View Poll Results: Does Reverie sound like it is in Bb?

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  • Yes, despite the rarety of Eb

    0 0%
  • No, it sounds like it is in F

    1 100.00%
  • No, it does not sound like a major or minor key

    0 0%
  • No, it doesn't sound like there is a root note

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Thread: Doesn't Debussy's Reverie sound like it is in Bb?

  1. #1
    Senior Member caters's Avatar
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    Default Doesn't Debussy's Reverie sound like it is in Bb?

    Reverie is my favorite piece by Debussy. Don't get me wrong, Clair de Lune and his Arabesques are beautiful as well. But Reverie was my first real exposure to Debussy both as a listener and as a pianist. But I find something odd about it whenever I listen to it.

    It is written in F major. However, to me, it doesn't sound like it is in F major except for a few moments and the ending cadence. The most well known part of it, the introduction, actually sounds like it is in Bb major to me. In fact this is 1 piece that I might consider to actually be in Bb Lydian since an Eb is so rare in this piece but it still sounds like the root is Bb. I hear a circle of fifths movement towards the middle of the piece where it feels like it moves from Bb to F and then later to C. Then it smoothly goes from C to Bb with no keys in between.

    Does it sound like it is in the key of Bb to you? It certainly does to me, despite the cadence on F. Here is a video with the score.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Think the key of D minor, not F Major. D minor has one flat and the first section has the feel of minor and goes into the next section of E major of four sharps, then into C major, then back into D minor. Since it’s a reverie with a dream-like quality, the key centers are deliberately made to sound vague with a mixture of major and minor influences and from minor to major keys, and consequently it’s difficult to decide what key it’s actually in certain sections. Debussy was a very tricky and imaginative fellow! Some people don’t like his work because of its vagueness, but there was a method to his madness.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Jul-22-2019 at 21:11.
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