Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (UK: / /,, US: / /,; French: [eʁik sati]; 17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925), who signed his name Erik Satie after 1884, was a French composer and pianist. Satie was an influential artist in the late 19th- and early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd, while his 1917 coinage "furniture music" would presage the development of background and ambient music.
An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous works, the piano compositions Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds"), preferring this designation to that of "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.
In addition to his body of music, Satie left a set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications from the dadaist 391 to the American culture chronicle Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on publishing his work under his own name, in the late 19th century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published writings.
Erik Satie was born on 17 May 1866, the son of Alfred Satie and his wife Jane Leslie (née Anton), who was born in London to Scottish parents. Erik was born at Honfleur in Normandy; his childhood home there is now open to the public. When Satie was four years old, his family moved to Paris, his father having been offered a translator's job in the capital. After his mother's death in 1872, he was sent (at age 6), together with his younger brother, Conrad, back to Honfleur to live with his paternal grandparents. There he received his first music lessons from a local organist. In 1878, when he was 12 years old, his grandmother died, and the two brothers were reunited in Paris with their father, who remarried (to a piano teacher) shortly afterwards. From the early 1880s onwards, Satie started publishing salon compositions by his stepmother and himself, among others.
In 1879, Satie entered the Paris Conservatoire, where he was labelled as lazy and unmotivated, but was still credited as a gifted pianist in his report cards. Georges Mathias, his professor of piano at the Conservatoire, described his pupil's piano technique in flatly negative terms, "insignificant and laborious" and "worthless". Émile Decombes called him "the laziest student in the Conservatoire". Years later, Satie related that Mathias, with great insistence, had told him that his real talent lay in composing. After being sent home for two and a half years, he was readmitted to the Conservatoire at the end of 1885 (age 19), but was unable to make a more favourable impression on his teachers than he had before, and, as a result, resolved to take up military service a year later. However, Satie's military career did not last very long; within a few months he was discharged after being accused of deliberately infecting himself with bronchitis.
Satie moved from his father's residence to lodgings in Montmartre in 1887, when he became 21. By this time he had started what was to be an enduring friendship with the romantic poet Contamine de Latour, and had his first compositions published by his father. He soon integrated with the artistic clientele of the Le Chat Noir Café-cabaret, and started publishing his Gymnopédies. Publication of compositions in the same vein (Ogives, Gnossiennes, etc.) followed. In the same period he befriended Claude Debussy. He moved to a smaller room, still in Montmartre (rue Cortot Nº 6, now a museum), in 1890. By 1891 he was the official composer and chapel-master of the Rosicrucian Order (Ordre de la Rose-Croix Catholique, du Temple et du Graal), led by "Sâr" Joséphin Péladan, which led to compositions such as Salut drapeau!, Le Fils des étoiles, and the Sonneries de la Rose+Croix. Satie gave performances at the Salon de la Rose + Croix, organized by Péladan.
By mid-1892, Satie had composed the first pieces in a compositional system of his own making (Fête donnée par des Chevaliers Normands en l'honneur d'une jeune demoiselle), provided incidental music to a chivalric esoteric play (two Préludes du Nazaréen), had his first hoax published (announcing the premiere of Le bâtard de Tristan, an anti-Wagnerian opera he probably never composed), and broken from Péladan, starting that autumn with the Uspud project, a "Christian Ballet", in collaboration with Contamine de Latour. While the comrades from both the Chat Noir and Miguel Utrillo's Auberge du Clou sympathised, a promotional brochure was produced for the project, which reads as a pamphlet for a new esoteric sect.
