Assignment Four REVISED

Ms Suncica Lazic, Student ID: Suncica516098 Assignment four

Assignment four 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.


Program notes: ‘Qilin’

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Fig. 2. Kylin or Qilin, Summer Palace, Beijing (2010)
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Fig. 1. Gustave Moreau (French, 1826-1898) La Chimère (2004)

I have a dual inspiration for my composition named ‘Qilin’ after the Chinese Daoist chimera ‘Qilin’ and the French symbolist painter Gustave Moreau’s painting ‘La Chimère’ who’s work, along with the rest of the Symbolist movement, I greatly admire. Whenever I am in Paris I make a pilgrimage to Moreau’s atelier.

In mythology a Chimera symbolises duality and in French tradition it also represents illusion. The double headed beast seemed like a perfect way of illustrating my composition. Like Debussy, I chose to incorporate an Asian scale, picking a Chinese pentatonic scale (2centsmusic, 2007) which has two harmony notes on each scale degree, i.e. two heads, just like a Chimera.

I wanted to create a composition which remains within one tonality or ‘one body’ whilst having several different ‘heads’. In order to achieve this illusion, I based all my modes on G, the same melody repeating over different G modes. The piece starts with the key of G Major, the melody playing over a G Major triad. The second iteration sees harmonic underpinnings with larger, extended chords.

Next there is a mode change through an added sharp, aiming for the G Lydian mode, making extensive use of the sharpened 4th degree. The chordal texture gets busier with staccato articulations and accelerando brings a greater intensity.

The third section is based on the Chinese ‘dual’ pentatonic G scale (pianoscales, 2012), the melody playing on top of a 4-note chord, before finally returning to G Major for the outro.


Qilin by Sunny Lazic (2020)

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Fig. 3. Assignment Four Composition ‘Qilin’ sheet music. (2020)



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. 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)

Figure 3. Sunny, L. (2020) Assignment Four Composition ‘Qilin’ sheet music. [Illustration] In: possession of: The author: London.



BIBLIOGRAPHY

2centsmusic (2007) Tonality and Scales in Chinese Music. At: http://2centsmusic.blogspot.com/2011/04/tonality-and-scales-in-chinese-music.html (Accessed frequently and particularly throughout March- April 2020)

Aimard, P.L. (2012) Debussy: Préludes Books 1 & 2. [Audio CD Download] Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Debussy-Prludes-Books-1-2/dp/B0085T1SCC/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=debussy+preludes&qid=1587214731&s=instant-video&sr=1-3-catcorr (Accessed throughout March- April 2020)

Brown, M. (2012) Debussy Redux: The Impact of His Music on Popular Culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Centre de documentation Claude Debussy. (n.d) Cashier Debussy. At: http://www.debussy.fr/encd/pub/sommaires.php (Accessed on 1 April 2017)

Classic Fm. (n.d ) Claude Debussy (1862–1918): Biography. At: http://www.classicfm.com/composers/debussy/ (Accessed on 3 April 2017)

Cooke, M. (2008) A history of film music.  [Kindle edition] From: Amazon. co. uk (Accessed on 9 March 2017)

Debussy, C. (1910) Préludes pour piano. [sheet music] Paris: Durant et Cie. (now public domain) [Online] At: http://ks.imslp.info/files/imglnks/usimg/0/0c/IMSLP521885-PMLP2394-Debussy_Claude-Pr%C3%A9ludes_1er_Livre_Durand_7687_scan.pdf (Accessed on 01 March 2020)

Denis, A. (1983) ‘Tritone’. In: The New Oxford Companion to Music, Volume 1: A–J: Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Devoto, M. (2004) Debussy And The Veil Of Tonality: Essays On His Music. New York: Pendragon Press.

Engel, C. and Ewen, D. (2016) The Life and Work of Claude Debussy. [kindle edition] From: Amazon.co.uk Accessed on: (3 April 2017)

Griffiths, P. (2006) A concise history of Western music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Morris, C. (2007) ‘Roderick The Elusive Symbolist movement article.’ In: NY Times [online] At: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/16/arts/16iht-conway.4930748.html?pagewanted=all (Accessed on 3 April 2013)

pianoscales (2012) Chinese Scales. At: https://www.pianoscales.org/chinese.html (Accessed frequently and particularly throughout March- April 2020)

Schonberg, H. (1997) The Lives of the Great Composers. (Third Edition)London: WW Norton & Co.

Schrott, A. (n.d) Claude Debussy: Biography by Allen Schrott. At:http://www.allmusic.com/artist/claude-debussy-mn0000768781/biography (Accessed on 3 April 2017)

Shapiro, N. (1981) An Encyclopedia of Quotations About Music. (1977 edition) Boston: Da Capo Press.

Taruskin, R. and Gibbs, C. (2013) The Oxford History of Western music. (College Edition) New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Wikipedia. (2017) ‘Impressionism in Music’ definition [online] At: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism_in_music (Accessed online on 3 April 2017)

Zimerman, K. (1994) Debussy: Préludes. [Audio CD Download] Available at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Debussy-Pr%C3%A9ludes-Claude/dp/B000001GGL/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=debussy+preludes&qid=1587214529&s=instant-video&sr=1-1-catcorr (Accessed throughout March- April 2020)