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Scriabin Mazurkas – Sheet Music

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Author Topic: Trouble with Claire de Lune  (Read 24265 times)
orangekyo
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« on: August 01, 2009, 01:42:24 AM »

Hi I am an amateur piano student and am having trouble with the following copy of claire de lune:

http://www.musanim.com/pdf/debussyclairdelune.pdf

At measure 10, is it just me or do I not have enough fingers in my left hand? How do i maintain the dotted half notes while playing the four finger chord? Do I have to use the pedal? Also, the dotted half note does not make up 9 beats for the measure as required by 9/8 time. I am confused.

Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

- OrangeKyo
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piano sheet music of Clair de Lune (moonlight)
n00bhippy
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2009, 01:58:51 AM »

yes. use the pedal.
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thierry13
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 05:13:54 AM »

Also, the dotted half note does not make up 9 beats for the measure as required by 9/8 time.

This is simply because the second voice, the bottom one, ends before the end of the measure, so instead of writing a silence (like there is for the upper voice at the beginning of the measure), they simply write nothing. The writing is not contrapunctal enough to put silences everywhere when all your voices aren't used at the same time.
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thierry13
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 05:15:25 AM »

Also by the way, the version you are playing is the original one, so you do not need to mention wich copy you have when it's the original. All the bar numbers will be the same whatever the edition is. You need only mention when it's an arrangement.
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scottmcc
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 01:25:29 PM »

1.  agree with the need for pedal there, but it should be the sostenuto (middle) pedal so as not to blur the remainder of the measure.  and of course, if you are of the school of thought that the "con sordina" instruction seen in bar 1 applies to the whole piece, you are not to use the right (damper) pedal at all.

2.  some editions specify a double dot on some of those notes that you are concerned about not lasting the amount of time you want them to (there are analogous notes to the one in bar 10 elsewhere in that section).  with music like this where there is less of a clear pulse, it's probably less important that you count at all (until you get to the second section with the left hand arpeggios, when counting becomes useful again).

3.  try out the search button, I think this question has been asked and answered several times in the past.
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pianochick93
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 12:14:52 PM »

1.  agree with the need for pedal there, but it should be the sostenuto (middle) pedal so as not to blur the remainder of the measure.  and of course, if you are of the school of thought that the "con sordina" instruction seen in bar 1 applies to the whole piece, you are not to use the right (damper) pedal at all.


Does not 'Con Sordina' mean 'With soft pedal'?

I think Claire de Lune would just sound wrong without the sustain pedal. I haven't tried it with the sostenuto as I don't have one on my piano.
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h lp! S m b dy  st l   ll th  v w ls  fr m  my  k y b  rd!

I am an imagine of your figmentation.
scottmcc
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2009, 01:06:04 PM »

"con sordina" means "with dampers."  compare this to the instruction at the beginning of the 1st mvt of the moonlight sonata, "senza sordina," "without dampers," ie press the right pedal.  the double negatives are confusing.

"una corda" means press the left (soft) pedal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con_sordina

with careful fingering and judicious use of the sostenuto (middle) pedal, this piece can be played without use of the right pedal at all, and it does sound better.
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mcdiddy1
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 05:45:43 PM »

When you play measure ten. you play the chords at the bottom first and hold it using the damper pedal..you then play the rest of the chord with the left hand.

By the con sordina, for all the violin players means with mute...so it is refering to the use of the soft pedal. It the damper pedal is commonly used in this. Be careful of senza sordina which means without dampers such as Moonlight Sonata meaning without the dampers alowing all the harmonies to wash together

When you play this pieces its important to realize that in essence this piece has to be felt in groups of 3 with the dotted quarter note getting the beat. The only way to write two dotted quarter notes that are tied together are by sluring two dotted quarter-notes or writing a dotted half note. We are in duple time so you have to erase the whole notion that they teach that a dotted half note is always 3 beats which is obviously rubbish because for example in this piece a quarter note would have 2 and a dotter quarter has 3 ( 1 and a half lol) and the half note has four beats, not two. The other this you should know is that a dot REALLY MEANS that you add the value of the note before it PLUS half of the value of the note before it. There for if you have a half- note which has four beats plus 2 beats from the dot you have 6 beats 4+2= 6 You get it ?!
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orangekyo
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2009, 12:21:11 AM »

Thank you everyone for your help! You have all been very kind. I think i got it now.

-OrangeKyo
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ruthw
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 03:10:30 PM »

I just wanted to note that Debussy did not have a sostenuto (middle) pedal on his piano, so the idea that you can play all of Claire de Lune (as Debussy originally intended) without using the sustain pedal is unfounded.  He had to use the sustain pedal in order to hold those longer base notes and to achieve the rippling waves of sound he's known for. 

Debussy might have loved to have a sostenuto pedal, (and would have possibly used it extensively) but they are relatively new and only standard on American grand pianos. 

Debussy thought pedalling was very important and frequently used both pedals (there were only two on his piano, the soft and sustain).  He experimented a lot with the pedals, to make waves of sound without muddying the chords, to be piannissimo and still achieve a rich sound.  He did things like letting the sustain pedal come part way up, through lightly jiggling his foot, so that the notes would only be lightly dampened.  Or he would use the soft pedal while striking the keys with force in order to achieve a certain quality of rich, soft sound. 

Debussy said that pedal usage in his compositions would depend on the piano, the size of the room, etc, which was one reason he didn't give pedal directions, it will simply depend on your instrument and performance space. 

So my basic message is that to play Claire de Lune accurately, you should experiment with your  pedals.  Whether you believe "Con sordina" means to use the sordine or "mute" soft pedal, or to play the first 9 measures "with dampers" (i.e. without the use of the sustain pedal).  You should try it out and see what achieves the best effect.  And if the sostenuto pedal works for you, go for it.   But don't go crazy, in some mistaken purist ideal, trying to never use the sustain pedal in Claire de Lune, Debussy used one himself. 
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tunneller
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2011, 10:07:02 PM »

Really? What looks like a basic expression and half of the posts says it means play with the left pedal and half say it means play with the right pedal !!

Surely it must be one or the other?

I would hate to have to choose wikipedia over pianostreet as my source for definitive piano...

Should we make this a poll ??  Cheesy

Reagrds, T

[edit]
Hey look at this::

http://www.djupdal.org/karstein/debussy/method/m10.shtml

It reckons con sordino means press down both pedals.
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pianowolfi
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 10:22:06 PM »

Con sordino means with the left pedal, in this context. Of course nobody will hopefully play "Clair de lune" without the proper use of the right pedal anyway.
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mcdiddy1
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2011, 09:06:57 PM »

Interesting debate but Debussy writes una coda later on the piece, meaning one string, which on the modern piano means using the left pedal. Con sordino means with mute, meaning without the dampers. When  we play using the damper pedal, the dampers come off of the string making the sound ring. I would argue con sordino means without the muting affect from the dampers. So I feel means play without the dampers meaning the right pedal is down, which makes the sound more resonant. It is kind of confusing because you read the definition of con sordino and you see with the mute and you think the una coda pedal is the equivalent of the mute of the piano. You have to consider the action of the piano and the development of the piano. The same question comes in play with the marking at the beginning of Moonlight Sonata. Even considering that, I am still 100 percent sure what Debussy wanted because it is certainly possible to play either way effectively so I doubt he would roll over in his grave which ever decision you make about how to play it.
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