Thursday, February 02, 2012

Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (complete)

Uploaded by on Feb 1, 2012

Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, by Claude Debussy, with an animated graphical score.

Q: Where can I learn more about this piece?
A: Where else? Wikipedia:

Q: What do the different shapes mean?
A: The flute (which begins the piece) is shown in "walking ellipses." The woodwinds are shown with rhombi, the brass are shown with hollow elliptical "auras," the bowed strings are shown with rectangular bars (which flicker when the strings are doing tremolos), and the plucked and struck instruments (pizzicato strings, harp, and crotales) are shown with hollow rhombi that collapse.

Q: What do the colors indicate?
A: The colors are assigned by a system called "harmonic coloring" in which the twelve pitch classes, C, C-sharp, D, etc., arranged on the "circle of fifths," are mapped to twelve hues, arranged on the "color wheel." This allows you to see changes in harmony and tonality. You can read more about this here:

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