The Sunken Cathedral Analysis

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Debussy broke the mold so to speak in the 20th century of music by breaking away from the typical German style laid out by composers such as Beethoven as he often explored dreamy and distant sound worlds in an effort to stand out amongst his earlier peers of the classical period. He began to be drawn to the sounds of the pentatonic scales, whole tone scale, and sounds otherwise known in Asia as his music in comparison often contained a rather circular motion which broke away from the formers heroic cadential style of resolution. This breaks his music away as his was more of an ambient and distant much like the impressionist art movement happening at the same time being led by the likes of Monet and Van Gough. The Sunken Cathedral by Debussy exhibits many traits of the new impressionistic forum of 20th century composers as he exhibits many methods to place the listener into a dream-like state using melodic variation and connectivity amongst voice leading in order to achieve a watery type effect. This effect makes the listener feel as if they are floating along with the piece itself as he adds complexities to the music with the slow harmonic variation throughout the piece. The opening of the piece contains several parallel voicing changes as he uses the G major pentatonic scale. He emphasized the use of fourths and fifths among the voicing to create a very open ambient sound world to set up the world around the piece. In measure three he then combines the same scale over F
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