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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Claude Debussy and Early Silent Films: An Analysis on the Influences of the Development of Silent Film on Classical Music
by Takagi, Mizuki, M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 25; 13426498
Abstract (Summary)

Late impressionistic music and early silent films overlap chronologically with the origins of silent films and late impressionism starting around 1895. The two art forms also originated in France. The absence of sound in film and the lack of imagery in music makes it hard to research the correlation between the two art forms, but if anyone were to make such a connection possible, it would be in the works by Debussy. Debussy, always looking to further the precepts of impressionism, was intrigued by the newly developing art of cinematography from the beginning of its creation.

Research shows a strong correlation between the two art forms because of the way Debussy had worked with visual art previously and discussed borrowing ideas for transitions, thematic development and condensing from early silent films. In this paper, I will be analyzing the Debussy's Violin Sonata (1917) and the silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902) by Georges Melies, comparing and contrasting their use of transitional material, visual techniques and describing how the two are similar while providing evidence of Debussy's interest in the silent film art form. A thorough analysis of the two works will showcase how Debussy actively borrowed ideas from silent films in his later works.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Simeonov, Moni
Commitee: Gronnier, Henry, Torres-Santos, Raymond
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music theory, Music, Film studies
Keywords: Debussy Violin Sonata, Debussy, Claude, Le Voyage dans la Lune, Melies, Georges, Silent films
Publication Number: 13426498
ISBN: 978-1-392-09727-4
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