Term applied to composers such as Debussy, Delius, and Ravel who were composing in the same general time and place that the impressionist painters were active. This term, applied mostly to Debussy, refers to a blurring of classical forms, exaggerated attention to musical color, and a focus on modal and chromatic progressions rather than tonal ones. This style might better be referred to as "symbolist" rather than impressionist, as the writings of the symbolist poets had a greater influence on the composers than impressionistic art had.a stylistic period of composition that sought to put to music only the most immediate, direct impressions, upon the composer, of a given subject. Impressionism avoided traditional harmony of thirds, employing more often quartal or quintal tonality