Gymnopedie No 1 by Erik Satie

Gymnopedie No 1 by Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Time 2:10

Written in 1888, the 3 piano pieces entitled Trois Gymnopedies are probably French composer Erik Satie’s most famous work. Gymnopedies named after the Gymnopaidiai festival of ancient Sparta. These short, atmospheric pieces are written in 3/4 time, with each sharing a common theme and structure. Collectively, the Gymnopédie are regarded as the precursors to modern ambient music – gentle yet somewhat eccentric pieces which, when composed, defied the classical tradition. Erik Satie is today also considered to have been at the forefront of the impressionist movement.


Notes
Key Signature E Minor
Time Signature Time 3/4
Tempo Lento (Slow)

This version is in E minor which uses a lot of open strings which free your left hand. A good thing. The tonal range is from the lowest E (6th string) to the highest B (1st String). You will need a cutaway to tackle the high notes. If you don’t have a cutaway handy, substitute the “cutaway” section or the high notes with a lower octave section. ie. Swap [61]-[69] with previously played [22]-[30]. These 2 section are identical only an octave apart. Of course this doesn’t sound as cool, playing the same section in the same octave twice; but at least you can try the piece out without a cutaway. Let the note ring cleanly and change hand positions with a minimum of string noise. Important to make the melody start out, as they are easily overpowered by some chords played on the same beat.