Claude Debussy
La fille aux cheveux de lin
No. 8 from Preludes Book I

Here Debussy depicts a sweet, innocent — possibly slightly sad — girl, using some of his harmonic trademarks, like 9th and 11th chords, pentatonic scales, and parallel voice leading.

ID: 309
Claude Debussy - Preludes Book I:

8. La fille aux cheveux de lin

Key: N/A
Year: 1908
Level: 7
Period: Impressionism
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext Download
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score Download
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piano music mp3 recording La fille aux cheveux de lin - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)

The Girl with the Flaxen Hair

This piece is among Debussy’s simplest creations, but it’s had the most lasting impression of any of his piano works. There have been a great many arrangements, including for strings, harp, wind quintet, orchestra, jazz band, and even a version for bluegrass fiddle. The piece’s distinctive sound comes from its use of plagal cadences instead of dominant cadences and the pentatonic scale, both of which lend a folksy air to the tune. The eponymous girl explores a hill in Scotland, and this is a tactic Debussy uses over and over: painting a musical portrait of a foreign place.


The title La fille aux cheveux de lin was inspired by Leconte de Lisle's poem by the same name, one of his Chansons écossaises (Scottish songs) from his 1852 collection Poèmes antiques (Ancient Poems). Debussy had used the title before, for a song he wrote very early in his career, in 1882, which however doesn't show any particular similarities to the prelude.

Forum posts about this piece:

Sound control by rtheunissen
Dear all, Recently I've come across a problem in my playing, a lot of the time it's mostly up to chance (and the temperature in the...

Properly learning pieces without guidance by rtheunissen
Dear people, Because it is summer break right now, I don't have weekly piano lessons. They stopped about a month ago, and in a few week...

Difficulty of "La Cathédrale Engloutie" by rtheunissen
Dear people, Does anyone have experience with this tenth prelude by Debussy? To me, it doesn't seem to be that difficult. However, RCM ...

Recording of La fille aux cheveux de lin by clarinetist
Hi, I'm Mr. []"are scales really useful?"[/url] Here's a recording o...

Debussy - La fille aux cheveux de lin by quantum
Bar 14, 33-34.  Do you see any advantage of playing the top staff lower voice with the RH, as opposed to playing three lower voices wit...

Please help with Debussy's Flaxen Hair by leucippus
I've decided to start learning Debussy's prelude # 8 from his book I. I guess this is more popularly known as "La fille aux...

Debussy by betricia
La Fille aux cheveux Lin - I have probably spelt this incorrectly.  I love the music but am finding it difficult to learn and it has ta...

question on" la fille aux cheveux de lin" by mark1
I was looking over the sheet music and found a chord in the 6th bar that I couldn't play...the span is too much for my hands(unless I use my...

Member's recordings of piece:

Debussy Prelude no.8 by hakki
I would like to hear your comments on my performance and sound of my piano. Please listen with ear/head phones.

Debussy Girl the Flaxen Hair Prelude by beethovenfan01
Hello. This is my first time actually making recordings, and I'd like a little feedback on these pieces. First one is Debussy. The ot...

[Video] The Girl With Flaxen Hair - Claude Debussy by lafo
Decided to try and record this today :) Hope you  will like it :)

VIDEO: Debussy La fille aux cheveux de lin by gligeti
Here is another piece; constructive criticism would be welcome to help me improve...

Debussy "La fille aux chevaux de lin" VIDEO by sarrasani
Thank you for viewing/hearing. Piano Bohemia, mics. Rode K2 All best, Sandro

Debussy, "La fille aux chaveux de lin" (Preludes, Bk 1) by RachFan
I've never posted this piece before, so thought I'd do so now.  Debussy was innovative and daring in using pentatonism in hi...

Members who like this piece have also downloaded:

Piano sheet music and recordings. This piece is from Preludes by Claude Debussy: Prelude - La fille aux cheveux de lin Book 1 No. 8 (published in 1908) . Level 7, Period: Impressionism
Prelude - La fille aux cheveux de lin Book 1 No. 8, by the impressionism composer Claude Debussy. This piano piece was initially published in the year 1908 and is included in Preludes by Debussy.