Music to Relax – Debussy Arabesque #1

Hope everyone had an easy Monday! Regardless you might want to unwind a bit and I am here for you. This issue of ‘Music to Relax’, features the impressionist composer Debussy’s piano work “Arabesque.” Debussy wrote a pair of these and this is the 1st one.

The music of the Impressionist period began near the end of the 19th Century in reaction to ‘Common Practice,’ music with its roots in the Medieval period (500-1400), through the Renaissance(1400-1600), stylistically heightened in J.S. Bach’s hands in the late Baroque(1600-1750), continued through the Classical period(1750-1820) of Beethoven and Mozart and exploited through chromaticism and virtuosity of the Romantic composers(1820-1910, some say it has never truly ended.)
Regarding the chromaticism of the Romantic Period pretty much any note was fair game, but, the music still followed the basic rules of tonality and rules of the ‘Common Practice.’ All twelve notes could be used in any key…the basis of my blog name 12 Notes & the Truth!

Impressionists, who followed the art movement broke with these traditions. The result tended to be very lush relaxing wide open sounding music. They tried to make different sounds. Non diatonic scales and non functioning chords were trademarks of this period. However, Debussy and another composer Ravel were not fond of the term applied to their music.

If you want to play this and relax it should do the trick.

If you are looking for a music challenge try to think how this music sounds different than Bach, Beethoven, Mahler…etc.

Click here for previous ‘Music to Relax’ posts.


  1. Love this piece. Does it also go by the name Pagodes or Jardins Sous La Pluie? Or am I thinking of a different piece? Anyway, as I have insomnia right now, it’s a great way to get me to relax. Thanks

    1. Hope you got some sleep. They are different pieces but all are very Debussy-esque. Pagodes is very similar in parts.

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