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> Music & Dance

Claude Debussy: Master of a New Musical Language   

In the late 19th century, French composer Claude Debussy created a new musical language that critics called “Impressionism.” Using whole-tone scales, bold harmonies, and vague melodic structures, Impressionism sounded very different from prevailing styles and paved the way for 20th century music. In this class, Professor Aldridge explores the life and innovative contributions of this fascinating composer, using examples from Debussy’s piano music including the beloved "Clair de Lune," chamber works, and orchestral compositions. This presentation includes a video performance of Debussy’s famous symphonic tone poem "La Mer."


Henry B. Aldridge is Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Eastern Michigan University and a popular Elderwise presenter. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina, and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Professor Aldridge is an amateur musician and lifelong admirer of classical music. He regularly plays the Barton theater pipe organ at the Michigan Theater.


  • Claude Debussy: Master of a New Musical Language
    Dates: 5/16/2022 - 5/16/2022

  • ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THIS CLASS IS CLOSED. If you are trying to register the day before this class starts or the day of the class, please email or call the office so we can register you over the phone and send you the Zoom Link. Thank you!
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