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Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions...
) are a set of 12 piano etudes
An étude , is an instrumental musical composition, most commonly of considerable difficulty, usually designed to provide practice material for perfecting a particular technical skill. The tradition of writing études emerged in the early 19th century with the rapidly growing popularity of the piano...
composed in 1915. The pieces are extremely difficult to play, as Debussy himself admitted, describing them as "a warning to pianists not to take up the musical profession unless they have remarkable hands" . They are broadly acknowledged as his late masterpieces.
- Étude 1 pour les cinq doigts d'après Monsieur Czerny (five fingers, "after Monsieur Czerny
Carl Czerny was an Austrian pianist, composer and teacher. He is best remembered today for his books of études for the piano. Czerny's music was profoundly influenced by his teachers, Muzio Clementi, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ludwig van Beethoven.-Early life:Carl Czerny was born...
- Étude 2 pour les tierces (thirds
In music and music theory third may refer to:*major third*minor third*augmented third/perfect fourth*diminished third/major second*Third , chord member a third above the root*Mediant, third degree of the diatonic scale...
- Étude 3 pour les quartes (fourths
In classical music from Western culture, a fourth is a musical interval encompassing four staff positions , and the perfect fourth is a fourth spanning five semitones. For example, the ascending interval from C to the next F is a perfect fourth, as the note F lies five semitones above C, and there...
- Étude 4 pour les sixtes (sixth
Sixth can refer to:* The ordinal form of the number six* Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution* A keg of beer equal to 5 U.S. gallons or 1/6 barrel of beer.* A fraction, such as 1/6-Music:*Interval*Major sixth*Minor sixth...
- Étude 5 pour les octaves (octave
In music, an octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency. The octave relationship is a natural phenomenon that has been referred to as the "basic miracle of music", the use of which is "common in most musical systems"...
- Étude 6 pour les huit doigts (eight fingers)
- Étude 7 pour les degrés chromatiques (chromatic
The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone apart. On a modern piano or other equal-tempered instrument, all the half steps are the same size...
In music theory, a scale degree or scale step is the name of a particular note of a scale in relation to the tonic...
- Étude 8 pour les agréments (ornaments
In music, ornaments or embellishments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to carry the overall line of the melody , but serve instead to decorate or "ornament" that line. Many ornaments are performed as "fast notes" around a central note...
- Étude 9 pour les notes répétées (repeated notes)
- Étude 10 pour les sonorités opposées (opposing sonorities)
- Étude 11 pour les arpèges composés (composite arpeggio
An arpeggio is a musical technique where notes in a chord are played or sung in sequence, one after the other, rather than ringing out simultaneously...
- Étude 12 pour les accords (chord
A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...