Erik Satie : Gymnopdie No1
Eric Satie‘s Gymnopédies are not far removed from his Gnossiennes in construction, with a similar tempo, left hand and slightly odd harmonic nature. This is the first of 3 Gymnopédies and has a melancholy, deep-in-thought feel to it. Alternative versions of this piece on mfiles include arrangements for Flute and Piano, Clarinet and Piano, Bassoon and Piano, Violin and Piano and Cello and Piano. The full set of three Gymnopédies for piano is available from Sheet Music Plus and the first three Gnossiennes can be found at The Music Room .
Here is a video of the original piano version or our alternative video uses a graphical animation to illustrate the music. You can also play the mp3 file below or scroll down the page to see the sheet music directly:
Gymnopedie No 1 Presentation
Gymnopedie No 1 is the first of several compositions, Les Gymnopedies, written by the pianist Erik Satie in 1888. It is a series of 3 slow waltzes for solo piano that are among the most famous compositions of the musician along with the Gnosiennes. Gymnopedie No 1 is a slow, nostalgic, almost romantic piece that has appealed to a wide audience from the time of its composition to the present day.
Tying It All Together
For a demo of how the song sounds as a whole, watch me play through the entire piece at the end of the video.
This is a pretty simple song, but you can do a lot with it. When youre first learning, break it up into little sections to make it less overwhelming. Then, when youve mastered the song, add in your own dynamics and phrasing. Interpret it with your unique take.
Lisa Witthas been teaching piano for 19 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.
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Tips For Playing Level 3 Gymnopedies No 1
This particular arrangement is at Level 3 , and it’s in the key of D major which is the original key written by Satie. There are only a few suggested fingering numbers on the music score. There are a lot of tied notes. Try your best to hold those notes as long as they are supposed to be held. This arrangement is a lot easier than the original. But it sounds as good as the original. Even though it is at Level 3, you still have to move around quite a lot . Follow the damper pedal signs provided precisely to make the piece flow well. Play slowly, gently and softly.
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Even very young pianists can play Gymnopedie No.1, they say. The music sheet contains very sparse notes and articulations. It was among three gymnopedies composed by the French gymnopedist Erik Satie . His profession, gymnopedist, is as unique as the gymnopedies. Satie was a student of the Paris Conservatory but he quit and became a cafe pianist. He returned to formal studies and was esteemed by his colleagues for his subversion against Romanticism. His works were a mockery to preludes, sonatas, and grandiose compositions. His avant-garde renditions of music and his novel chords took music into the 20th century, not with aplomb right away, but it set the stage for new musical species. At one time in musical history, Saties works were classified as furniture or background music. Not that it was entirely considered unsophisticated, it was possibly in transition and played more infrequently.
Gymnopedie No.1 is slow burn music with bold wit. Hardly any notes, ample instrumental space, floating music structure. But its very relaxing to hear, this minimalist piano solo. It is simple sheet music but what a pianist does with such a spare guide is what its about. Right from the onset with those few deliberate notes, the floating amongst lazy clouds feeling hits. Then the spooky second section floats in, the music retains its stillness, now its just more solemn.
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Transpose / Free Music Notes
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