When you first become interested in learning about music and practicing classic songs on your own, the idea of relying on sheet music can be quite daunting, depending on how well you understand sheet music to begin with. On top of that, the classic songs are often intricate, complex, and difficult for some beginners to manage at once. This can make it a tough task to learn how to play Debussy’s “Clair De Lune” at first, especially if sheet music is not your strongest point. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to try and help yourself learn how to play this famous piano song.
Understanding Where the Song Comes From
One of the best ways to learn how to play “Clair De Lune,” is to understand the author’s intent and to understand what the music is trying to communicate through story. This can help you get a good feel for how you should be playing and what type of tune you should be producing. When you have a grasp on these aspects, you can have a better understanding of where your hands should be moving when you are working with the sheet music.
“Clair De Lune” is a part of a poetry collection that has been turned into a musical piece. Many people believe that one can even “hear” the poem through the delicate piano tune of the song. This, in addition to the fact that this is one of the simpler songs from Debussy, means that you will have a better chance of understanding what the author wanted you to get from the song. For example, the beginning of the song can be compared to only glimpsing at the wavering moon through trees. Through the use of the piano pedal, Debussy creates a sense of space and distance, as if the moon is something unattainable. When you understand the intent to create a situation where someone is merely glimpsing at the moon rather than during other parts of the song, you will have a much better idea of how to space everything out, including the use of the pedal. Even if you have trouble with sheet music, understanding the intent will give you a boost in the right direction during your learning process.
Listening to What Debussy Wanted
Another way to help you understand how to read the sheet music for “Clair de Lune” is to understand what the composer of the song, Debussy, wanted from his own song. He actually gives a little bit of his own advice about the song during an interview with a pianist who he coached. He mentions that there should be a “general flexibility,” and that when playing, you should remember to “depress the two pedals before starting” so that the overtones of the piano would already begin vibrating the moment that they are touched. He gives some other information on how the song should be played. To make the most out of sheet music, it is also important to understand how you should be feeling so that you can more fluidly move to the keys that the composer wants you to press. Keeping these things in mind will help you read the sheet music for the song even better.