Debussy Essay

Claude Debussy And Ludwig Van Beethoven

Dmitri Shostakovich, a 20th century Russian composer and pianist, once said, “A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one." Is this why composers can compose many pieces in such a short life span? Take Claude Debussy for example. He composed 141 pieces even though he only lived for 56 years. And what about the great Ludwig van Beethoven? He composed 138 pieces although he only lived for 56 years and despite the fact that he began to lose his hearing at the age of 29. But how do these two great composers have the inspiration of writing song after song without running out of ideas? Well, the appropriate word to describe all of this is “influence”. Of course, Debussy and Beethoven had their own trademarks in the music world but they do share some similarities in their works.

Many people know that Debussy and Beethoven composed many great classical works but they did compose some ‘jazz like’ works over their music career. Noted composer, scholar, and educator Gunther Schuller wrote an article entitled “Jazz on Classical: Classical on Jazz”. In this article, he mentioned that jazz musicians of today and yesteryear have been attracted to works by classical composers and have drawn upon the inventive usage of harmonies employed by classical composers, including Debussy and Beethoven. Debussy had a profound impact on contemporary soundtrack composers such as John Williams because Debussy's colorful and evocative style translated easily into an emotional language for use in motion picture scores. Unfortunately, Gunther Schuller did not follow Beethoven’s influence on today’s jazz artists. He did not write more about his influences toward jazz (Schuller,2013).

One thing that both Beethoven and Debussy share in common is “jazz-like” compositions. Debussy influenced many important figures in jazz such as Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and Duke Ellington. Beethoven, being known as the classical contemporary master, wrote many jazz like pieces. Let’s take Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111” as an example. Even though this piece contain fugal elements such as having two movements, this piece has many elements of jazz such as the rhythm of the first movement being close to ragtime and the second/final movement being felt like “proto-jazz” and “boogie-woogie”. In the first movement of the piece which is in C minor, Beethoven used many diminished seventh chords, as in for instance the first full bar of it’s opening introduction.

The second/final movement is a set of variations on a 16-bar theme, with a brief modulating interlude and a final coda. Jazz compositions normally have a standard 16-bar theme with an interlude supporting it. This shows that Beethoven’s piece(as mentioned above) have many elements of jazz writing techniques. Now let’s move on to Debussy’s jazz compositions. We all know Debussy as the genius behind musical impressionism but his influence on jazz...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Life of Ludwig van Beethoven Essay

1273 words - 5 pages Life of Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven, also known as “ The General of Musicians,” was born on December 16, 1770. However, this date is not exact because it is believed that Beethoven’s father lied about his son’s age in order to portray him as an infant prodigy. As a result, Beethoven is convinced he was born on December 16, 1772 at the Rheingasse home, which belonged to the Fischers, who were close friends of the family...

Ludwig Van Beethoven 9th Symphony Essay

1271 words - 5 pages Ludwig Van Beethoven 9th Symphony Symphony number nine in D minor, Op.125, the "Choral" is the outstanding piece accompanied with a vocal chorus. Beethoven began concentrated work on the piece in 1822. It occupied him throughout 1823, and he completed it in February 1824. The first performance took place at the Karntnertor Theater in Vienna on May 7, 1824. The deaf composer stood on stage beating time and turning the pages of his score, but...

Classical Music: Biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven

1542 words - 6 pages Although his exact birthdate is unknown, it is believed that Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on December 16, 1770 in Bonn, Germany. This date is assumed because the records show he was baptized on December 17, 1770 (“Beethoven’s childhood” 3). The custom at that time was to baptize children the day following their birth. Beethoven was born into a musical family. Beethoven was named after his grandfather, Lodewijk van Beethoven, who was a bass...

Musical Modernism with Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg

1913 words - 8 pages Musical modernism can be seen as the time where music emerges its liberty from Romantic era style -that started in the late nineteen century to end of the Second World War- and gains new ideas and freedom. With the political turmoil and chaos that took over the European countries, -that lured countries into the First World War- composers and artists started to find, create more and new ways to express themselves. They eagerly began to discover...

