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Composer Biographies | Erik Satie

Posted by Gillian Whitaker

A famously eccentric figure during the Modern era, Erik Satie (1866–1925) was a French composer, pianist and writer. His pieces are at once nostalgic and playful, simplistic and strange, and his own disposition was well-matched to his radical musical style. Sometimes described as ‘anti-emotional’ and ironic, Satie’s work was a response to and escape from German (in particular, Wagnerian and Romantic) models. He is also famous for the unique titles of his works (such as Genuine Limp Preludes (For a Dog)), and his bizarre performance directions (for example, instructions that a section be played ‘as dry as a cuckoo’), as well as his humorous miniatures for piano, where bar lines, time signatures and even keys were removed. Having once referred to himself as someone who ‘measures sounds’, Satie is often identifiable by his strange, unresolved chords; his most well-known works include the 'Gymnopédies’.

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Topics: Classical Music, Biography

The Origins of Classical Music Around The World

Posted by Matt Knight

In order to contextualise Western classical music, one must survey the music of ancient civilizations as well as the traditions of the non-Western world. From what is known of this music it was – and is – performed in a vast range of cultural environments and with many functions other than for entertainment in a concert hall.

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Topics: Classical Music

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