Musical Genres

Impressionist Music

The aim of Impressionist art was to suggest rather than to clearly draw objects. Impressionist music does much the same thing, focusing on creating a sense of the piece's topic by using blurred harmony and delicate shadings of sound rather than relying on standard forms and a strong, clear rhythmic beat. There is an air of mystery, magic and wonder that surrounds Impressionistic music.

 Classics For Kids

Claude Debussy

August 22, 1862 - March 25, 1918

Born in France

Claude Debussy really had a double first name: Achille-Claude. He was born in a suburb of Paris, and it was his aunt who first noticed how musical he was. She got him started taking piano lessons. When he was only ten, Debussy started studying at the very strict Paris Conservatory.

As a child, Debussy was fascinated by visual art, and as he grew up, he loved the new style called "Impressionism." Instead of painting realistic, lifelike paintings with hard outlines, Impressionists used thousands of dots, or many different shades of color to create the "impression" of what they wanted to depict. Debussy took that idea and applied it to music, creating Impressionism in music.

Joseph-Maurice Ravel

March 07, 1875 - December 28, 1937

Born in France

Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer best known for his piece Bolero (1928), which he considered a trivial piece of music. He was expelled from the Conservatoire de Paris because he could not meet their competitive requirements, and would continue to have trouble with critics. Ravel joined a group of other musicians called the Apaches. His masterpiece Pavane for a Dead Princess (1902) was performed with the group. Ravel became friends with Claude Debussy and they often compared works. But fans of each composer began feuding, so they decided it was best to stop seeing each other. Ravel went on to compose until 1932. His arrangement of Mussgorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition brought him great profit. In 1928, he made a four month tour to America, where he met and became friends with George Gershwinn. Critics in America were much more receptive of Ravel's work and boosted him to international acclaim. He died in France in 1937 after an experimental brain surgery.

Musical Genres

Impressionist Music

The aim of Impressionist art was to suggest rather than to clearly draw objects. Impressionist music does much the same thing, focusing on creating a sense of the piece's topic by using blurred harmony and delicate shadings of sound rather than relying on standard forms and a strong, clear rhythmic beat. There is an air of mystery, magic and wonder that surrounds Impressionistic music.

 Classics For Kids

Claude Debussy

August 22, 1862 - March 25, 1918

Born in France

Claude Debussy really had a double first name: Achille-Claude. He was born in a suburb of Paris, and it was his aunt who first noticed how musical he was. She got him started taking piano lessons. When he was only ten, Debussy started studying at the very strict Paris Conservatory.

As a child, Debussy was fascinated by visual art, and as he grew up, he loved the new style called "Impressionism." Instead of painting realistic, lifelike paintings with hard outlines, Impressionists used thousands of dots, or many different shades of color to create the "impression" of what they wanted to depict. Debussy took that idea and applied it to music, creating Impressionism in music.

Joseph-Maurice Ravel

March 07, 1875 - December 28, 1937

Born in France

Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer best known for his piece Bolero (1928), which he considered a trivial piece of music. He was expelled from the Conservatoire de Paris because he could not meet their competitive requirements, and would continue to have trouble with critics. Ravel joined a group of other musicians called the Apaches. His masterpiece Pavane for a Dead Princess (1902) was performed with the group. Ravel became friends with Claude Debussy and they often compared works. But fans of each composer began feuding, so they decided it was best to stop seeing each other. Ravel went on to compose until 1932. His arrangement of Mussgorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition brought him great profit. In 1928, he made a four month tour to America, where he met and became friends with George Gershwinn. Critics in America were much more receptive of Ravel's work and boosted him to international acclaim. He died in France in 1937 after an experimental brain surgery.

 

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