Get help now
  • Pages 2
  • Words 435
  • Views 442
  • Download


    Verified writer
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • 5/5
    Delivery result 2 hours
    Customers reviews 234
    Hire Writer
    +123 relevant experts are online

    How Was Impressionism in Music Like Impressionism in Art Essay

    Academic anxiety?

    Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task

    Get help now

    124 experts online

    Throughout history, art and music have developed in parallel with each other. The impressionist movement is no exception. Impressionism in art began in France near the end of the 19th century. Impressionist painters did not seek to show reality in the classical sense of a picture-perfect image; instead, they emphasized light and color to give an overall “impression” of their subjects. Much in the same way, impressionism in music aims to create descriptive impressions, not necessarily to draw clear pictures.

    The music is not designed to explicitly describe anything, but rather to create a mood or atmosphere. This is done through almost every aspect of music: melody, harmony, color, rhythm, and form. Melodies tend to be short in nature, often repeated in different contexts to give different moods. In terms of color, notes are often drawn from scale systems other than the traditional major and minor. These include pentatonic, whole-tone, or other exotic scales (for example, Debussy, a major figure of impressionism, was influenced by Asian music).

    The use (or misuse, as some rites might say) of harmony was a major part of impressionism. Impressionists did not use chords in the traditional way. For nearly the entire history of Western music, chords had been used to build and relieve tension, thus giving the music a sense of direction. Now to provide an example of impressionism, we have “L ‘isle Josses” (“The Island of Joy”) by Claude Debussy. This is actually a musical interpretation of the painting “The Embarkation for Cetera” by Jean-Antoine Wattage.

    Both the painting and the piece tell the story of a Journey to the mythical island of Cetera, an ideal place of love and beauty. The opening trills suggest the excited anticipation of the travelers; a middle section depicts them floating over the water; their arrival is heralded by Jubilant trumpeting; and their ecstatic Joy in realizing their destination provides a climactic finish. The chords in this piece sometimes serve no harmonic purpose in the traditional sense; these chords set the joyful “color” and mood of the piece, and are no longer exclusively used to build and release tension.

    Sometimes the melody isn’t very clear, but rather implied… We only get an impression of it. Impressionism marked the first major steps into the Debussy and Maurice Ravel. An especially noteworthy aspect of impressionism was the weakening of the concept of tonality. Even though impressionist music was still tonal in nature, the “non-functional” chords paved the way for the later likes of Schoenberg, and others to do away with tonality altogether. How Was Impressionism in Music Like Impressionism in Art By charity]offers

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

    Need custom essay sample written special for your assignment?

    Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

    Order custom paper Without paying upfront

    How Was Impressionism in Music Like Impressionism in Art Essay. (2017, Nov 26). Retrieved from

    We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

    Hi, my name is Amy 👋

    In case you can't find a relevant example, our professional writers are ready to help you write a unique paper. Just talk to our smart assistant Amy and she'll connect you with the best match.

    Get help with your paper