Claude Debussy — Clair de lune Original Piano Sheets

Here is a new song in my piano sheet music archive. The original amateur interpretation of a tune. This sheet music is created in a transformative manner (transcription). Plus, music notes in the arrangement doesn't copy any existing material.

Piano Player Ability Rating: Advanced, 6 pages

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As I learned, many of you are self-taught piano players and never had a piano class. I try to cover several popular mistakes in piano-playing techniques that we are prone to do.

About the Claude Debussy — Clair de lune

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.

Common Practical Tips for Pianists


Before touching the piano keys, warm up your fingers and wrists with slow and soft circular motions and moderate stretching. Rotate your shoulders and arms.

To begin with, practise hands separately, slowly, and in small pieces of one-two bars.
Practise the harder passages first and do it frequently.

Count out loud to ensure precise rhythm. By counting I mean a tA-ta, tA-ta, not an old inefficient one-and, two-and.
Accent strong beats and play the first bar of any phrase louder than the last bar.

Make sure to arch your fingers. This is crucial for the health of your wrists and palms.
Slacking your fingers will overwork them and cause strain.
Keep relaxed, flexible wrists, hands and arms when playing Clair de lune.
A flexible wrist allows producing a warm sound.
Both hands should play smoothly (legato) if not indicated the opposite (staccato).

Start memorizing Clair de lune from the very beginning. Use the sheet music as a hint and avoid looking at a paper sheet (or a monitor) as long as you can when rehearsing the music piece.

the hardest thing is keeping an even rhythm on those arpeggios, especially in measures 37-40. You have to enter into a new measure bar while still playing notes from the precedent measure bar, you have to count very accurately (you have these from the beginning).

There are also some fast parts with arpeggios that look a bit challenging.

Free and easy piano sheet music with direct digital preview of music notes. All credits go to songwriters. The arrangement in sheet music is transformative.

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