Oriental influences in the piano music of Claude Achille Debussy.
AuthorSchmitz, Michael David.
Committee ChairFan, Paula
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis paper explores the influences of Vietnamese and Indonesian music in the piano compositions of Claude Debussy. A brief background of Debussy's formative years and of pertinent social trends in Paris at the turn-of-the-century is provided. This paper then looks at two specific musical events that affected the way Debussy composed for the piano: the Javanese and Annamite exhibits at the Exposition Universelles de 1889 and 1900 in Paris. The musical styles and timbres of these two countries are explored, backed up by accounts of what Debussy actually experienced at the Expositions. Following a look at specific musical effects used by Debussy that reveal the influence of the Orient, this paper surveys an extensive body of his piano music chronologically, focusing on compositional techniques that were learned from the Asian ensembles at the cultural exhibits of the Paris Expositions. This paper reveals the depth of the Oriental influence in Debussy's piano music.