Musique Obscure: Claude Debussy


“Ravel said the Van Dyke beard with a bowtie would look lame.”

Today’s Obsure Music is from French composer Claude Debussy.  Unless you’re an orchestral bassist, you probably won’t be playing this music on a gig anytime soon.

So why listen?  Before recording technology, composers spent considerable time writing, rewriting, orchestrating, and polishing their compositions.  The harmonic and melodic ideas, as well as the structure and form, are highly developed.  By listening to complex and inventive music, you can begin to integrate some new sounds and concepts into your playing.

Here are two compositions by Claude Debussy.  His bio info is here.  The first is the symphonic Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and the second is from Two Arabesques (no. 1).  I’ve picked these videos partly because of the outstanding animation.  The music itself is visualized using a program called The Music Animation Machine.  Even if you’re not a fan of this style of music, I think you will enjoy these videos.

Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

Two Arabesques (no. 1)