Revisiting “Gimmick” Pieces, Part I: Satie – Vexations

In this two-part series, I’ll be exploring two pieces that some would classify as novelties, gimmicks, or jokes. Are they valid pieces of music? Are they beautiful? Let’s find out. Satie – Vexations Ah yes, Erik Satie. He of the green velvet suits and fondness for absinthe. You might know him as the composer of... Continue Reading →

Why Don’t Pianists Learn to Tune Their Instruments?

Pianists have a much less hands-on relationship with their instrument than other musicians. Besides the added distance of playing a keyboard at the very edge of a beast that wouldn’t fit in most bathrooms, the average pianist’s life is removed from the practical, mechanical aspects of the upkeep of the instrument. Reed players dissemble their... Continue Reading →

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