Assignment 4

For this Assignment I was asked to write a short prelude for the piano in the style of Debussy’s preludes.

I initially didn’t find this task easy at all, especially at the beginning. I therefore created a scene, which I adapted the music to.  Even though the title “Dance of elves” would have been enough for the picture or impression I wanted to create, with a story behind it I found it easier to find the right style.

I thought of about elves, dancing in a wood at. One of them discovers a human corpse, and tries to decide what to do with it. Some other elves make several suggestions. As the elf who opened the dance can sense, that there is still a spirit in the corpse, he suggests to take it and turn it into an elf as well. The other elves agree and start dancing around the corpse to free the spirit, which slowly forms a new elf. They all continue to dance.

Bars 1 – 10 as well as 38 – 53 are Mixolydian (first starting on B, then on G). This indicates the elves’ dance as well as the one elf with the idea. (The theme in the first bar played by the left hand is copied in the retrograded version in bar two for the right hand. From bars 11-18 more elves join the dance, the mode switches to Dorian on E. In bar 19 they find the body, the pace and time signature change to signalise that they’re slowing down, furthermore they only “restrict” themselves to the notes of a whole tone scale. In bar 32 the time signature moves back to 6/8 and the key moves back to Dorian (E), as the elves continue their initial dance. The end is similar to the start with a Mixolydian key (G) in bar 38, when they greet a new member and continue with their dance.


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