Assignment Four REVISED
Music 1 ~ Stylistic Techniques- Ms Suncica Lazic, Student ID: Suncica516098 – Assignment Four Revised
Assignment Four REVISED
Compose a short, two page long Prélude for piano, inspired by Debussy’s own books of Préludes. Choose a number of modes to use and give your piece an impressionist title which can guide your composition. Once you have done this write some programme notes about your inspiration and include some technical details, for example about which modes you chose and why, and how you have used them. Aim to write around 250 words.
Programme notes: ‘Qilin’
I have taken the French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau’s painting ‘La Chimère’ as my inspiration for my Prélude and titled it ‘Qilin’ after the Chinese Daoist chimera ‘Qilin’ (pronounced Chee-leen).
A Chimera symbolises duality and in French tradition it also represents illusion. This double headed beast seems to perfectly symbolise my composition which has ‘one body’ (i.e. G tonality) but several different ‘heads’ (i.e. scales).
The piece starts with just the melody in the key of G Major. At rehearsal mark A the second iteration sees harmonic underpinnings with larger, extended chords. This is followed by a more oblique Rubato section at rehearsal mark B.
At rehearsal mark C a bitonal section is introduced through a change to the G Lydian mode in the right hand, while the left hand first plays notes of the G whole-tone scale and then at rehearsal mark d moves to the G octatonic scale. Staccato articulations and accelerando also bring a greater intensity.
At rehearsal mark E both hands play a Chinese ‘dual’ pentatonic G scale, which has two harmony notes on each scale degree (i.e. two heads, like a Chimera). Lefthand 4-note cluster chords are deliberately allowed to muddy the harmonic content.
G Major returns for the outro at rehearsal mark F.
Several of Debussy’s Préludes served as inspiration, most notably ‘II: Voiles’ for its use of whole-tone and pentatonic scales and ‘La Cathédrale Engloutie’ for the use of reharmonization. Melodically, I took inspiration from’The Little Shepard‘ from Children’s Corner.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Figure 1. Gustave Moreau (French, 1826-1898) La Chimère (2004)[Thumbnail] At : https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/gustave-moreau-french-1826-1898-la-chimere-4380724-details.aspx Accessed on: (Accessed on 12 March 2020)
Figure 2. Lazic, S. (2020) Assignment Four Composition ‘Qilin’ sheet music page 1. [Illustration] In: possession of: The author: London.
Figure 3. Lazic, S. (2020) Assignment Four Composition ‘Qilin’ sheet music page 2. [Illustration] In: possession of: The author: London.
Figure 4. Fernandez, P. (2010) Kylin or Qilin, Summer Palace, Beijing. [Photo] At : https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonpaul/5623362932 Accessed on: (Accessed on 12 March 2020)
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