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Author Topic: Debussy Clair De Lune, (technical  (Read 8981 times)
RH200300
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« on: April 02, 2005, 02:42:56 AM »

I have some question regardeing to Debussy Clair De Lune, (technical )
My question may be sound stupid.
1)Measure 1 to meas. 8 , there is no downbeat ? or not ?   
2)Measure. 1 to meas. 14, the time signature is 9/8,  it mixed with triplet and eighth notes. The rhythm of the melody is ambiguous, how to count the beat,  (mixed with the triplet and eighth notes. )
3)Measure. 15 to meas. 26 , the expression marked as ” tempo rubato “,  how to play freely in the manner ?  what is free form ?
4)Measure 14 , there are  2  eighth notes, are marked with a ‘2’ ,  2 duplet,  how to count the beat ?
5)Measure  19,   there is long sixth, marked with a ‘6’ ,  , how to count the beat?     
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piano sheet music of Clair de Lune (moonlight)
Brian Healey
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2005, 06:48:33 AM »

I'm about to be a living contradiction, and here's why:

You should learn the exact rhythm for the beginning of Claire de Lune. Use no rubato. Play it as slowly as you need to, or break it up measure by measure. And play it with a metronome.  Understand exactly how the rhythm works. Be able to play it mechanically. This will prepare you to.....

Forget the rhythm entirely. Listen to classic recordings of the piece and understand how the piece logically unfolds. Turn your brain off and allow your inner self to guide you. Don't even think about rubato. It will naturally occur if you've developed the full emotion of the piece within yourself. Your ultimate goal with this piece (or any piece) is to play with unlimited freedom of expression, but you first have to know backwards and forwards how the piece is constructed before you develope your own interpretation.

Sorry if that sounds a little new-agey, but I attended a seminar on "self-actualization" earlier today, so it's still in my system. Either way, I suggest you learn the piece as written, and the logical flow of the piece will naturally take place the more you play it.

Peace,
Bri
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berrt
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2005, 06:12:37 PM »

Sorry if that sounds a little new-agey, but I attended a seminar on "self-actualization" Peace,
Bri

Sounds like a kind of "software-update"??

bye
Berrt
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whynot
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2005, 09:34:01 PM »

Great advice from Brian.  I will try to answer the specific questions about rhythms.  I've loaned out my music, so I'm answering from memory.  If I make mistakes,  hopefully someone will jump in and correct me. 
 
1.  downbeats:  I'm not sure what you're asking.  Are you wondering whether to play on beat one?  No, you wait for it to go by.  Breathe in on beat one, like you're going to sing, but don't play until after beat one. 

2.  triplets vs. eighth notes:  The tricky thing about this piece is that some of the eighth notes are longer than others.  In 9/8 time, normally the eighth note gets one beat, right?  In this piece, they are little quick beats, the triplets that you already know about.  But when you see eighth notes that have a little 2 written above, or when the eighth notes are in groups of two instead of in triplets, those eighth notes are longer than the triplet ones.  The heavy feeling at the beginning of each triplet is the "big" beat.  Most of the big beats get split into 3 parts to make triplets, but in the other places, they get split into only 2 parts.   You have to stretch those out a little to make them fill up the big beat evenly.  If that answers the question for you, skip to #3 below.  If you're still not sure what to do, keep reading.

       Tap your hand on all 9 beats of a measure (over and over).  This is the triplet feeling that you know.  Keep tapping and count out loud:  "One-and-ah, two-and-ah, three-and-ah" (do this instead of counting to 9).  Now keep counting the same but only tap when you say "one, two, three."  Then only say the "one, two, three," the same as you tap.  These are the big beats.   You have to feel them strongly, because they get divided different ways, in 3's and 2's.  Next, you have to practice how the 3's feel next to the 2's.  Tap your slow beat and say "trip-ah-let" on each one for a while, so every beat gets divided into 3 again.  Keep tapping the same speed (use a metronome if you have one) and now say "du-ple" on every beat.  Duple just means something is divided in two.  You'll be saying "duple" more slowly than you said "trip-ah-let" in order to use up the whole beat (say it evenly, so the "du" and the "ple" are the same).  Keep tapping, and say "trip-ah-let, trip-ah-let, du-ple, du-ple" and change back and forth.  Now... look at the first two pages of your music and find all the triplet patterns, then all the duple patterns.   

3.  free form:  Brian gave an elegant answer to this.  Free form is just how you feel the music, going a little faster in some places, slower in others, but as he said, first learn it in strict form, playing exactly in time.  Many people don't do this, but if you do, you will sound better than they do!!  And you will understand how to read complicated rhythms better than many people.
 
4.  duples, ms. 14:  Big beats cut in half like you practiced above.

5.  It's just the big beat divided into 6.  I can't remember exactly what the RH does here.  I think it has duples.  So you can take each note in the duples and make a little triplet out of that, and feel your 6's that way.  That would be counting each group of 6 as "1-and-ah, 2-and-ah."  If the RH is in triplets, then you can feel each 6 as 3 little groups of 2:  "1-and, 2-and, 3-and."  The music will sound the same either way, because the fast notes will be at the same speed either way.  But one way will make it easier to match up the hands together, and you will feel more solid and strong.  So just see which feeling goes with the RH in that section.

Hope this was helpful.  Good luck!  Let us know how you're doing.   

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RH200300
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2005, 11:53:21 PM »

WOW,  thank you for your answers,   especially thank WhyNot,    It helps a lot.         
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whynot
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2005, 12:55:35 AM »

Oops!  I didn't have the music to look at when I answered you, and I just was able to check a score now-- so let me correct a few of my mistakes.

I see that ms. 19 with the little 6 isn't the place I had in mind.  The 6 here is to convey the duple idea again, except it goes for the whole measure instead of just a beat.  So it's the same speed as the duples before, but instead of writing a little 2 over each big beat, he wrote a 6 for the whole measure.  What else?  Oh, the next section with the fast LH is what I was thinking was your question #5.  And I remembered the RH of that wrong.  It is mostly in triplets, so you'll probably want to organize it the LH that way (each big beat= 1-and, 2-and, 3-and).  It changes a few lines in, but by that time you'll see how fast to do the LH, so you'll have your momentum.  Anyway, I believe the rest is correct (someone please speak up if it isn't)!  Best of luck. 


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seanpm11
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2010, 04:00:35 AM »

This piece is in a compound triple time. 9/8 actually means there are 9 DIVISIONS OF THE BEAT and the 8th note receives the division. The rhythm is actually 3 dotted quarter notes per measure. This means that the beat falls on the 1, 4, and 7.
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scottmcc
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 09:44:39 AM »

one of the things that helped me the most to learn this piece was to realize that it doesn't have a clear "pulse" throughout.  think of a strauss waltz--it's impossible to not feel that 1-2-3 pulse, right?  but the casual listener to clair de lune will be unaware of the time signature, although clearly the irregular rhythms are important to master.  as you progress further in the piece, you will encounter the same rhythms in the right hand, but with a new left hand figuration, which actually makes counting it much easier.  reference measure 51 etc.  best of luck!
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