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Potter, Caroline (2015)
Publisher: Société française de musicologie
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: music
Erik Satie's concept of musique d'ameublement (furniture or furnishing music) ensures that he is viewed as a precursor of minimalism, muzak, and many other 20th-century musical genres. The concept can be traced back to his early career as a pianist in Montmartre cafes, where he accompanied singers and shadow plays. Music as a backdrop to another art form is central to Satie's aesthetic, and he developed musique d'ameublement in the interart ferment that was Montparnasse during World War I. Drawing on little-known sources, this article examines the concept and meaning of Satie's furniture music. It focuses on the music he wrote as entr'actes to Max Jacob's play Ruffian toujours, truand jamais (1920), a play which has recently come to light in the Departement des Manuscrits of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and which is discussed here for the first time.
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