Claude Debussy

From Wind Repertory Project
Claude Debussy


Claude Debussy was born on 22 August 1862 in St. Germain-en-Laye, France and passed away on 25 March 1918 in Paris. He was admitted to the Paris Conservatorie in 1872 where he first studied piano with Antoine Marmontel and solfège with Albert Lavignac. He eventually studied composition with Ernest Guirand and served as an accompanist for the Concordia Choral Society where he worked with Charles Gounod. Debussy won the Prix de Rome in 1884 for his cantata L’enfant prodigue. This enabled him to study for two years in Rome. His early music was influenced by Richard Wagner but this changed when he heard a Javanese gamelan at the Universal Exposition of 1889 in Paris. Debussy had his largest compositional successes in the next two decades with works such as Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1891-4), Pelléas et Melisande (1893-1902), La mer (1903-5), and Images (1905-12). His music is labeled as impressionist but Debussy disputed this during his lifetime. He was influenced by artists, painters, and poets labeled variously as symbolists, fauvists, and impressionists. Ultimately, Debussy developed his own style in music by using modes, octatonic and whole-tone scales as well as being influenced by music from India, Russia, and Indonesia.

Works for Winds

This composer primarily wrote orchestral music. Transcriptions of his works include:

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works