"Clair de Lune" was composed by Claude Debussy as the third of four movements in his "Suite bergamasque" for piano. The title translates from French into English as moonlight.
"Clair de Lune" is named after a poem written by Paul Verlaine, which mentions bergamasques, or rustic dances thought to be from Bergamo, Italy. Debussy's "Clair de Lune" was originally titled "Promenade Sentimentale" but was later changed. The Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra characterizes "Clair de Lune" as "static and impressionistic." The piece rarely strays from the key of D-flat major until its climax swings the movement into E major.
Debussy began composing his "Suite bergamasque" around 1890, but it would not be published until 1905.