Infusion of Exotic Influences in Selected Collaborative Piano Repertoire
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The rise of interest in exotic cultures gradually spread throughout Europe over many centuries, impacting the visual arts, literature, and music. Musical exoticism can be traced back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Starting in the late eighteenth century, composers began to use these elements more actively. The introduction of railways in nineteenth-century Europe made travel much easier so that composers and professional musicians were able to experience many different cities, countries and cultures. Increasing cultural exchanges gave composers inspiration and the added exotic idioms in their works evoked the sound of otherness. Composers used rhythms, melodies, or interesting instrumentations thereby evoking the atmosphere of foreign lands, people, or ancient times. Some composers actually used authentic musical material however this was not the norm. This trait arguably was at its most prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The three recitals which comprise my topic focused on the following evidence of the infusion of exotic influences in selected collaborative piano repertoire: the Gypsy/Roma influence, oriental and Spanish influences in the works of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and exotic influences as used by Latin America and British composers. The three recitals were performed and recorded in the Gildenhorn Recital Hall at the University of Maryland School of Music on December 3, 2012, April 21, 2013 and November 24, 2013, and are available on compact discs in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).