May 21-May 27: Midnight Moonlight Mood ☽

☾ The theme of this week's pieces are moonlight ☽

1) L. Beethoven, "Moonlight" Sonata, Op. 27 no. 2

Beethoven's 14th piano sonata consists of 3 movements.  The name, "Moonlight Sonata", comes from the 1st movement but was not given by the composer himself.  This is the most popular movement and the one we will be focusing on for this listening activity.  I've included a recording with the famous 1st movement and a recording of the complete sonata.  I encourage everyone to listen to the entire piece as this is how it is meant to be performed - the other movements of the sonata are a huge contrast to the first, with a joyful 2nd movement and a stormy, turbulent 3rd movement.


2) C. Debussy, Clair de Lune (Moonlight)

The name of this piece comes from a poem it was inspired by, Clair de Lune, by Paul Verlaine in 1869.  The style here is very different from the previous one - Debussy was a composer of the Impressionistic period, hundreds of years after Beethoven.  It remains a popular piece to this day and has been featured in films, commercials, and more.  There is even an extended repeat version on YouTube which lasts for almost an hour and has close to 15 million views!  I've included 2 versions (including this extended version) for your enjoyment.


  • What are some things that inspire you?
  • Do these pieces sound like moonlight to you?  If so, what parts and why?
  • If you could rename these pieces, what would you name it?
  • How are the styles of these two pieces different from each other?