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Considerations for pedalling Debussy's piano music

Metaxaki, M. (2005). Considerations for pedalling Debussy's piano music. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The importance of the pedals in Debussy's piano music has been emphasised in a wide range of literature concerning Debussy and French piano music in general. However, and despite the obvious absence of pedalling indications in Debussy's piano scores, no dedicated study has been made in identifying a possible meaning behind their absence. This study will attempt in developing suggestions for pedalling Debussy's piano music based on written as well as sound sources directly associated with the composer. This attempt is developed in two stages: firstly, by providing evidence that Debussy was always seeking to extract a continuous sonority from the piano, feasible only through the application of the pedal and secondly, by making cross reference of this evidence and Debussy's own use of the pedals in his piano roll recordings. Ultimately, it is revealed that Debussy was making extensive use of both the unacorda as well as of the damper pedal. Any obvious conclusions in this study are not meant to be used as a guide for pedalling but as a source of reference that may assist the informed performer in his/her continuous search into Debussy's musical world.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Performing Arts > Music
Doctoral Theses
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
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