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Debussy

french, paris and music

DEBUSSY, Claude Achille, distinguished French composer: b. Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 22 Aug. 1862; d. 26 March 1918. He was educated at the Paris Conservatoire. From the time he was 12 years old he attracted attention as possessing remarkable musical ability. In 1884 he won the Grand Prix de Rome for his cantata eL'Enfant ProdigueP Later compositions brought rebuke instead of commendation, for their departure from estab lished forms. After a sojourn in Russia, where he assimilated the modes of the native music, Debussy returned to Paris and gave himself up to composition ; but it was not until 1893 that he began to receive public recognition. In 1902 his opera (Pelleas and Melisande was produced in Paris, and from this time his fame and position *ere assured. Debussy has written profusely, not only dramatic music, but also a multitude of songs and pieces for piano and orchestra. While work is refined, graceful and elegant to the highest degree, and his mastery of technique acknowledged to be perfect, it is claimed that his music is of the intellect rather than of the soul. It is also criticized as being too depend ent for full interpretation upon the non-musi cal aid of the °programme.° Among his prin

cipal works are 'La Mee ; (Printemps) ; (Pre lude a l'apres-midi d'urr Fame' ; Suite); (Images' ; oubliees' ; Noc turnes' ; Poemes de Baudelaire' ; Lyriques.' DgBUT, da-bii, a French word which has been adopted into the English language, signi fying generally a beginning or entrance, but specially applied to the first appearance of an actor or actress on the stage, or to a first ap pearance in a particular theatre. In these cir cumstances, the actor is called Mutant; the actress, a debutante. The expression is very frequently used with reference to a young lady's first entrance into society.

DECA (Gr. signifying °tee), a prefix of frequent occurrence; as in Decapolis, a group of 10 cities; decalogue, the 10 commandments; decametre, a measure of 10 metres, etc. From deco is formed decade, a collection or group of 10. In the calendar of the French Republic the term decade was used to designate the week of 10 days, which were severally named primidi, duodi, tridi, quartidi, quintidi, sextidi, septidi, octidi, nontidi, and decadi. See CALEN DAR.