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:
“United we stand,” are words familiar to every American, but few of us know that they first appeared as lyrics of what was perhaps the first song of resistance in the colonists’ uprising against British taxation.
This podcast episode is dedicated to the story behind this song of the American Revolution, once iconic and now much less familiar than its jeering British contemporary tune, “Yankee Doodle.” With words by John Dickinson to a tune borrowed from an English opera, this song became a key player (pun intended) in the American quest for liberty.
No, it wasn’t a harp tune, but I will play it for you anyway and you can download my harp arrangement of it too!
Links to things I think you might be interested in that were mentioned in the podcast episode:
Whether you’ve played it a thousand times or have yet to learn it, the Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel has become standard repertoire for harpists. The piece has embedded itself in our musical culture so deeply that it is on every gigging harpist’s most requested list and a favorite with any audience.
But it isn’t all that easy to play, unless you know the shortcuts.
In this episode I explain some of the musical elements of the Canon with the idea that the more you understand about this piece, or any piece, the easier it is to learn it quickly and to play it well.
Plus, I share some of my favorite Pachelbel practice techniques with you, ones that can save you a lot of practice time and frustration, even if you’ve played the piece before. You’ll discover: