The Arabesques of Debussy: The most well-known of this limited genre are Claude Debussy‘s Deux Arabesques, composed in 1888(N0 1) and 1891 (No.2), respectively. Debussy’s view of a musical arabesque was a line curved in accordance with nature, and with his music he mirrored the celebrations of shapes in nature made by the Art Nouveau artists of the time.
DEBUSSY’S USE OF TRIPLETS ON HIS ARABESQUES
My own observation: Both of Debussy’s Arabesques are written in duple meter or 4/4 time. A conductor uses straight and angular lines when conducting these rhythms. However, in the Arabesques, Debussy uses a wealth of triplets. Things in three can also be conducted using a circular motion. Triplets invoke circles. Triplets and the Art Nouveau style go together. In his quest for a new sound, Debussy looked to the 17th century for inspiration. Revealing his feelings for the baroque term, arabesque, he wrote: “that was the age of the ‘wonderful arabesque’, when music was subject to the laws of beauty inscribed in the movements of Nature herself.”
THE OQUAGA SPIRIT SPEAKS OF THINGS IN THREE
I can’t resist the temptation to bring up the words of the Oquaga Spirit in this regard: My own book of her poetry, called the Oquaga Spirit Speaks, will be available soon on the product page. Nature is all about curves and therefore, three-four time. In this regard, heed the words of the Oquaga Spirit. This excerpt is from “Nature’s Waltz”: Man likes duple meter. His triple meters wane. Return ye to the waltzes of Vienna; and the vibrant boleros of Spain.
Also my entire session of an hour of Debussy’s music will also be available, shortly. Below is a rough, unedited clip from the recording session. Techniques I learned from Mischa Kottler are readily viewable. Mischa Kottler studied in Paris in the 1920’s with Alfred Cortot. Cortot was a personal friend of Debussy. Enjoy!