About This Song
Claire de Lune from Suite Bergamasque is one of the most famous piano suites by Claude Debussy and also one of the most popular songs ever written. Debussy began writing the suite in 1890 at age 28, but he did not finish or publish it until 1905. The third and most famous movement of the suite is “Claire de Lune,” meaning “moonlight” in French. Its name comes from Paul Verlaine’s poem of the same name which also refers to ‘bergamasques,’ meaning masks and bergamasks (a rustic dance). Stevan Pasero has arranged this timeless piece twice: once in 1986, which was featured on his “Guitar Heartsongs” album, and again in 2014, which is the transcription featured here. The transcription is in D tuning (6th string tuned down to D). Although the song is played slowly (andante tres expressif), it requires swift displacements and various unique fingerboard stretches with the left hand. Harmonics and slurs also play an important part in this arrangement. Please note the 9/8 time signature and pay close attention to phrasing. Since this is a transcription of a piano work, some of the chords, harmonies, and voicings may not be conventional on guitar, yet when played correctly and with expression, the arrangement conveys the composer’s intent.