Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky

The music of Debussy, Ravel, and Stravinsky keeps inspiring audiences, performers, and composers in both the classical, jazz, and film music worlds. Each of these composers had his own fascinating way of connecting the western tonal tradition with the rhythms and modalities of musical styles from various foreign cultures from Spain to East Asia, and with new techniques like chordal extension, harmonic parallellism, the use of whole-tone and octatonic collections, and finally bitonality.

Furthermore, influences between these three composers and the jazz world have gone both ways. Early jazz can be heard in Debussy’s Golliwog’s Cakewalk, Stravinsky’s Ragtime, and Ravel’s Violin Sonata and his two piano concertos. On the other hand, Billy Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps, and the piano styles of Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock show clear influences of Debussy and Ravel.

In about eleven weekly lessons of 1,5 hours a number of representative works will be studied in detail. The aim of this course is to get a good basic insight in the musical language of these three composers (for Stravinsky only of his early ‘Russian’ period).

Course details

teacher Clemens Kemme
period 1st term, 1.5 hours per week
day Fridays
requirements Analysis II
work form study group
examination analytical talk of 20 minutes about a piece of one of the three composers
credits 2
code KTh11