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Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?

Will Fly 30 Mar 11 - 11:50 AM
Les in Chorlton 30 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM
Jack Campin 30 Mar 11 - 12:35 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Mar 11 - 12:46 PM
Will Fly 30 Mar 11 - 01:38 PM
Bainbo 30 Mar 11 - 03:36 PM
Will Fly 30 Mar 11 - 04:23 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 16 - 08:45 AM
Jack Campin 18 Jun 16 - 07:09 PM
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Subject: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 11:50 AM

I've always been intrigued by Erik Satie's music and just tried my hand at the 3rd of his "Gnossiennes" from 1890. However, I'm curious whether the melody line in this piece is using any particular scales or modes which give it a distinctly non-European flavour (I'm not an expert on modes). Any comments welcomed.

Here's a YouTube link: Gnossienne No. 3

And here's the abc:

X:1
T:Gnossienne 3
C:Erik Satie
Q:1/4=100
V:1
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:C =C =D =E =F =G =A =B
aa ^dd ^f f3 |z2 ee ^dd cc |B B3 z4 |z8 |
aa ^dd ^f f3 |z2 ee ^dd cc |B B3 z4 |{B}d2 BB c c3 |B B3 z4 |
({B}d8 |d2) BB dd BB |^GA Bd BA GA |Bd BA ^GA Bd |
ff A A3 z2 |z8 |ee ^AA ^c c3 |z2 BB ^AA GG |^F F3 z4 |
z8 |ee ^AA ^c c3 |z2 BB ^AA GG |^F F3 z4 |{F}A8 |
E^F G_B =B^c ec |B^A G^F EF GA |B^c ec B^A G^F |
E^F G^A B^c ec |d d3 z4 |z8 |E^F G_B =B^c ec |
B^A G^F EF GA |B^c ec B^A G^F |E^F G^A B^c ec |d d3 z4 |
{F}A8- |{F}A4 z4 |{F}A8- |{F}A4 z4 |_AB c_e dc BA |
c c3 z4 |{B}d8- |{B}d4 z4 |_AB c_e dc BA |c c3 z4 |
{B}d8 |aa ^dd ^f f3 |z2 ee ^dd cc |B B3 z4 |z8 |
aa ^dd ^f f3 |z2 ee ^dd cc |B B3 z2 BB |e e3 z4 |z8 |]


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:02 PM

Hi Will,

I dropped it into ABC and I have to say your playing makes it sound much more like a tune, but having just progressed fro polkas to jigs it's a bit out of my league

Cheers

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:35 PM

Seems to be making a lot of use of diminished scales (alternating tone and semitone).


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 12:46 PM

Strangley strange - after posting the above I retuned to reading "The Music Instinct" by Philip Ball, to find him quoting Satie as one who wrote music without reference to key "finding it more convenient simply to annotate the various sharps and flatsas they occured"

L in C#
Great book but hard work in places


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 01:38 PM

Thanks Jack - I hadn't considered extended diminished chords. The original scores, as written by Satie, were without bar lines.

Les - I only included abc as I can't print the score on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Bainbo
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 03:36 PM

Can't help with the technical queries, I'm afraid. But ever heard it played on pedal steel, theremin, and glass rods being stroked with the fingers?


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Mar 11 - 04:23 PM

That's certainly different!


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 08:45 AM

Too late no doubt but I have a list of modes, notated by the number of semitones in each interval. It includes this:
2 1 3 1 2 1 2
and says it is used in :
Mela Hemavati and Raga Desisimharavam (Indian music), Maqam Nakriz (Tunisian), Misheberekh (Jewish) Souzinak (Peiraiotiko Minore), Nigriz: Greece, Dorian sharp 4, and Gnossiennes


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Subject: RE: Satie's 3rd Gnossienne - scale? mode?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jun 16 - 07:09 PM

The piano score is on IMSLP and makes it rather clearer what's going on. It begins with two descending lines in A misheberach backed by A minor harmony - scale a ^f e ^d c B A - then a line in D misheberach cadencing into A minor. At "Seul, pendant un instant" we move into E misheberach, again resolving to F sharp minor. Same scale for "De maniere a obtenit un creux", but this time it resolves into B minor. At "Tres perdu" we appear to be in E misheberach ending up in B minor again. "Portez cela plus loin" just cadences from A minor into F minor, except at "Ouvrez a tete" it's clear we aren't in F minor but F misheberach instead. End that phrase in D minor, reprise the opening and repeat it as a coda with an A minor finish.

That is, what he seems to be doing is using modal material in a tonal way - modulations to the subdominant, dominant and dominant-of-the-dominant but no change in the scale (whereas in the traditional uses of this scale you would probably move to a different mode on the same pitch set instead).


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