The present Edition of the Complete Works of Claude Debussy is being published in 34 volumes, under the auspices of the French Ministry of Culture, the Centre national de la Recherche scientifique, and the Bibliotèque nationale de France. The volumes are divided into the following categories:
In each volume, the music is preceded by a foreword retracing the music's genesis, and is followed by the critical notes describing sources, editorial method, and variants. Particularly significant variants are emphasized in the list of variants by bar references printed in bold type.
All known sources (sketches, manuscripts, proofs, editions, post-publication revisions, correspondence, historical recordings) are examined in detail. The musical text proposes the comoser's final intended version, as far as this can be ascertained. In cases where a work exists in two significantly different finished versions, both are published. When such variants concern only isolated passages, the earlier versions are given in appendix. Works hitherto unpublished, and unfinished works, are published as far as the state of the sources permits.