The Impressionistic Period THE IMPRESSIONISTIC PERIOD The Impressionistic Period took place during the latter half of the 19th century and the beginning half of the 20th century. Impressionistic music was first started by Claude Debussy, a French composer. He also founded the impressionist school of music. The Impressionistic Period started as a revolt against German romanticism. The influence of the French impressionist paintings also helped form this style of music. Debussys music was brief, elegant, and rather cold, unlike the period before, which held sentimental music.
At one point in his life, he broke away and composed a piece which was more conventional, called La Mer, which means the sea. There were many different composers during the Impressionistic Period. Some of them were Manuel de Falla, Fredrick Delius, Ralph Williams Vaughan, and Ottorino Respighi. These and other composers helped to make up the Impressionistic Period. Delius and Vaughan were English composers. La Falla was a Spanish composer. Impressionistic music was especially popular in the European countries.
Impressionistic music was influenced by Claude Monets painting, Sunrise. Other impressionistic artists were Camile Pissaro, Auguste Renior, Edgar Degas, and Berthe Morisot. Many people of the time rejected this style of art. The paintings were flooded with bright colors applied directly to the canvas in small textured strokes. This style broke the consistency of the clearly outlined and represented paintings of this time. Impressionistic music had a vagueness of form and the elusive mark of impressionism.
Some characteristics are the use of unconventional chord changes, comparative unimportance of melody, and pentatonic scales often replaced the major and minor scales. The Impressionistic Period was also famous for its literature. Impressionism in literature often is used broadly, including symbolism, imagism, and other styles that were not formal, some leaders in impressionistic literature were not formal, some leaders in impressionistic literature were American poets, Amy Lowell and Ezra Pound. The Impressionistic Period was a great influence on many people of the time. We still remember it today as a great step forward in musical history.