Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Erik Satie’s vexations - an exercise in immobility

    Dawson, Christopher (2001) Erik Satie’s vexations - an exercise in immobility. Canadian University Music Review, 21 (2). pp. 29-40. ISSN 1911-0146

    [img] Published Version
    File not available for download.

    Download (2MB)


    Erik Satie's piano piece Vexations contains a Note de l’auteur in which the composer apparently instructs his interpreters to repeat the piece 840 times. Opinion among Satie's biographers is divided as to whether Satie intended a "full" performance of the piece. In this article I assess how a literary interpretation of the Note can throw light on Satie's intentions. My conclusion is that Vexations is not so much a performance piece as an exercise piece: a musical passage designed to pull his interpreters away from conventional Western notions of linear development and cumulative reception and towards his own non-developmental style of music, in preparation for a performance of a piece such as a Gymnopédie or a Gnossienne.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.


    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record