Exploring Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”

1. Take a Closer Look at Exploring Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”
2. Carefully listen to the piano piece “Clair de Lune” and critically examine its components, style, context, and influence. Listen for and try identifying at least TWO basic elements of music.
3. Read the essay “Musical Impressionism: The Early History of the Term” by Ronald L. Byrnside from The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 4 (October, 1980), pp. 522-537
4. Now that you’ve carefully examined and researched the work of music, write and submit the finished essay using at least three fully developed paragraphs and at least 600 words, in which you:
Paragraph One: Describe Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune analytically. In doing this, identify and discuss two basic elements of music as described in “The Basic Elements of Music.” Explain how each of these two musical terms is shown in Debussy’s music. Please limit your discussion to only TWO musical terms.
Identify the mood of the song. What kind of “Impression” does it give you?
Explain whether Clair de Lune is Apollonian or Dionysian, and provide evidence supporting your argument.
Paragraph Two: Knowing that Clair de Lune belongs to a musical school known as Impressionism (based on your research), describe some similarities and differences between Impressionism as an artistic movement (as we learned about in Module 5) and as a movement in music. Use evidence from Clair de Lune and your exploration of Impressionism to support your arguments. Note: The Janaro textbook does an excellent job discussing Impressionism in Chapter 5.
Paragraph Three: Conclude by commenting on whether or not you believe that music and visual art should share an artistic classification such as “Impressionism.” In answering this question, you will need to discuss in some detail Monet’s painting “Impression: Sunrise” (see Janaro chapter 5) to make a comparison. In other words, does referring to Clair de Lune (the song) and Claude Monet’s “Impression Sunrise” (the painting) both as “Impressionism” make sense?
Be sure to use and cite your textbook, as well as the article “Musical Impressionism: The Early History of the Term” by Ronald L. Byrnside.