context

- Was a leading Impressionist composer

-  Impressionism influenced different medians, such as literature and art (e.g Monet)

- 'Estampes' is a set of 3 piano pieces - 1903

- Features influence from Javanese gamelan music - he first heard at the World Exhibition in Paris, 1889

- Known for his exploration of tonality, harmony and melody 

1 of 8

Performance forces & handling

- Uses French directions - breaks Germanic tradition

- Sustain pedal and una corda used- blends the notes of the piano into one sound

- Extreme dynamics, from encore plus pp (bar 91) to fortissimo climax (bar 41)

- High tessitura

2 of 8

Structure

- Loose tenary form

3 of 8

Tonality

-  No key is properly established

- Tonal centre of B @ the beginning

4 of 8

Harmony

- Non functional harmony

- Parallel chords used

- Avoids tonal thirds

- Pentatonics used

- Added notes recreate gamelan harmonies

5 of 8

Texture

- Varied texture

- Gong-like pedal (1-10)

- Contrary motion

- Becomes layered and contrapuntal as it builds to climax

6 of 8

Melody

- Melodies based on pentatonic scales (Javanese slendro scale)

- Countermelody used (bar 7)

- Ostinato used throughout

- Contrary motion

- Trills (bar 50)

7 of 8

Tempo, Metre and Rhythm

Varying speeds - imitating gamelan music

- 4/4 metre

- Cross rhythms 

- Demisemiquavers and triplets

8 of 8

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »See all Developing Musical Understanding resources »