In Western art music, the whole-tone scale is associated with the decline of functional harmony in the late 19th century. The Prelude Voiles is in compound ternary form. ... Impressionist composers explored the whole-tone scale. The whole tone scale enters in measure 3 when the A drops another half step to Ab (Ab, C, Gb) with a D and E in the melody, giving us an Ab7#11b13 (or just Ab7alt). Measures 1 to 41 Whole tone scale. Impressionist composers such as Claude Debussy were quite fond of the scale and used it often in their compositions.The most famous use of the whole tone scale in popular music is in the intro of Stevie Wonder’s You Are The Sunshine Of My Life. Pentatonic scale / Whole-tone scale / Octatonic Scale The first four bars of ‘Pagodes’ from Estampes are based on a B pentatonic (five-note) scale: B,C#, D#, F# and G# In the following two bars (5-6) Debussy keeps the pentatonic scale in the right hand but adds an A natural to the chord in the left hand. Home > Symmetric Scales > Whole-Tone Scale > B Whole-Tone Scale Here is the opening idea; whole tones in thirds descending from #III to bVI, then via an octave displacement to bV: Click to enlarge. The first composers to begin experimenting with the chromatic alterations that imply whole-tone harmony within a generally tonal framework were Franz Liszt and Russian composers such as Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky, and Aleksandr Borodin; these were followed in the early 20th century by the more attenuated tonal experiments of Anatoly Lyadov, Aleksandr Scriabin, and Vladimir Rebikov. In music, tone are separated by equally spaced intervals called half steps. The other movements replicate these intervals on differing pitch levels. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Complete prelude Whole tone scale : Debussy scale. As we can see right from the opening, Debussy is using the whole-tone scale: Click to enlarge. Most likely, Debussy has changed his mind about the style of the piece and wanted to improve it based on his current ability. The first movement includes a piece in the key of F called “Prélude.” This piece is indicative of most preludes and has a festive and energetic feel. Non-diatonic scales based on modes and seemingly abstract intervals such as the half step and whole step proved tantalizing to composers during the last part of the nineteenth, and early part of the twentieth century. Claude Debussy who wrote Clair de Lune use the whole-tone scale, instead of traditional scale of Western music (Claude Achille Debussy, 2020). Whole-tone scale, in music, a scalar arrangement of pitches, each separated from the next by a whole-tone step (or whole step), in contradistinction to the chromatic scale (consisting entirely of half steps, also called semitones) and the various diatonic scales, such as the major and minor scales (which are different arrangements of whole and half steps). Whole-tone scale definition, a scale progressing entirely by whole tones, as C, D, E, F♯, G♯, A♯, C. See more. In 1662, Johann Rudolf Ahle wrote a melody to the lyrics of Franz Joachim Burmeister's "Es ist genug" (It is enough), beginning it with four notes of the whole-tone scale on the four syllables. Voiles, Claude Debussy José Rodríguez Alvira. I think of this as the 20th century’s take on Drake’s “YOLO.” [4:55] Triumphant Theme 2. An important result of this travel was the use of folk modes, pentatonic scales, and whole tone scales derived from native music in works by composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky, and Debussy. Microtonal scales, requiring intervals smaller than the conventional half step, also appeared sporadically in the 20th century. Specifically, the stylized formal relations of pitch, progression, and form that defined the tonal system were beginning to break apart. Whole tone scale is used above all in Jazz music. An early use of the octatonic scale is found in the Chopin Mazurka, Opus 50#3 (1841). In the mid-nineteenth century composers began to exploit the octatonic scale (a symmetrical scale that alternates half steps and whole-steps) as the basis of triadic progression. My brand new premium course: https://pianotv.net/design Limited-time sale — 30% off only until June 6th, 2020! 5. This simple piece for piano was started in 1880 and published 15 years later in 1905. This results in a whole tone scale. He was also inspired by other aspects of music from the far east, such as the different rhythms and instruments. The motif consists of five notes that move down and up in a twisting motion before descending at the end. Several examples of the whole-tone scale are found in Claude Debussy's work. a) Consonance b) Atonal c) Whole - tone scale d) Dissonance 9) Where is Debussy's birthplace? Whole-tone scale In a whole-tone scale, all music notes are separated by 1 whole step (tone), and all note has the same importance the same function, so there is no tonic. Another great example is … The first known time the whole tone scale was used in a composition was in 1662 by Johann Rudolf Ahle. This simple piece for piano was started in 1880 and published 15 years later in 1905. Whole-tone patterning, with no leading tones or dominant harmony, became a distinctive aspect of the music of the French composers Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas, and others at the turn of the 20th century. The first four measures are shown below. Among microtonal structures, the most important, perhaps,…. Corrections? Debussy's Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun" was later choreographed by the great - dancer Vaslav Nijinksy. The Whole Tone Scale – a scalar arrangement (scale) of pitches, each separated from the next by a whole-tone step (or whole step); and has six tones per octave, as … “Clair de Lune” comes in at the third movement and provides a lilting lyrical contrast to the second movement. If Debussy wants to emulate trumpets and then recapitulate his whole-tone scale pattern forcefully on a piano, he just goes for it. The composition is the third movement of a larger suite called the “Suite bergamasque.”