Claude Debussy Research Paper

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Claude Debussy was one of the leading composers of the twentieth century. His music pioneered new genres, and he was considered the father of impressionistic music. To understand Claude Debussy and his music, it is important to take a look at his early life and what effect that may have had on his character and influences. His early life had great influence on his musicality and musicianship, specifically his song set Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse. Achille-Claude Debussy (known as Claude Debussy) was born in 1862 to Manuel-Achille and Victorine Debussy. He lived a difficult life as a child and seemed to travel often. It is known that he did not grow up in the best circumstances, and Edward Lockspeiser writes that: [Debussy was] the son of an…show more content…
Debussy met her in a roundabout way: Debussy’s father joined the national guard and later became a part of the revolutionary Commune. With its defeat in 1871, Manuel went to prison for a year at Satory… [During this time, Claude Debussy] became acquainted with Charles de Sivry, the son of a rather pretentious woman named Antoinette-Flore Mauté de Fleurville, the mother in law of Paul Verlaine (Wenk 2). Madame (Mme.) Mauté was an excellent teacher, able to easily teach what she had learned from Chopin, “whose ideals, thus assimilated, her young pupil never forgot” (Vallas 1973 4). Debussy passed the exam after only a few months of training with Mme. Mauté. Debussy took solfege classes with Albert Lavignac in his first three years. Albert Lavignac was surprised to see that Debussy “had a remarkable degree of musical sensibility, a taste for unusual chords, complex rhythms, and unexpected progression of subtle harmonies” (Vallas 1973 4). It was clear that Debussy had a mature musical taste even at the young age of 11. He was not interested in conventional musical ideas even then. Lavignac had an attachment with Debussy, sometimes keeping him after class and reading music with him. “…He often lost count of time in reading over and over with Achille some comparatively new work, such as the Overture to ‘Tannhauser’, an opera whose first performance at Paris some twelve years previously had caused quite an artistic,

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