In Satie's Gymnopédie no. 1 measure 9-13, one plays an f that should be sustained, but thereafter one also needs to play several chords containing the f. My sheet music indicates the pedal should be released every measure. How would one play this part?


3 Answers 3


I re-articulate the F# with each chord and keep it held through the quarter-note rest while the other notes drop out. It takes a bit of finger juggling to pull off, but will sound much better than dropping the F# out of each chord.


You’ll better play f# - not f. I would just let drop the note f# in the left hand ...

btw: In bar 20 you‘ll have the same problem with the key of E.

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  • the chord in bar 20 doesn't have an E in it Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 12:36
  • Yes, the is an E in bars 19-21. It is just written on the upper staff, but is sitting right in the middle of the chord. Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 7:05

If you want to go to the trouble, this is one of those times to consider using the sostenuto (middle) pedal. You have to do a couple of things to get it to work properly:

  1. Play the first measure with the long F, using the pedal.
  2. Making sure that only the F is down and the damper pedal isn't when you do it, put down the sostenuto pedal with your left foot. In other words, while clearing the damper pedal and just before playing the low F in the next measure.

It will take some practice to be able to do all this smoothly, but once you do you can get a very nice effect. Keep in mind that the sostenuto pedal holds up the dampers that are up when it is depressed. Meaning, that if you do it when the damper pedal is depressed, it will hold up all the dampers. Not what you want; you want to hold the dampers of the keys that are down when you use it, and so you have to make sure that the damper pedal is up when you put it down.

You can also do what ahazybellcord suggests, or you can get a nice effect by just half-releasing the pedal each measure, or of course you can just pedal through the whole thing if that works for you musically (it doesn't for me).

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