A Quick Summary of Impressionist Music
Impressionist music had various characteristics including irregular phrases and unresolved dissonances. Avoiding traditional harmonic progression was also a common trend among impressionists. Moreover, exotic scales, modality, whole-tone scales, and the ninth chords featured frequently in this type of music.
Eras Closely Associated With Impressionist Music
During the nineteenth century, music artists concentrated on emotional expression in their compositions. However, by the turn of the century, budding musicians were craving for new and exciting ways of exploring their talents. Thus, the Impressionist Era started in 1875 and it lasted until 1925. Impressionist artists focused on creating specific suggestions and atmospheres for their audience.
Instruments Used in Impressionist Music
Most Impressionist composers preferred composing music for the solo piano. However, orchestras consisting of many instruments like brass, horns, and percussion instruments also featured prominently in their compositions. Apart from wind instruments, the harp was also common in Impressionist Music.
Prominent Musicians in the Impressionist Era
Claude Debussy (1862 to 1918)
Claude Debussy was famous French composer. He is arguably the most prominent composer of this Era. In fact, Debussy influenced numerous composers and subsequently, many of them adopted his use of chromaticism and non-traditional scales. His music is famous for its sensory content and the use of non-traditional tonalities. Surprisingly, Debussy did not like it when anyone termed his compositions as Impressionist.
Maurice Ravel (1875 to 1937)
He was a composer, pianist, and a conductor. Ravel was so good at composing music that many people regarded him as one of the greatest French composers that ever lived. Interestingly, he incorporated some elements of baroque, neoclassical, and jazz music into his style. It is important to note that Ravel composed a few pieces. However, his compositions were highly complex requiring great technical skill to play them. Some of them included the Gaspard de la Nuit & the Daphnis et Chloe.