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#011: Clair de lune [A Harpist's Guide]

music and meaning Aug 02, 2021

Some composers change music forever, Claude Debussy was one of those. 

Debussy is generally credited with the rise of the Impressionist movement in music. The Impressionists focused on the mood and atmosphere of music, conveying it through tone color and flow, rather than sharp musical detail. 

The paradox of this music is that, although it often seems outside of time even without a tempo or pulse, the very formlessness of it is written into the music. Following Debussy’s printed directions is often the easiest way to get the expression you want. You can and should approach this music in the same way you would begin a Bach or Mozart piece - but you need a little more information first.

On today’s show we will explore three features of Debussy’s Clair de lune. You will discover:

  • How Debussy uses them to create the moonlight mood of the piece. 
  • How they reveal Debussy’s intention for the piece.
  • The best practice techniques to employ so that you can make your Clair de lune magical.

Plus, I will share my 2 page practice guide for Clair de lune so you will have all the information at your fingertips when you’re ready. By the way, these tips will work for other similar pieces too.

Join me for this musical moonlight stroll as we delve into some of the secrets of Debussy’s music.

Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:



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