Ludwig van Beethoven's Life and Achievements

636 words - 3 pages Ludwig van Beethoven was an extraordinary music composer, especially considering he was deaf most of his life and career. He was born in Germany on December 16, 1770. Many obstacles were hurled at him, but he triumphed over them, and even deafness didn’t stop him from composing some of the worlds greatest, and most recognized music compositions (Rosenwald 167). His life, music, and his musical styles and techniques all contribute to his life...

Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and their three separate works: Luncheon on the Grass, Impression: Sunrise, The Night Café.

1220 words - 5 pages The visual art of the Modern era from 1870 to 1914 can be gauged by a sheer number of such movements and styles as Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Expressionism. Edouard Manet's Luncheon on the Grass, Claude Monet'sImpression: Sunrise, and Vincent van Gogh's...

France in the 1800s

1767 words - 7 pages France during the 1800s was a dangerous war ground filled with distrust and greed for power. Political disputes, bloodshed, prejudice, and more tore France apart. In 1871, the Franco-Prussian war resulted in France being defeated and humiliated. The war France thought it easily could win resulted in France’s Third Republic ceding their provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, the victor (Krieger p.171). Soon after France’s defeat in war, the...

The World of Music Begins

1262 words - 5 pages The World of Music Begins Imagine spending the majority of a lifetime dedicated to music and then going deaf. This would create quite the obstacle, but Ludwig van Beethoven made it through it. His talent and love for music helped him overcome the problems. Not only the bad things, but one could also say he overcame the world of music. There were many things Beethoven did in his career that influenced the music of today. Overall, Ludwig van...

Beethoven

2483 words - 10 pages Introduction Like many people of this time period Beethoven was affected by the French Revolution, the enlightenment and romantic periods; in 1789 the French Revolution was raging and people were dying. The French general Napoleon defeated France’s enemies and inspired Beethoven with ideas of freedom and equality. It was because those inspirations that Beethoven was going to dedicated his Third Symphony, Erocia which means heroic to him, that...

Beethoven

880 words - 4 pages Many people think of Beethoven as the greatest composer who ever lived. His works include nine symphonies, an opera, two choral masses, 48 sonatas, 10 overtures, and dozens of trios, quartets, and songs. He was a master of musical procedure and an artist of great passion. His example inspired other leading composers, who were proud to acknowledge their works to him.

Beethoven, Bach, and Bartok.

3242 words - 13 pages Beethoven, Bach and Bartok: ComparisonsBarouque Composers Still Being Played FrequentlyMonteverdiLullyCorelliPachelbelScarlattiPurcellCouperinAlbinoniVivaldiTelemannRameauBachHandelGluckBaroque and Classical Orchestras - DifferencesBaroque Orchestras Classical OrchestrasString section and basso continuo central to the...

NOTE: Free essay sample provided on this page should be used for references or sample purposes only. The sample essay is available to anyone, so any direct quoting without mentioning the source will be considered plagiarism by schools, colleges and universities that use plagiarism detection software. To get a completely brand-new, plagiarism-free essay, please use our essay writing service.
One click instant price quote

Even though he grew up in France being a painter was more accepted than being a composer. His father thought that he would become a sailor. He had all the tools for a painter but he was said to have, having a musical ear, but of Debussy it could be said that he had the finest musical eye of any composer (Brown 16). Claude Debussy is one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, loved by many people of different musical tastes. From his early childhood many people recognized his love of music, knowing that he was ready and willing to be a successful musician. Making people love and appreciate the deeper side of music was one of his personal goal; but not the only goal.

Due to Claude's determination, passion, rebelliousness, and sufferings, he changed the way many people approach music today. Achille-Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Like, on August 22, 1862. He remained silent throughout his childhood, maintaining a level of secrecy that no one could understand. Many believe that he was ashamed of his background, but no one has solid evidence. He wasnt baptized into the church until 1864, leaving room for some speculation.

