Erik Satie – Born on 17 May 1866 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Erik Satie – Born on 17 May 1866

Erik Satie, the French composer and pianist, was born in Honfleur, Normandy, on 17 May 1866.

Satie was a member of the Parisian avant-garde of the late 19th and early 20th Century, and was famous for the eccentricity of his work.

While reading articles about Satie in the Archive, we found this terrific story about what the newspaper writer calls ‘ultra modern composers’.

In the last paragraph of the second section, the writer quotes the weird and wonderful instructions that Satie wrote for people who wished to play pieces of his music, for example:

‘Play this in exactly the same way as a crab walks’.

The whole newspaper article is a fascinating celebration of composers who thought about things a little differently.

We’ve also included a newspaper report on a lecture about Erik Satie that was given in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1915 – we like the description of Satie being ‘the Mark Twain of music’.

Hull Daily Mail – Saturday 31 October 1931

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Newcastle Journal – Monday 15 February 1915

Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


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