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Easy Debussy #2752637
07/19/18 02:54 PM
07/19/18 02:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 37
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BbAltered Offline OP
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I play a lot of popular music and some classical, mainly Bach.

I enjoy listening to Clair du Lune and Reflects dan L'eu, but I have always thought those pieces of music are too difficult for me. Can anyone recommend some impressionistic Debussy works suitable for beginner/intermediate players?

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Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752640
07/19/18 03:10 PM
07/19/18 03:10 PM
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bennevis Online content
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Debussy didn't compose any easy pieces.

Probably the easiest technically is La fille aux chevaux de lin.

Then there's Des pas sur la neige, Bruyères, Danseuses des Delphes, Le petit nègre and Jimbo's Lullaby.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752642
07/19/18 03:17 PM
07/19/18 03:17 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,542
Florida
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Actually, La Fille is not that easy. There are some easier but no beginner pieces. You might check the piano syllabus website and look up the lowest grade level.


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin Nocturne 20, Posthumous, in C-Sharp Minor
Pachelbel Canon in D
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752645
07/19/18 03:28 PM
07/19/18 03:28 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,542
Florida
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La Petit Negre
Page D'Album L133
La Soiree Dans Grenade
The Little Shephard
Album Leaf


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin Nocturne 20, Posthumous, in C-Sharp Minor
Pachelbel Canon in D
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752689
07/19/18 09:20 PM
07/19/18 09:20 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
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La Sioree is actually quite advanced, harder than La Fille.

Debussy did not create any easy pieces, that's for sure. Perhaps try Satie Gymnopedie No. 1. Not "easy" by any means, but a good introduction to Impressionism.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752712
07/20/18 12:58 AM
07/20/18 12:58 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,762
Orange County, CA
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The Little Shepherd is probably the easiest of the "Impressionist" pieces by Debussy. American composer Jennifer Linn wrote two books of easier impressionistic pieces for students, mainly to fill the gap between intermediate repertoire and the easiest of the Debussy works.

The suggestion for Satie is a great one. If you can locate Gymnopedie No. 5--that's a wonderful piece of music, and not all that difficult. Gnossienne No. 1 is also quite intriguing, as well as some of the Cold Pieces.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752713
07/20/18 01:16 AM
07/20/18 01:16 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 1,542
Florida
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I've been working on Satie Gymnopedie 1. Definitely nowhere near as challenging as La Fille. Sounds beautiful though.


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Chopin Nocturne 20, Posthumous, in C-Sharp Minor
Pachelbel Canon in D
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752721
07/20/18 03:25 AM
07/20/18 03:25 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,755
Florida
dogperson Offline
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No one has mentioned ‘Reverie’ by Debussy. Have a look at this free download

https://musopen.org/music/4505-reverie/


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
" I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752771
07/20/18 09:36 AM
07/20/18 09:36 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 257
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline
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CadenzaVvi  Offline
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Quebec city, QC
As previously said, there is no easy Debussy pieces.

The exams I'm taking put Debussy's pieces in those levels (if that can be of any help) :

Nothing below level 6.

Level 6 :
The little niggar

Level 7 :
The little shepherd

Level 8 :
Golliwogg's cake walk

Level 9 :
Rêverie
Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum
Berceuse des éléphants
Sérénade à la poupée
La neige danse
La fille aux cheveux de lin
Deux arabesques, no 2
Mazurka
Canope

Level 10 :
Deux arabesque, no 1
Danseuses de Delphes
Des pas sur la neige
General Lavine - eccentric

Level 11 (last) :
Suite bergamasque – Prélude
Suite bergamasque – Menuet
Suite bergamasque – Clair de lune
Suite bergamasque – Passepied
Danse
Ballade
Pour le piano –Prélude
Pour le piano – Sarabande
Pour le piano – Toccata
Estampes – Jardins sous la pluie
Valse romantique
Voiles
Le vent dans la plaine
Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir
Les collines d’Anacapri
La sérénade interrompue
La cathédrale engloutie
Minstrels
Feuilles mortes
Bruyères


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- Beethoven, sonata op. 49, no. 1, 1st mov
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2752817
07/20/18 01:36 PM
07/20/18 01:36 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,083
New York City
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Originally Posted by Jouishy
As previously said, there is no easy Debussy pieces.
That really depends on the definition of "easy". The level list you gave is just one of many lists, and some/many of the pieces at level 10 or 11 on that list would be much lower on a different list with about the same number of levels. The idea that a piece like Clair de lune is at the highest level of piano difficulty(as it is on that list) makes little sense to me.

