Clair de Lune

Uploaded on Aug 5, 2012

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) composed Clair de Lune, the third movement from the Suite Bergamasque in 1888 (first published in 1903). It is important to note that with the exception of the poetically titled Clair de Lune, suite Bergamasque is created exclusively from Baroque movements. The choice of compound triple meter for this movement shows the contrast to the dance movements and helps allow Debussy freedom to articulate the music differently.

In addition, Clair de Lune is compositionally, the most adventurous piece of the suite. The positioning within the suite is important; it is the suite’s third movement, and is the lyrical climax of the suite. The use of structure and proportion within the movement is significant;

Most important of all, they show ways in which the forms are used to project the music’s dramatic and expressive qualities with maximum precision.

The opening theme of Clair De Lune is derived from music heard in the preceding movements of the suite. This is worth mentioning, as while Debussy has composed a movement that may itself warrant detailed analysis, it is important to remember that care has been taken with both compositional material and structure on a macroscopic level.

While the overall structure of the movement is ambiguous, the form best fitting the movement is ternary form, extended by a coda created from material originating in section B. On a superficial level, the overall structure of ternary form; A B A, fits the structure of the movement well. In ternary form, the first and third sections (A) are normally identical, although commonly, the third section will feature more ornamentation than the first section; while the middle section (B) contrasts sharply with it. The thematic material in the A and B sections would sharply contrast; which they do here. An alternative to ternary form could be rounded binary form, again with an added coda. While the general structure ABa fits the music, the form is less likely to be rounded binary because two main themes are used, therefore the music is not monothematic, nor are the sections harmonically open. The movement remains mostly in the tonic, the only modulation occurring in bars 37-42, which means the sections are harmonically closed.

piano Classical Suite debussy de clair lune bergamasque

Pages 6
Duration 04:32
Measures 72
Key signature 5 flats
Parts 1
Part names Piano
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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what grade for this? I'm on grade 5 now.
Sorry, grade 5 / 7 RCM or something else?
idk probably i'm irish btw so... RIAM?
How would you tackle measure 29 and 30 smoothly?
You have really good control of the Musescore program. I am still learning a few things. I am a bit impatient sometimes with adding a multitude of tempo and volume changes. Keep up the good work.
of all keys this song could have been written in it just had to be d flat major
I think its easier ad D flat anyway lol. Ive tried transposing this and oof
D flat is actually easier than you might expect. It is all black keys and c natural and f natural. So you don't have to worry about which ones are flat or not.
I looked at it and thought, haaaaaaaaaaa 9 8ths.
Amazing! learned it in a month! clear and easy to follow! Merci Beaucoup!
I'm jealous! But getting there slowly :-)
Hi, do you mind if I use parts of this to transpose Kamasi Washington's version of Clair De Lune? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqJJ-2cRR0M . I'll be sure to give you credit in the subtitle bar
hope it wont be too difficult to play/learn
I can play Fur Elise, this music is very hard for me?
I'm far from a professional player, but Fur Elise and Clair de Lune are very far apart in terms of difficulty. Try to start gradually working your way up- just set harder songs you want to play as goals. If you don't want to do that, you could just work on the piece and use various warm ups to try and improve without waiting to play this.
The arpeggiated chords around measure 27 are difficult, that's for sure.
I've never heard a song sound so well on this website. Well done! This is one of my favorite pieces, so I thank you greatly for uploading this.
I remember hearing this on the radio and wondering if it was possible for me to play. Seeing it in sheet music is awesome news! And it's very beautiful with lot's of calmness and exciting parts. Thanks!
Thank you. But, how do I play it on a 61 key keyboard? 😭 Any advice?
Lol unless you shift octaves really seamlessly it probably won't be possible. In my opinion if you're gonna tackle pieces that are more piano centered I'd recommend getting an 88 key! You can pick up used 88 key Studiologic weighted keyboards for a nice price. Anything with Fatar keys would be ideal.
Thanks! And yeah, it won't sound good. I really would like to play this piece. You're right, I'll need a bigger keyboard, but right now I can't afford one. I just have a Casio CTK-4400.

Do you know some classical pieces that can be played with this type of keyboards?
Well, many Baroque works are much closer to middle C and don't go meandering into the higher and lower registers. Bach's Inventions, Sinfonias, etcetera...Maybe some early Mozart, too.
I hear ya. Yeah, something like Clair de Lune utilizes most of the keybed. You could try Chopin's Prelude in E Minor or even some Bach pieces like Prelude I in C Major. I think there is a fair amount of Bach that could be played on 61 keys.
Even, if it is much easier I like morning prayer written by Tchaikovsky.
i was looking for this! thanks!👍
Is anyone else able to scroll through the score? I can only view the first page now, when only a few days ago I was able to view the complete piece. This is happening to me on all Musescore entries, not just this one in particular.
It seems like other people also have this problem, myself included: https://musescore.com/groups/improving-musescore-com/discuss/5021217.
Seemed to just be temporary! Works great now :) Thank you for the upload btw. I've been studying this like crazy.
In measure 30, should the D flat on the right hand be an E flat? I’m not sure because D flat has a lot of dissonance, and the E flat creates an octave with the left hand. I apologize if I’m wrong.
No, it should definitely be a Db. That's what Debussy wrote - he knew what he was doing
Thank you for notifying me! According to my copies, there is a D♭ in measure 30. I happen to do mistakes sometimes, so do not hesitate to notify me once more if you find something suspicious!
how does one use their hands playing the sixteenth notes?
Most of the time, they're played with a combination of left and right hand.
What fingers would anyone suggest using for measure 31 on the chords?
Personally I'd use 5 3 2 1 4 1, 5 3 2 1 3 1, 5 2 1 3 1 for those arpeggios, if that's what you meant by chords, hope that helps :) (Not really an expert but that works for me)
really nice tone, extremely expressive, this must play
Need to learn this for a Cocktail Hour. This is a MUST PLAY!!!!!
I love this song so much because it's in the game, "The Evil Within"
This is so inspiring and amazing!
Fortnite ads.

No no, this is an excellent song. Absolutely love this.