From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"One of the earliest examples of crossover music is the music of French composer Claude Debussy. In 1889 the French government staged the great Paris Exposition, an event that was to have profound effects on many areas of western art and music. Debussy visited the exposition and it was here that he first heard gamelan music performed by Sundanese musicians. He was transfixed by the hypnotic, layered sound of the gamelan orchestra and reportedly returned to the Dutch East Indies pavilion over several days to listen to the Indonesian musicians perform and to study the structure and tuning of this novel musical form. His exposure to gamelan music had a direct influence on the composition of his famous Nocturnes for orchestra. "--Sholem Stein
1889 (MDCCCLXXXIX) was the 889th year of the 2nd millennium, the 89th year of the 19th century, and the 10th and last year of the 1880s decade.
- January 3 – Nietzsche's collapse and mental breakdown
- March 31 – The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated (opens May 6). Contemporary critics regard it as aesthetically displeasing.
- Twilight of the Idols, a book by Friedrich Nietzsche
- The Kreutzer Sonata, a novella by Leo Tolstoy
- "Civilisation, Its Cause and Cure" (1889) is a text by Edward Carpenter
- January 15 - Walter Serner, German writer ("Letzte Lockerung") (d. 1942)
- April 15 – Thomas Hart Benton, American muralist (d. 1975)
- April 26 – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher (d. 1951)
- September 25 – C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Scottish author and translator (d. 1930)
- November 1 – Hannah Höch, German painter and photographer (d. 1978)