Claude Debussy’s use of the tritone 

Introduction to Debussy’s Pianistic Language

Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy

This is the tritone scale.

Built by pairing two major triads a tritone apart, and then placing those notes in scale order, the tritone scale brings a nice level of tension to your lines that you can use to build energy when soloing over 7th chords in a jazz or fusion context.

Art music in the twentieth century encompasses a wide range of expression, forms, and media. The development of mass communication and easy travel throughout the twentieth-century has linked the world into a global community that allows the collection and blending of many sources. One result of this is that diverse musical sources including folk music, Classical Indian Scales, American jazz elements, and the musical forms of Asia among others, have been assimilated into the Western Musical Tradition.

Debussy-Prelude to a Fawn-Leonard Bernstein

Folk music assimilation began before the end of the nineteenth century as Western thinkers explored previously remote lands and cultures.  An important result of this travel was the use of folk modes, pentatonic scales, and whole tone scales derived from native music in works by composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky, and Debussy.  Non-diatonic scales based on modes and seemingly abstract intervals such as the half step and whole step proved tantalizing to composers during the last part of the nineteenth, and early part of the twentieth century.

See an analysis of Prelude to a Fawn by Leonard Bernstein next.

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Bukit Brown: Longevity Plea

By Yik Han & Claire Leow

Some of the tombs at Bukit Brown have elaborate carvings of famous Chinese mythological figures, fables and personified values. These serve as teachings left by the deceased for his/her descendents, by way of bequeathing the lessons of life. Here, we report on three panels found at the tomb of Ong Sam Leong, the grandest at the site.

zhao yan pleads for longevity
zhao yan pleads for longevity

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THE MOUSAI

Muse with barbiton, Paestan red-figure lekanis C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre
Muse with barbiton, Paestan red-figure lekanis C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre

THE MOUSAI (Muses) were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass. Later the Mousai were assigned specific artistic spheres: Kalliope (Calliope), epic poetry; Kleio (Clio), history; Ourania (Urania), astronomy; Thaleia (Thalia), comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polymnia (Polyhymnia), religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), choral song and dance.

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Three Is a Magic Number: The Trinity Archetype in Harry Potter

Christopher Bell
University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Harry Potter
Harry Potter

The significance of the trinity archetype and the number three is recurrent in religions and myths around the world.

Within the trinity archetype, each element is both distinct from and symbiotic with the other elements—that is to say, each stands apart from the others, but none can truly function alone. This can be seen throughout Greek mythology, for example, The Moirae and The Musai, and of course, through the Christian Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While the archetype of the trinity appears numerous times throughout the Potter series, at its very heart, the series is centrally focused on a triad of trinities: the Trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione), the three  Unforgivable Curses, and the three Deathly Hallows. It is the intersection of this triad of trinities—this “supertrinity”—that not only drive the Potter narrative, but connect the work so readily to the psyche of readers and fans; it is how we are harmonically programmed, in terms of understanding stories.

A Generalist's Playground

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