I have spoken a little about film and how its evolved from the later 19th century through to the early 20th century in regards to the limitations of a composer and the technology . This in regards to givng the composer more control over the films dynamic structure of emotion in the 1930’s for instance. Creating specific scores for hollywoods hits of the late 1920’s. During the Music for digital Media lesson we were asked to look into Impressionism in Music. I think this would be great to look into as its seeing music for visuals in a different light, this being music for the imagination without the aid of film.
Claude Debussy was a composer that for most of his life battled against the western strict music practices that had been taught to him when he was child and teenager. How he saw music was that it was similar to the artistic movement of Impressionism. This movement was where artists of the movement in France (mainly) wanted to experiment with colour and brush strokes, creating bold out door paintings that were often bright harsh and tonally bold normally of outside scenery. They were trying to also battle against romanticism era of art and push bounderies into new scopes of art composition.
How Claude Debussy did this to a music equivalent was to compose music that contained new, innovative scales,rhythms and harmony. His interest in both scales,rhythm and harmony often made him indulge oriental styles of music, indian and gamelan orchestra. His works such as ‘Le Mer’ was a composition that reflected the motion of waves of an ocean. His interest within the idea of Impressionism similar to the influence of outside aspects; ‘clouds, rain, wind, water, sunlight, and shadow’. (Gifford, n/a)
The idea behind the Symbolism movement was founder from poetry within the mid 1800’s from writers such as:
The concept was to write poetry using words that express or evoke emotion, to make use more aware of out sensory perception of things around us perhaps without even realising! It was to say the least a complex movement that intwined philosophy and ideas of life however this way of writing and perceiving sights, sounds and ideas was what influenced Claude Debussy to write works. The idea of creating a image, to stimulate the imagination was how works such as ‘La Mer” contained a strong influence of both movements, Impressionism and Symbolism.
Another famous Impressionist Composer was Maurice Ravel. He was a close friend to Claude Debussy and both of there musics were considered similar within the Impressionist music works they both created. Maurice Ravel was a huge success for Impressionist music and was seen as one of the two great composers within this musical movement, the other of course being Claude Debussy. He wrote music for opera, chamber music, giant orchestras similar to that of Claude Debussy. His influence bieng from Russian music, Spanish music and Jazz music.
This piece below ‘Bolero’ was written by Maurice Ravel for Opera and is regarded as one of his most famous pieces of music in which he composed. It contains a repetition of the same melodic themes but changed with orchestration of instrumentation the effect of variating timbre and harmony. This is a fantastic piece that reflects how through the uses of repetition through different types of instrumentation can keep the piece interesting and ‘fresh’.
The movement of Impressionism was a major art movement that as previously stated pushed art composition into a new film to deter away from the romanticism movement of that time…..a new fresh start in art form. This new movement in Art within the late 1800’s was hugely disliked by the public and so painters within this time found it difficult to make this movement a successful art movement that would change the art scene completely, being new and original to any form done previously. It was against the institution of how painters used to well paint, it used brush stroke techniques that were against any academic strict teachings of the time of the mid 1800s.
Here below is a video of the types of artists within this era that created some fantastic works that some inspired music composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel to create some of their best works.
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oskill, Mark. (1997). Art Periods: IMPRESSIONISM. Available: http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/Art/impressionism.shtml. Last accessed 1/1/2011.
Gifford, Katya. (n/a). Claude Debussy- Biography. Available: http://www.humanitiesweb.org/human.php?s=r&p=a&a=i&ID=752. Last accessed 1/1/2011.
Holcombe,C. John. (2007). Symbolists and Symbolish Poetry.Available: http://www.textetc.com/modernist/symbolism.html. Last accessed 1/1/2011.
n/a. (n/a). Maurice Ravel Frontispice Bolero. Available: http://www.maurice-ravel.net/bolero.htm. Last accessed 1/1/2011.
n/a,Sebastian. (2010). Maurice Ravel The Elegant Impressionist.Available: http://www.favorite-classical-composers.com/maurice-ravel.html. Last accessed 1/1/2011.