Impressionist

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Definition

A number of Arts movements develop as a response to what had come before. Impressionism was no different, being developed as reaction to the chromatic nature of music from the Romantic period.

Music written in the impressionist style mirrors the style of painting by Artists such as Claude Monet, where edges between objects are often blurred. This effect was created in the music through the use of cross rhythms, often tying notes across a barline, and on piano, particular use was made of the sustain pedal.

Examples

BBC education: Debussy, world music and impressionism
A clip from Howard Goodall's Story of Music discusses the background and context of Impressionism.


In this example of Impressionist piano music, Andrew von Oeyen performs Claude Debussy's 'Clair de lune'.


A visual representation of 'Arabesque No1' by Claude Debussy, performed by Stephen Malinowski.

Related concepts