Mode de Valeur Et D’intensite Essay

309 WordsMay 6, 20132 Pages
Music Critique Olivier Messiaen was a French composer well known for his unique abilities and technical style of manipulating the twelve-tone system. By creating his own scales, he had become one of the first composers to separate rhythm from melody, which was never heard of beforehand. He had mastered Serialism and students were eager to learn of his complex compositional techniques. Messiaen was also the first European composer to apply numerical organization to pitch, dynamics, duration and timbre (mode of attack). I studied one of Messiaen’s piano pieces called Mode de valeur et d’intensite, 1949. This is just one of the four movements within this composition, and the most studied. It is French basically stating: Mode of Durations and Intensities. According to the composer himself, there are separate modes composed of thirty-six pitches, twenty-four durations, twelve attacks (timbre), and seven dynamics. The combination of modes reveals colors of durations and intensity; for they are all on the same plane as the pitches with each pitch having a different duration, attack and intensity. Messiaen’s music has been known as the Impressionistic era, with his own flair. After hearing Debussy at the ripe ole age of ten, he knew at that moment he wanted to be a composer. Later, he drew inspiration from the sounds of the Japanese, Indian and ancient Greek music. He was also known for his interest in birds, their sounds and how to mimic those sounds with musical instruments. He was unquestionably an inspiration in his own time. As for me, I prefer the Modern Age of rock-n-roll, rhythm and blues kind a sounds, but to learn of such sounds and music is a great inspiration to us all. It is a simple reminder; do not ever give up on your dreams; for you never know where they will take
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