Clair de lune, by Claude Debussy, played by Stephen Malinowski, with graphical score.
Q: What's the best way to watch this video?
A: I recommend the version I've made for iPad. Because the iPad can support 60 frames per second (instead of the usual 30), the scrolling is silky smooth (the way it's supposed to be), and you can watch it at night, in the dark, in bed. You can get the video here:
Q: Where can I get free sheet music for this piece?
A: Here (courtesy of Clint S. Mars):
Q: Why is the audio/video quality so poor?
A: This was encoded by YouTube a long time ago; here's a better version:
Q: I'd like an MP3 of this.
A: You can get it at iTunes:
or at Amazon:
Q: I wish I could play this piece.
A: You can! If you have a MIDI setup (MIDI keyboard with damper pedal, MIDI piano, and a computer running Windows or Mac OS X), you can play this piece using the conductor program. You need to learn the piece really well, but you don't need to learn to play the piano. The article describing how this works is here ...
... and the software is available here (free) ...
The performance used in this video was done using this software!
Q: Is it just me, or does this piece make everyone cry?
A: Maybe not everyone, but lots of people ...
Q: This is not the Clair de lune I learned growing up in France.
A: You may be thinking of the song Au clair de la lune:
Q: How did you make this video?
A: You can read about it here:
Q: What do the colors mean?
A: Each pitch class (C, C-sharp, D, D-sharp, etc.) has it's own color, and the colors are chosen by mapping the musician's "circle of fifths" to the artist's "color wheel." You can read more about this here:
Q: Who is Debussy?
A: A French composer; you can read about him here:
Q: Where can I learn more about this piece?
A: This Wikipedia article is a good place to start:
Q: Wasn't this in Fantasia?
A: Almost. There originally was a Clair de lune segment in the film, but it was cut from the final release. It's on the Fantasia Legacy Supplemental Features DVD.
Q: Is there a way I could make the bar-graph scores myself?
A: The Music Animation Machine MIDI file player will generate this display; you can get the (Windows) software here:
There are lots of places on the web where you can get MIDI files; I usually go to the Classical Archives site first:
Q: Can I use this audio/video in my project?
A: Please send me an email (stephen at musanim dot com) describing your project and I'll let you know whether it's okay.