In 1887 Erik Satie composed the "Sarabandes", three pieces of solo piano music. A "Sarabande" is also a kind of medieval dance. Are Satie's Sarabandes actually Sarabande music in the sense that you could dance a historical Sarabande to them? In other words, are the Sarabandes actually of the sarabande genre, do they have the correct form and structure? Or is it just a name? Has anyone ever tried dancing to them?

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I'm surprised that no-one has thought to try dancing to this. Since Satie most likely did not intend the pieces for dancing, an attempt to do this would have probably appealed to his reportedly quirky and ironic humour....

Looking at this video, demonstrating the Saraband, I imagine that someone could dance a Saraband to the Satie pieces of that name.

The Saraband is/was a dance in 3/4 time, and Satie's pieces are in 3/4. YT video with score

The Saraband is a slow, quite formal dance : the Satie pieces are slow and measured.


If you compare the Bach piece which is the backing for the above video, you hear that the Bach, with the exception of the odd Hemiola, is more regular in metre than Satie's piece which is often playing with the rhythm.

So I imagine the resulting dance would be "a Saraband, but not as we know it", since Satie was both tipping his hat to tradition and playing with it / mocking it at the same time.

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