I think most of the level 9 and some of the level 10 pieces on the list you gave are no more advanced than the Mozart K. 545 Sonata you are working on.

Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752820
07/20/18 01:46 PM
07/20/18 01:46 PM
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New York City
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For example, on the Henle list, which I would say is more meaningful/accurate, Clair de lune has a difficulty ranking of 5, the Arabesques are a 4, and The Little Negro is a 2/3. The most difficult piano works on the list have a ranking of 9.

https://www.henle.de/en/search/index.html?Composers=D-F&Composer=Debussy%2C+Claude

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/20/18 01:46 PM.
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752824
07/20/18 01:54 PM
07/20/18 01:54 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,552
Melbourne, Australia
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ando Offline
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I've seen "easy" arrangements of the more famous Debussy pieces like Claire de Lune, Golliwogs Cakewalk etc. Maybe that's a place to start. Rather than choosing pieces you are less enthusiastic about, try learning the pieces you love which have been arranged to your level of ability.

Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752825
07/20/18 01:56 PM
07/20/18 01:56 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 257
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline
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CadenzaVvi  Offline
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Joined: May 2018
Posts: 257
Quebec city, QC
I perfectly know (and I hope every one is aware of this wink ) that there is no such thing as a perfect list of difficulty levels. The perceived difficulty will be different depending of our own strenghts and weeknesses and depending of the level of "perfection" we want to achieve.

Btw, this list doesn't include many difficult piano pieces (like most Chopin's etudes). It is simply the last level of exam you can take with them. Since these exams are designed for children, after 11 levels, there are much chances that you'll have finished high school and, if you want to continue music, you'll go to college in music. (This is not an official an explanation, but this is my understanding of the reason to stop at level 11 while considering some pieces to be too difficult for that top level).

For instance, Reflets dans l'eau is not in the list and I suspect that it is because they deem it too difficult for what is a "level 11" in their mind (but since it is repertoire list for exams, other factors such as duration can explain why some pieces are not included).


I don't know if that could help gives a better perspective on that particular listing. smile


Btw, K545 is listed as level 7 for movement 2 and 3, and level 8 for movement 1, so is considered easier than most of Debussy's pieces, in this list.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- Beethoven, sonata op. 49, no. 1, 1st mov
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: CadenzaVvi] #2752838
07/20/18 02:25 PM
07/20/18 02:25 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,083
New York City
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Originally Posted by Jouishy
Btw, this list doesn't include many difficult piano pieces (like most Chopin's etudes). It is simply the last level of exam you can take with them.
That's why according to that list there are no easy Debussy pieces but according to more complete lists, there are some relatively easy Debussy works.

Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752842
07/20/18 02:40 PM
07/20/18 02:40 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 257
Quebec city, QC
CadenzaVvi Offline
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CadenzaVvi  Offline
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Joined: May 2018
Posts: 257
Quebec city, QC
Well, it really depends what you call "easy". And it depends how you define the difficulty of each of those levels (for me, it is not simply first third is easy, second third is intermediate and last third is advanced).

For me, I'd call (in that list) level 1-5 easy, level 6-10 intermediate and level 11 early advanced.

I'll be attempting my level 8 next spring and I consider myself as being an early intermediate player (I wouldn't be ashamed to say late-beginner even!).

You can say that level 6 and 7 pieces are easy, but that's not a "beginning-easy". That would be at least a late-beginner level.


But this is exactly why I though a list with difficulty levels would be more useful for the initial poster : you have a gradation from the easiest to the more difficult, and you can choose relatively to what you consider would be easy enough for you. "Easy" is not a strictly define concept.

Lists of relative levels of difficulty are a tool.
Up to everyone to use them how they deem useful.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Rameau, Les Sauvages
- Beethoven, sonata op. 49, no. 1, 1st mov
- Chopin, nocturne op. posth. in C# minor
- Debussy, Golliwog's cakewalk
Re: Easy Debussy [Re: BbAltered] #2752845
07/20/18 03:14 PM
07/20/18 03:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 10,975
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bennevis Online content
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For the mathematically-minded, I formulated a very profound mathematical formula last year to convert gradings from one list to another wink :

Henle x 2.5 = ABRSM = AMEB

ABRSM x 1.25 = RCM

Therefore Henle x 3.125 = RCM.

Voilà! thumb

For details of how I arrived at such an important formula, visit my website.


(P.S. Oops! Just realized I don't have a website, and never had one...... cry)


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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