Trois Gymnopédies

Late-romantic instrumental piece

Erik Satie


The Gymnopédies, published in Paris starting in 1888, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist Erik Satie.

These short, atmospheric pieces are written in 3/4 time, with each sharing a common theme and structure. Collectively, the Gymnopédies are regarded as an important precursor to modern ambient music. The first few bars of Gymnopédie No. 1 consist of an alternating progression of two major seventh chords, the first on the subdominant, G, and the second on the tonic, D.

The melodies of the pieces use deliberate, but mild, dissonances against the harmony, producing a piquant, melancholy effect that matches the performance instructions, which are to play each piece "painfully" (douloureux), "sadly" (triste), or "gravely" (grave).

From the second half of the 20th century on, the Gymnopédies were often erroneously described as part of Satie's body of furniture music, perhaps because of John Cage's interpretation of them.

Year 1888
Time Period Late-romantic
Instrumentation Piano


Gymnopédies pour piano / orchestrées par Claude A. Debussy
E. Baudoux & Cie (Paris) 1898
Debussy, et al.
3 Gymnopédies
Ernst Eulenburg & Co. GmbH 1980
Debussy, et al.
Trois Gymnopèdies
Wilhelm Hansen 1888
Abrahamsen, et al.


Erik Satie - Gymnopedies 3 & 1 HQ / Live Orchestre National de Lorraine
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie d'origine écossaise a composé les 3 Gymnopedies en 1888/Paris. Orchestre National ...
Liona Boyd - Gymnopédie #1 (Eric Satie)
Liona plays the Eric Satie classic "Gymnopédie #1", (transcribed for guitar by Liona Boyd), from ...
Erik Satie: Gymnopédie No. 1
Erik Satie: Gymnopédie No. 1 (from "Trois Gymnopédies") Piano: Lars Roos
Aldo Ciccolini: Gymnopedie n.1 (Satie)
Dal concerto per festeggiare gli 85 anni (2010)
Erik Satie - Gymnopédies No. 1 and 3 | Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen
Erik Satie - Gymnopédies No. 1 and 3 Conductor. Jan Latham-Koenig Soloist. Nathalie Gaudefroy 18/05/2014 ...
Trois Gymnopedies (Orchestral) - Erik Satie
Trois Gymnopedies (Orchestral) Erik Satie Album: The Best of Erik Satie
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