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Clair de Lune piano sheet music

Claude Debussy

 

Practice playing in thirds with one of the most popular pieces from the impressionist era

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Claude Debussy was a French composer who developed a unique harmonic style, pushing music into the contemporary 20th century style in much the same way that Beethoven pushed classical music into the romantic era. 

He wrote for orchestra – perhaps his best known orchestral piece is La Mer, but it is his piano music that is most popular today. “Clair de Lune” is perhaps his most famous piece of piano music and it is the 3rd movement of a suite of 4 pieces under the title “Suite Bergamasque”. He began composing the work around 1890 but fine-tuned it until it was published in 1905.

Cheat sheet

 

ArtistClaude Debussy
ComposerClaude Debussy
Release Year1905
Genre(s)Impressionism
Difficulty levelIntermediate
Instrument Piano
Key(s)Db major
Meter 6/8
Techniques Playing in thirds, more advanced tied notes

 

The piano chords of Debussy’s Clair de Lune

Clair de Lune was written by the brilliant pianist Claude Debussy and features commonly in many contemporary films, advertisements, plays, and is often even sampled by electronic musicians. The Clair de Lune piano chords are supremely beautiful, and quite difficult to play. 

Skoove has created a way to play the Clair de Lune piano chords in such a way that even a beginning pianist can learn to play this incredible song. The complicated time signature changes and triplets have been removed in favor of simpler, easy to read sheet music – so anyone now can play the chords of Clair de Lune. 

Tips for playing the song

  • The time signature of the song is 6/8, which means there are six eighth notes in each measure, be sure to count them all carefully
  • Notice the melody in the right hand is played two notes at a time, these notes are an interval of a third. Be extra careful about the fingerings for thirds! 
  • The key is Db Major, which has 5 flat keys
  • When notes are tied over the barline, make sure to let the notes hold until they’re all the way finished
  • Pay attention to how the left and right hand trade, with the left hand often playing before the right hand. 

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Interesting fact

The majority of established composers around in Debussy’s day were highly critical and resistant to Debussy’s “new” style of music and rejected it. However, Debussy refused to conform to old harmonic rules and eventually his style inspired other French composers like Olivier Messian and Lily Boulanger, and jazz pianists like Bill Evans.

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