August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918
Claude Debussy really had a double first name: Achille-Claude. He was born in a suburb of Paris, and it was his aunt who first noticed how musical he was. She got him started taking piano lessons. When he was only ten, Debussy started studying at the very strict Paris Conservatory.
As a child, Debussy was fascinated by visual art, and as he grew up, he loved the new style called “Impressionism.” Instead of painting realistic, lifelike paintings with hard outlines, Impressionists used thousands of dots, or many different shades of color to create the “impression” of what they wanted to depict. Debussy took that idea and applied it to music, creating Impressionism in music.