This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues that Paul Dukas modelled a new practice of French music criticism, one informed by close engagement with a historical corpus of European critical discourses about music and more contemporary conceptualisations of the artist. It presents the idea of Dukas in conversation with other critics, via a case study of how he and others in the Parisian press constructed the notion of ‘Frenchness’ during the fin de siecle. The book explains how Dukas himself responded to the death of Debussy, and so engages with how Dukas contributed to the formation of Debussy’s early legacy. It explores how Dukas’s musical and intellectual legacy is manifested within the Tombeau de Paul Dukas. The book describes the extent to which Dukas entrusted Barraine with overseeing the Italian rehearsals of Ariane in 1930.