Out of the mystery have arisen vague questionings and inferences as to Debussy's parentage, for which no sensible basis can be found (Thompson 34). It wasnt until he reached the age of seven when he began taking piano lessons from Cerrutti, who regarded him as nothing out of the ordinary (Brown 16). Claude was regarded by many of his peers as an awkward and clumsy boy with a short, fat appearance reinforced by fat little fingers. He was even noted to be a shy and sociable outcast (Brown 16). He gave music his all, he never felt satisfied with his music. He wanted to be the best but he could not figure out why he was struggling.

For the nest three years he studied music with Lavignac, making Claude into a better overall musician. Lavignac could see Debussy's talent and his individuality and inquisitive sense of invention. He liked to do things his way, Lavignac admired Debussy's intelligence and that helped him reassure the young man (Brown 19). He was determined to accomplish anything that he set his mind out to do.

Many people said that he would struggle to become a great composer, but Claude knew otherwise. He felt closer to painters and poets that to other musicians (Gilbert 1). He liked to show up people who did not believe in him. For Claude, it was a way of expressing his true talents; no one can stop a determined mind when they are hard at work. Time and time again he would amaze his fellow pupils and disconcert his teachers with improvisations that utilized progressions and harmonies outlawed by the textbooks. However, eventually even such diehard academicians as Marmontel and Durand were won over to Debussy because of his outstanding talent (Hutchinson Encyclopedia 1).

Claude was always willing to give a 110 % into what he composed and into his performances. He disliked being second to anyone and not producing the best material made him feel worthless and confused. His attitude toward the piano was mixed because he couldnt play all that well, producing mediocre music troubled him. Debussy wasnt familiar with the piano, he just liked music (Brown 16). He loved the feeling of accomplishing a work that challenged him, making use of his many different talents made him feel accomplished.

Claude was a very passionate man when it came to his music, and the women in his life, being around both made him feel calm and secure. In his music he wanted to present a feeling of unity, a feeling that they are one with each other, he wants a more personal relationship with his audience so they can understand the hidden meaning behind the music (Gray 95). To be on the same plane, Claude felt that the audience could experience more than just music. He wanted the audience to listen to the melody and picture a beautiful place with someone they truly loved and cared about, presenting a vivid picture for them to feel one with their lover. Its purpose is not to evoke a definite picture, but to suggest the mood or emotion which the particular image in question aroused in the artists mind (Gray 105). Though his intent was to force a mental image through the music, his emotions would normally kick in and guide the audience through their day dream, not intending to take control of the situation.

But he never relaxed for it the perfect command over his emotions; and when he means to excite ours, it is not by the power of feverish passionate inspiration. Opposing his last works forced him to recreate a pleasurable experience rather than just notes (Cotton 22). Many of the women that were involved in Claude's life were extremely important because he adored them and he loved them. He wasnt an extraordinary looking man, proving that the girls in his life were there because they loved him beyond the physical appearance. Claude was very passionate and caring when it came to the women in his life.

He wrote an opera called Rodriguez et Chinese for his live-in girlfriend. They enjoyed a happy life together at the composers most frustrating time caught as he was between awareness that he was on the verge of fame, and not actually having a penny to his name (Brown 44 - 45). Writing an opera or any other music composition was a big step for Claude; he needed to truly love that person before he would come out and compose something on their behalf. Although he didnt have many love interests, he did love women in general.

He loved everything about them, from the way they looked to the way they smelled. Debussy was the man who in that questionnaire had said that the greatest happiness was to love not to be loved nor merely to make love. Debussy needed to feel his own heart beat. With the new decade, however, came new love (Brown 44). Claude loved incorporating his own style, his own way of looking at things, and his own way of differentiating his music from other people. He loved to do things that would provoke a response from other people.

He always liked to be the center of attention, resulting sometimes in harsh punishments. In 1884, while attending the Paris Conservatoire, Debussy rebelliously took over class on a day that the professor was absent, and started playing al...


Free research essays on topics related to: made him feel, claude, debussy, composer, passionate

Research essay sample on Claude Debussy Musical Influence

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Debussy Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *