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The Gymnop�dies are short, atmospheric pieces written in 3/4 time. Each piece shares a common theme and structure. Collectively, they are regarded as the precursors to modern ambient music - gentle yet somewhat eccentric pieces which deliberately flouted many common practices in the classical style. For instance, the first few bars feature a disjunct chordal theme in the bass - first, a G-major 7th in the bass, and then a B-minor chord, also in the lower register. Then comes the one-note theme in D major. Although the collection of chords at first seems too complex to be harmonious, the melody soon proves to bring a certain simplicity to the work (which has inspired Brian Eno, the pioneering figure of ambient music, who has cited Satie as a prime influence).
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Reviews of Satie Gymnopedie No.1 for String Quartet
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