Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Christoforidis, Michael. “Manuel de Falla’s Homage to Debussy . . . and the Guitar.” Context 3 (Winter 1992): 3-13.

Manuel de Falla’s Homenaje a Debussy functions not only as a tribute to the French composer but also as a tribute to the guitar through its ending quotation of Debussy’s Soirée dans Grenade, prominent habanera rhythm, and scoring for solo guitar. Debussy’s influence on Falla cannot be quantified but can be heard in a number of his pieces. Falla wrote his homage shortly after Debussy’s death and coupled the composition with a tributary article that highlighted Debussy’s compositional talents as well as his connection to Spain and Spanish music. Around this same time, Falla had recently become interested in the guitar. Having previously turned down requests from friend and guitarist Miguel Llobet to compose a piece for the instrument, Falla saw an opportunity to satisfy his and his friend’s interests while also paying tribute to Debussy, who was equally fascinated with the Spanish guitar. In addition to writing for solo guitar, Falla links Debussy to the instrument and to Spain by using harmonies common to the Andalusian tuning of the guitar. Homenaje a Debussy makes prominent use of the habanera rhythm, which Debussy used frequently in his Spanish-inspired pieces. Falla’s quotation of Soireé dans Grenade reinforces Debussy’s musical connection to Spain.

Works: Manuel de Falla: Homenaje a Debussy.

Sources: Debussy: Soirée dans Grenade (5).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Christine Wisch

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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