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Explore “Gymnopedie no 1” piano sheet music



“Gymnopedie #1” by French composer and pianist Erik Satie is a stirring, melancholic combination of melody and harmony. A perfect way for the advancing beginner to dip their toes into the world of newer classical music, Satie’s “Gymnopedie #1” is relatively simple harmonically and melodically.

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Cheat sheet

ArtistErik Satie
ComposerErik Satie
Release Year1888
Genre(s)Piano solo, proto-minimalism
Difficulty levelBeginner
Instrument Piano
Key(s)D major
Meter 3/4 time signature
Techniques Blending major/minor, developing expressive dynamics

Gymnopedie #1 piano chords

“Gymnopedie #1” was composed by Erik Satie as a set of three pieces. The pieces are inspired by some mythologizing about ancient Greek dances. Satie was something of a joker and iconoclast and this is often reflected in his music.

On the original score for “Gymnopedie #1”, the composer put the performance marking “painfully”, to indicate the piece’s slow and mournful nature. However, this was likely a tongue-in-cheek remark on Satie’s feelings about contemporary music of the time.

 The piece is in 3/4 time signature and in the key of D major. The original composition in full dips into D minor, the parallel minor, but the excerpt from Skoove is simply in D major.

Tips for learning the song

  • This song is an exercise in giving space and expressive-ness to relatively simple material. Do not rush!
  • Memorize the key of D major so you do not have to think about the two sharps, F sharp and C sharp.
  • Practice stretching out your time on the longer held notes.
  • Pay special attention to your dynamics and touch in order to get the proper feeling of the piece.

Now that you know these tips, you can learn to play “Gymnopedie #1” on piano step by step with Skoove Piano App in Begginer Classical Song course!

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Interesting fact

Satie attended two music conservatories at various times in his life. However, he was not much of a standout student and never fully completed his studies. His music, however, has been highly influential for many composers since.

Hit the piano gym with Skoove

Learn great classics like “Gymnopedie #1” and more with Skoove. A wide range of exciting repertoire is yours to choose from, with progressive steps to increase your skills and knowledge. Check out the app this week and try some new material for yourself!

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