Analysis of Contemporary Music



Two major instruments used are the Shamisen, an instrument similar to the lute without frets and with three strings and the koto, which is a long zither with 13 strings. Through the use of the Shamisen an interesting buzzing sound can be produced by setting the lowest string below the bridge. The sound of rippling waters is an interesting effect produced in the music , while running across the strings conveys the impression of a bird’s wings. It rises and falls, maintaining pure clear tones that are simple yet evocative and striking in the rendition of the stringed melody. This piece of music by Claude Debussy was completed in 1894 and was also premiered in the same year. The theme of this piece of music is the dreamy midday dance of the faun and its music is fresh and different and does not conform to any set patterns. The instruments used are primarily stringed instruments such as the oboe and the piece starts on the plaintive notes of the flute. This is a unique kind of musical composition because it stays in the flute theme and then builds variations of it, building in volume during the middle section of the piece when it builds to a fortissimo, only to return again to the slow and sweet notes of the flute. The music does not keep to any particular key throughout, it keeps varying. The music is delicate and soft, in tune with the character of the faun, its light leaping and graceful movements portrayed through the medium of the music, which is unusual and different from other pieces that existed during that time, defying classification into any category.