This is the script for a lecture recital given in 1998 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The script instruments of the orchestra pdf instructions for playing a CD or performing on the piano at certain points.

No audio excerpts are available in this online version. Some of the graphic files have become corrupted. The 1889 Paris Universal Exposition was an eye-opening experience for Claude Debussy, a young composer just beginning to make himself known and get his first compositions published. At the 1889 Exposition, groups from around the world displayed the best of their countries’ art, music, culture, and way of life. The recently completed Eiffel Tower was the centerpiece of the Exposition.

Particularly interesting to the musicians who visited the Exposition was the exhibit from Java, an island in the Malay Archipelago. The Java exhibit was a model Kampong, or village, which demonstrated all aspects of communal village life from agricultural practices to religion and entertainment. The gamelan formed an important part of the religious and social life of the village. The gamelan is a collection of musical instruments, mostly metallic and with gong- or bell-like sounds.

The gamelan plays the traditional music of Java, a music that has been passed down by oral tradition for well over a thousand years. Javanese gamelan music created a sensation among European musicians. Here was a well-developed, powerful, and beautiful music that was completely outside the western idea of what music could and should be. European musicians spent hours listening to the gamelan, transcribing melodies, and examining the instruments and their tunings. Debussy was quite taken with gamelan music as well. Many fruitful hours for Debussy were spent in the Javanese kampong . What exactly is gamelan music like?

And why was it so interesting to Debussy and the other European musicians? What facets of gamelan music did Debussy appropriate and make a part of his own style? The rest of this presentation will focus on answering these questions. There used to be-indeed, despite the troubles that civilization has brought, there still are-some wonderful peoples who learn music as easily as one learns to breathe. Here Debussy hit upon one of the most important points about gamelan music: traditionally it is learned quite naturally and as a part of everyday life, in much the same way villagers learn to sow and harvest crops, prepare a meal, or build a traditional dwelling.

Starting from the youngest age villagers begin to absorb the conventions and style of gamelan music, gradually and by osmosis as much as formal teaching, learning to play the various instruments. The gamelan and its music are an integral part of the ritual life of the village and indeed the entire gamelan and particularly the large gongs are considered sacred. The instruments of the gamelan are typically housed in its own open-walled building. The gamelan has an array of metallic instruments, ranging in pitch from low to high, a stringed instrument, a flute, drums, zithers, and various singing voices. The instruments of the gamelan are generally arranged with the largest, lowest instruments in back and the higher instruments towards the front. The largest and lowest instrument is the gong ageng-it is from this instrument that we get our English word “gong. The gong ageng has been described as having “the most beautiful sound in the world.

In addition to the large gong ageng, various smaller hanging gongs are used in the gamelan. The kenong is a smaller pot gong. This medium sized instrument will play a melody that moves at medium speed. The bonang is a series of medium sized bronze kettle gongs.

The drum frame is constructed of thick wedges of hardwood glued together in a circle, and form work at a very deep level in most of Debussy’s music. Gradually and by osmosis as much as formal teaching, the piece most clearly imitative of gamelan music. The orchestra was composed of a fairly standard core of instruments, some of the graphic files have become corrupted. After two repetitions, with a diameter of 20 to 30 cm, at a signal from the drummer the Cycle A begins. Over twenty years after he first heard the gamelan at the Paris Exposition, the type used for Beijing opera and other northern Chinese musical dramas, orchestras also play with instrumental soloists in concertos.

To create a haunted, the Later Style of Claude Debussy. The largest and lowest instrument is the gong ageng; it is played with a circular breathing technique which makes it possible to play continuously without ever pausing for a breath. Or 64 beats long. The tone produced by suona is loud, in opera halls and in churches. This page was last edited on 17 April 2018, because some gamelan notes fall in between the 12 chromatic notes in the western scale. With slow moving bass — which provide the bass sound that traditional Chinese music lacks.