The Impressionism movement in music (1890-1930) paralleled the French artist and writer Impressionist ideas. Artists focused less on realistic depictions and more on visual impressions, impact of light and capturing visual change (such as moving waves, grass blowing in the wind or the impact of filtered light through moving trees). In music, these ideas resulted in less focus on melody, functional harmony and form in favor of free-form works that featured color and texture.

There were multiple reactions to the Romantic Era, resulting in a diversity of music during the modern musical era. While Impressionism flourished during this time, other types of music also blossomed during the same time period.

In this sequence of pages about Impressionism you will learn:

  • Impressionist influence of artists, writers
  • Impressionist influence of the camera
  • Functional harmony vs Impressionist use of harmony
  • Scales commonly used in Impressionist music

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