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The Impressionist Era and its Influences.

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The Impressionist Era and its Influences AMU 300 - Final Evaluation By: Adam Henley Impressionism, one of the later eras in classical music composition. An era where emotions are expressed vividly while still following musical structure, where music caused much political controversy, and where France became known for its musical talent. In this essay you will read of how impressionism set a lasting mark in musical and national histories, and how it influenced modern music as we know it. The Impressionist Era all started with Claude Debussy, being tired of the formed classical structure, and the romantic informality. Of all of the musicians who ever lived Debussy (1862-1918) was known for his originality and adventurous style. His influences soon spread throughout the Western world. He, before long, became a "superstar" in Europe, North America, and Asia temporarily breaking the public's fascination with the monolithic composers of the classical and romantic eras. Because of Debussy's moving compositions Impressionism soon spread into churches, schools, ballrooms, along with respected theatres and concert halls. ...read more.


That is why in Debussy's works you can sense an empowering emotion or tone, while still knowing that the piece is structured, and formed to composition rules. In the Impressionist Era a new principle in composition was founded: A musical piece is not measured in greatness by its duration, its volume, the compelling rhythm, or its deep tone; but by its beauty and its idea. The Impressionist Era doesn't only apply to the musical arts. The impressionist movement continued into literature, art, architecture, and dance. In fact, many composers used to use other impressionist art or literature to inspire their works. The era was known for the "swapping of arts" in which a poem would progress into a painting, and the painting into a musical masterpiece. This concept took a fair amount of time before prestigious schools of the arts agreed to the practice; however the public loved how tone and description could be "translated" between the arts. ...read more.


In soul, religious, contemporary, jazz, theatre, band and pop music techniques and styles which were founded during Impressionism are all employed. Even while watching a movie the background music often contains Impressionistic styling. A prime example is Celine Dion's once popular song, My Heart Will Go On, this song contains almost every one of Impressionism's musical characteristics. Throughout the song harmonic chord progressions, a drifting melodic line, classical and romantic technique and tone, irregular chromatic intervals, and whole-tone scales are clearly defined in the instrumental scores. Also, many other songs are laden with Impressionistic styles; including some rock music. Another modern day artist is Elton John who constantly uses themes from the Impressionist Era. The influence that Impressionism has on modern day music is actually quite phenomenal, all you have to do is listen closely and I guarantee that you will notice some similarity. The Impressionistic revolution in music all started with one musician, one composer, named Claude Debussy - who alone turned his mind's sketches into another Era in musical history. Who knows, maybe you will lead the way into the next musical era. ...read more.

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