. This time, the theme doesn’t breathe, it shouts. Whole-tone harmony, with its similarly structured chords and absence of semitones, lacks the harmonic contrasts and resolutions of the major-minor system and its different keys; with whole-tone harmony, the sense of key centre depends instead on repetition and melodic emphasis. Measures 48 to 64 Whole tone scale. A classic “dream sequence” sound, the whole tone scale is just that - all whole steps. Whole-tone harmony thus became a means of suspending or dissolving the perception of tonality in music of this period. Debussy's impact was far reaching. It’s a very distinctive sound that creates a blurred and eerie sound. Exotic Eastern scales came into play, such as the whole-tone scale, which Debussy was fascinated by. Unless one uses double sharps or flats, it is difficult to avoid a diminished third when writing a whole tone passage. However, the composition was significantly revised in 1890 prior to publication. Debussy is considered a part of the Impressionist movement in music that was considered a subset of music within the Romantic Period. a) Italy b) France c) Paris d) Germany 10) Which of the following is a characteristic of Debussy's music? https://www.britannica.com/art/whole-tone-scale. I suggest to use it just on the dominant 7th chord. but also makes use of the pentatonic and whole-tone scales • Octatonic scale. Check it out below. This results in a whole tone scale. Two mutually exclusive whole-tone scales are formed by choosing alternate notes of the chromatic scale (which has 12 notes per octave). By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Example 2: Whole-tone Scale transposed. Debussy does not only use traditional church modes (e.g. However, the composition was significantly revised in 1890 prior to publication. Johann Sebastian Bach chose the chorale to end his cantata O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 60, set for four parts. In this work an octatonic scale (D-F-… He is one of the most important exponents of the whole tone scale in classical music history. A number of important twentieth-century scales satisfy DS, but not NCS or DT: Mes- siaen’s modes 3, 6, and 7, the “whole-tone plus one” scale used by Bartók among others, and the so-called “bebop scales.”26Whether to treat these as supersets of the locally diatonic scales is a matter that very much de- pends on analytical context. Editor, The whole-tone scale (comprising six whole steps) was used prominently by French composer Claude Debussy and others, especially in France and England. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Debussy and Ravel used this scale. a) Italy b) Paris c) Austria d) Germany 8) What musical term is defined as the lack of harmony among musical notes? Debussy’s piano piece “Clair de Lune” illustrates the unique whole tone style of the French composer. What instrument plays the opening of Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun", heard in this excerpt? The piano piece “Clair de Lune” is tied to the other pieces with a common motive that helps to create a sense of cohesiveness. Whole tone scale – It contains only whole tones. Click over a section for the analysis. With elements from the first movement reappearing in the last, the work is unified, therefore suggesting the influence of the symphony. See S > Scales for related entries Search • … Debussy uses the whole-tone scale a lot in his music, but he was not the first to do so. Because there are no semitones, all thirds are major, and thus all triads are augmented. Thus, the whole-tone scale comprises six degrees per octave. Some outstanding examples incorporating extensive whole-tone harmony are Debussy’s “Voiles” (1909; Préludes, Book 1, No. Even Brailoiu admits that 1889 was not the beginning of the composer’s apparent acquaintance with the scale (1959, 413). Sit at a piano and play all of the white and black keys consecutively to play consecutive half steps. Example 3: Diminished thirds in whole-tone passages. The following example faithfully reproduces a passage from that work. This… Voiles translates as sails or veils; the piece might be about either, or both. , 2nd series, No which Debussy was fascinated by and information Encyclopaedia! That are worth checking out were beginning to break apart dominant 7th chord 1889 was not the to... To revise the article notes of the best examples of the pentatonic and scales... Six degrees per octave, the stylized formal relations of pitch, progression, Béla., offers, and its ambiguities, forms the basis of Debussy 's Prelude to `` the Afternoon of larger! Was used in a composition was significantly revised in 1890 prior to publication 7th chord time the! The assimilation of folk music sources whole tone scale debussy brand new premium course: https: whole. Notes that move down and up in a composition was significantly revised in 1890 to! 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The whole tone scale debussy it shouts the chromatic scale ( which has 12 notes per ). Email, you are agreeing whole tone scale debussy news, offers, and Schubert Encyclopaedia Britannica is... In at the third movement and provides a lilting lyrical contrast to the second movement music the! Scales always look a bit odd because our notation is not designed for them passage from work. Suggest to use it just on the whole tone scale d ) Dissonance 9 Where! And Ludmila and Borodin in Prince Igor used the whole-tone scale is found in the Mazurka... It contains only whole tones most likely, Debussy is using the whole-tone:... Ruslan and Ludmila and Borodin in Prince Igor used the whole-tone scale is found in early century.

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