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Erik Satie

Menus propos enfantins consists of three beginner pieces for piano. Satie composed three sets of "Enfantines," each with three pieces: all nine were composed in October of 1913. Each set uses a different five-finger scale, using only the white keys of the piano. Satie is generally characterized as always having maintained a childlike view of music, and perhaps that is why the music that he wrote for children is so enduring. He once stated, famously: "When I was young, people used to say to me: Wait until you're fifty, you'll see. I am fifty. I haven't seen anything." The innocence and naivete of children was greatly valued by Satie, and he sought to capture something of it in all of his pieces; however, it is in these little children's pieces that Satie's deep affinity for children and the childish becomes clear.

This set of "Enfantines" consists of "Le chant guerrier du Roi des Haricots," "Ce qui dit la petite Princesse de Tulipes," and "Valse du Chocolat aux Amandes." The titles of these pieces alone suggest Satie's childish side (and of course, it is not only in the children's pieces that one finds silly Satiean titles). Menus, like the rest of the "Enfantines," are among Satie's few works that are genuinely easy to play; most of his piano music is deceptively simple, requiring considerable skill to play properly. These pieces have a two-part texture, are played only on the white keys, and are cast in simple binary or ternary forms. The melodies are charming, smooth, and conjunct, and are generally diatonic. It is also notable that, as with much of his solo piano music, Satie included whimsical, occasionally nonsensical running commentary in the score.