Erik satie s gymnop die and the acoustics of piano chords
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Erik Satie’s Gymnopèdie and the Acoustics of Piano Chords. Some Background on Gymnopèdie. Series of three piano compositions written by Satie, written the French composer in 1888. Considered to be the forerunner of ambient music, and perhaps erroneously, furniture music. Question:.

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Erik Satie’s Gymnopèdie and the Acoustics of Piano Chords

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Erik satie s gymnop die and the acoustics of piano chords

Erik Satie’s Gymnopèdie and the Acoustics of Piano Chords


Some background on gymnop die

Some Background on Gymnopèdie

  • Series of three piano compositions written by Satie, written the French composer in 1888.

  • Considered to be the forerunner of ambient music, and perhaps erroneously, furniture music.


Question

Question:

  • While this piece certainly sounds very nice, is there any objective reason why?


Opening chords

Opening Chords

The piece begins with a pair of alternating major seventh chords. The first and third chords are based of a root of G (in this case G2). Meanwhile, the second fourth chords have D (specifically, D2) as a root.


Frequencies that should be present below 1000 hz

Frequencies that should be present (below 1000 Hz):

Root on G

Root on D


Root g root d

Root G Root D


The actual numbers

The Actual Numbers:

Root G

Root D


Root g root d1

Root G Root D


Results from my playing

Results from my playing:

Root of G

Root of D


Why don t harmonics line up

Why Don’t Harmonics Line-Up?:

  • TheAnswer lies in the instrument itself: Inharmonicity results from the piano creating stretched partials.

  • However, as Harvey Fletcher proposed, these partials are also responsible for giving the piano its distinctive sound.


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