Pagodes from "Estampes"

From Wind Repertory Project
Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy (arr. Percy Aldridge Grainger)

Subtitle: Arranged for tuneful percussion instruments and harmonium

General Info

Year: 1903 / 1928 / 1996
Duration: c. 6:30
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bardic Edition
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - Rental   |   Score Only (print) - £13.95


Piano (4)
Harmonium (Reed Organ)
Percussion, including:

  • Dulcitone
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Marimba, Metal (3)
  • Marimba, Wooden (3)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Xylophone (3)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Estampes (Prints), L.100, is a composition for solo piano by Claude Debussy. It was finished in 1903. The first movement, Pagodes evokes images of East Asia. It makes extensive use of pentatonic scales and mimics Chinese and Japanese traditional melodies while also incorporating hints of Javanese Gamelan percussion.

As this is an Impressionistic work, the goal is not overt expressiveness but instead an emphasis on the wash of color presented by the texture of the work. Debussy marks in the text that Pagodes should be played "presque sans nuance," or "almost without nuance." This rigidity of rhythm helps to reduce the natural inclination of pianists to add rubato and excessive expression. Note that rigidity of rhythm within measures does not mean rigidity of tempo in the work; the tempo gradually fluxes quicker and slower throughout the piece, which is also common in gamelan compositions.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Debussy, C.; Grainger, P. (1996). Pagodes: From Estampes [score]. Bardic Edition: [United Kingdom].
  • Estampes, Wikipedia Accessed 23 February 2016