Claude Debussy – Estampes: Pagodes

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Pagodes  is part of a larger piece Estampes by Debussy evokes images of East Asia, which Debussy first heard in the Paris World Conference Exhibition of 1889, and later again in 1900.  While at the exhibition he heard a Javanese Gamelan for the first time. A gamelan is made up of several percussion instruments and has such a wonderful sound. What makes it sound distinctly Asian is the use of what is called a ‘pentatonic’ scale. (Don’t worry I’m not going to start getting technical now.) It uses 5 notes  which I’m sure you will have heard before.  It is one of those pieces that will leave you feeling very ‘chilled ’out.

Laura CampbellComment