University of South Carolina
School of Music

Debussy & Ravel

Summer 2023

MUSC 726D | Blackboard | Works for Study

C O U R S E   M O D U L E S
Piano Music
2. Ballet Music
3. String Quartets
4. Solo and Other
Chamber Music
5. Vocal Music and
Triangle icon Orchestral Music


Thanks for a great summer term!


Left quote
Because music fascinates, excites, and moves us, we want to explain, if only imperfectly, in what ways the events within a particular composition are related to one another and how such relationships shape musical experience.
Right quote

– Leonard Meyer

Course Description

Analysis of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, style and orchestration in the music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel

Prerequisite: Undergraduate tonal harmony and voice leading

Course Documents

  1. Syllabus (pdf) Updated con
  2. Works for Study
  3. Recommended Reading
  4. Bibliography
  5. Special Topics
  6. Digital Anthology
  7. Theory Resources

Asynchronous Thursday Activities

  1. Visualizing Debussy & Ravel (pdf) – Due: Fri., June 23, 11:59 pm
  2. Special Topics (pdf) – Due: Fri., June 29, 11:59 pm
  3. Final Presentation Self-Reflection (pdf) – Due: Fri., July 7, 11:59 pm

Analysis Projects

  1. Debussy Project (pdf) – Due: Fri., June 23, 11:59 pm
  2. Ravel Project (pdf) – Due: Sat., July 1, 11:59 pm
  3. Final Project

Online Media Resources

  1. Barenboim, 5 Minutes on Claude Debussy
  2. Boston Symphony Orchestra, Behind the Music
  3. British Library
  4. Christiansen, Earsense: Debussy & Ravel
  5. Howat, Fibonacci and the Golden Section {} (Howat 1983)
  6. Gjerdingen, Child Composers {YouTube} (Gjerdingen 2020)
  7. Guttman, Classical Notes
  8. King & Coulter, The Music Professor {YouTube Channel}
  9. London Philharmonic
  10. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel
  11. Malinowski, Music Animation Machine {}
  12. Martin, Listening In {YouTube Channel}
  13. Morgan Library & Museum
  14. Musical Times, Portraits of Debussy
  15. Philharmonia Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen
  16. Pianist Magazine
  17. Ross
  18. Smith College Museum of Art
  19. Swingle Singers
  20. Teoria, Web-based analyses by José Rodríguez Alvira
  21. Tonebase Piano {YouTube Channel}

Research Tools

  1. FindIt @ UofSC
  2. Dictionaries: Harvard Dictionary | Grove/Oxford
  3. Articles: JSTOR
  4. E-books: Ebook Central | EBSCOhost | Hathi Trust
  5. Scores: IMSLP; Alexander Street; CPDL
  6. Recordings: Naxos | Spotify | YouTube

Lists of Works

  1. Claude Debussy {WP; IMSLP}
  2. Maurice Ravel {WP; IMSLP}

Autograph Manuscripts

  1. Claude Debussy
  2. Maurice Ravel

BnF - Bibliothèque nationale de France

Music Theory Journals

  1. 19th-Century Music {UC Press}
  2. College Music Symposium {CMS}
  3. Engaging Students: Essays in Music Pedagogy {OSU Libraries}
  4. Indiana Theory Review {IU Press}
  5. Intégral {}
  6. Journal of Mathematics and Music {Taylor & Francis}
  7. Journal of Music Theory {JMT; JSTOR}
  8. Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy {JMTP}
  9. Journal of New Music Research {Taylor & Francis}
  10. Music Analysis {Wiley; JSTOR}
  11. Perspectives on New Music {Website; JSTOR}
  12. Society for Music Theory (SMT)
  13. Theory and Practice {JSTOR}

Main References

See also: BAIN MUSC 726D Bibliography

DeVoto. Mark. 2004. Debussy and the Veil of Tonality: Essays on His Music. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press. {GB}

Parks, Richard S. 1989. The Music of Claude Debussy. New Haven: Yale University Press. {GB}

Howat, Roy. 1983. Debussy in Proportion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. {GB}

Kaminsky, Peter, ed. 2011. Unmasking Ravel: New Perspectives on the Music. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. {GB}

Kelly, Barbara L. 2001. "Ravel, (Joseph) Maurice." Grove Music Online. {Grove}

Lesure, François and Roy Howat. 2001. Debussy, (Achille-) Claude." Grove Music Online. {Grove}

Passler, Jan. 2001. "Impressionism." Grove Music Online. {Grove}

Ross, Alex. 2018. "The Velvet Revolution of Claude Debussy: How a reclusive Frenchman created some of the most radical, beautiful music of the modern era." The New Yorker (Oct. 22, 2018). {New Yorker}

Zank, Stephen. 2009. Irony and Sound: The Music of Maurice Ravel. Rochester: University of Rochester Press. {GB}

Updated: September 9, 2023

Reginald Bain | University of South Carolina | School of Music