The Harmonic Application of Impressionism into Selected Works by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Master’s Thesis Abstract

Marlon dos Santos Castro, M.A.

Campbellsville University

Chairperson: Dr. Wesley Roberts


The purpose of this study has been to create a reference source regarding the harmonic influence of French Impressionism into selected compositions by the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994). Works studied in this thesis are Boto, Samba do Avião, and Arquitetura de Morar. The transformation of Impressionism into these compositions by Jobim revealed how its characteristics were presented in the composer’s works.

Jobim was a protagonist in Brazilian music during the twentieth century. He served Brazilian music by using his compositional talent for more than forty years. Among his recordings were more than twenty albums containing compositions with Brazilian musical elements combined with classical characteristics, especially from French Impressionist composers such as Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.

Jobim’s creativity to blend rhythm, harmony, and melody in a sophisticated manner was distinctive for its time in Brazil. The ability to provide classical works of an artistic nature while being a popular musician made him a renowned composer.

This thesis is organized into chapters with a biography of the composer, a brief introduction to French Impressionism, individual chapters on Boto, Samba do Avião, and Arquitetura de Morar, a conclusion, authorized copies of the three scores, and a bibliography.

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