Timings on Debussy

Some of what I’m longing to play, as I get back into my piano lessons, are a couple of pieces by Debussy. Yes, I’m punching way above my weight so-to-speak but we all have to have goals right? The two pieces in question are “Reverie” and “Clair de Lune”. These are achingly beautiful pieces of music. But talk about challenging! The thing that gets me about these two pieces is the odd timing.


Reverie is in 4/4 time but the way he wrote the left hand is confounding to someone just starting out:

The tied G-flats really throws me off.
It continues:

Now we’ve got the triplet quarter notes in the right hand, while the left hand is still doing the same phrase as above. Some really serious stuff for the beginning pianist.

Clair de Lune

Clair de Lune is not only in 9/8 time but in D-flat major. Then we’ve got more odd timings with dotted quarter notes tied to other quarter notes and eighth notes along with pedaling:

I know that these are very advanced pieces for some who is just starting out but I need motivation and level 1/2 books just don’t cut it so I’m planning on slowly working on these pieces to keep the interest level up with some real challenges. I’m already about halfway done learning the Satie I wrote about previously. That is also a very challenging piece and its been fun to learn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: