Gymnopedie

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5 comments on this post.
  1. Elizabeth Lightwood:

    There’s a good explanation. We’re Baroque and early music people.

  2. Steve Dunham:

    The nightclub may have been the center, but not the epicenter. An epicenter is above the center, generally the point on the surface of the Earth above the center of an earthquake, which is underground. An epicenter isn’t the dead center or really, really the center. But it sounds fancy compared to a plain old center, so it gets misused.

  3. Linlee:

    May I suggest that Eric Satie was possibly referring to nakedness of heart as these 3 works are very heart felt and contemplative and could have been expressing what was on his heart at the time he wrote them.

  4. Minimully:

    It is probable that Satie did not even know the historical meaning of “Gymnopedies.” The word was in a musical dictionary he had at home, and the given definition was “An event at a greek festival wherein maidens danced in the nude.” We have very little historical evidence to actually understand what those festivals actually were about. This is the composer who later said that the sensuous and violent “Salommbo” inspired these quiet Gymnopedies, and who named other pieces “Pear Shaped” and “Desiccated Embryos.” Satie was an absurdist to the core, and I don’t think there’s too much to read in his titles. If anything, they were more to joke at the high-flung archaic-themed works of the German Romanticists he was musically rebelling against.

  5. Danny S.:

    Satie’s Trois Gymnopédies first came to my attention, and doubtless that of many others, with the 1969 release of the second (self-titled) album by the group Blood, Sweat & Tears, which included excerpts from the work under the title Variations on a Theme by Erik Satie. A year or two later, that music was used in a widely-seen coffee commercial. Anyway, I bought a copy of that album, and I interpreted the name Trois Gymnopédies as meaning “three barefoot girls”. I suppose that’s not right; “ped” can certainly mean “foot”, as in “pedicure”, but probably not with an acute accent. But I like the thought anyway.

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