Satie and Suzanne Valadon (an artists' model, artist, long-time friend of Miguel Utrillo, and mother of Maurice Utrillo) began an affair early in 1893. After their first night together, he proposed marriage. The two did not marry, but Valadon moved to a room next to Satie's at the Rue Cortot. Satie became obsessed with her, calling her his Biqui and writing impassioned notes about "her whole being, lovely eyes, gentle hands, and tiny feet". During their relationship, Satie composed the Danses gothiques as a means of calming his mind, and Valadon painted a portrait of Satie, which she gave to him. After six months she moved away, leaving Satie broken-hearted. Afterwards, he said that he was left with "nothing but an icy loneliness that fills the head with emptiness and the heart with sadness". It is believed this was the only intimate relationship Satie ever had.
In 1893, Satie met the young Maurice Ravel for the first time, Satie's style emerging in the first compositions of the youngster. One of Satie's own compositions of that period, Vexations, was to remain undisclosed until after his death. By the end of the year he had founded the Église Métropolitaine d'Art de Jésus Conducteur (Metropolitan Art Church of Jesus the Conductor). As its only member, in the role of "Parcier et Maître de Chapelle", he started to compose a Grande messe (later to become known as the Messe des pauvres), and wrote a flood of letters, articles and pamphlets showing off his self-assuredness in religious and artistic matters. To give an example: he applied for membership in the Académie Française twice, leaving no doubt in the application letter that the board of that organisation (presided over by Camille Saint-Saëns) as much as owed him such membership. Such proceedings without doubt rather helped to wreck his popularity in the cultural establishment. In 1895 he inherited some money, allowing him to have more of his writings printed, and to change from wearing a priest-like habit to being the "Velvet Gentleman".
Move to Arcueil
By mid-1896, all of Satie's financial means had vanished, and he had to move to cheaper and much smaller lodgings, first at the Rue Cortot, and two years later, after he had composed the two first sets of Pièces froides in 1897, to Arcueil, a suburb some ten kilometres from Montmartre. During this period he re-established contact with his brother Conrad for numerous practical and financial matters, disclosing some of his inner feelings in the process. The letters to Conrad made it clear that he had set aside his religious ideas.
From 1899 on, Satie started making money as a cabaret pianist, adapting over a hundred compositions of popular music for piano or piano and voice, adding some of his own. The most popular of these were Je te veux, text by Henry Pacory; Tendrement, text by Vincent Hyspa; Poudre d'or, a waltz; La Diva de l'Empire, text by Dominique Bonnaud/Numa Blès; Le Picadilly, a march; Légende californienne, text by Contamine de Latour (lost, but the music later reappears in La belle excentrique); and quite a few more, many of which have been lost. In his later years, Satie would reject all his cabaret music as vile and against his nature, but for the time being, it was an income.
Only a few compositions that Satie took seriously remain from this period: Jack in the Box, music to a pantomime by Jules Depaquit (called a "clownerie" by Satie); Geneviève de Brabant, a short comic opera on a serious theme, text by "Lord Cheminot"; The Dreamy Fish, piano music to accompany a lost tale by Cheminot; and a few others that were mostly incomplete, hardly any of them staged, and none of them published at the time.
Both Geneviève de Brabant and The Dreamy Fish have been analysed by Ornella Volta as containing elements of competition with Claude Debussy, of which Debussy was probably not aware, Satie not making this music public. Meanwhile, Debussy was having one of his first major successes with Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, leading a few years later to who-was-precursor-to-whom debates between the two composers, in which Maurice Ravel would also get involved.
In October 1905, Satie enrolled in Vincent d'Indy's Schola Cantorum de Paris to study classical counterpoint while still continuing his cabaret work. Most of his friends were as dumbfounded as the professors at the Schola when they heard about his new plan to return to the classrooms, especially as d'Indy was an admiring pupil of Saint-Saëns, not particularly favoured by Satie. Satie would follow these courses at the Schola, as a respected pupil, for more than five years, receiving a first (intermediate) diploma in 1908. Some of his classroom counterpoint exercises, such as the Désespoir agréable, were published after his death. Another summary, of the period prior to the Schola, also appeared in 1911: the Trois morceaux en forme de poire, which was a kind of compilation of the best of what he had written up to 1903.
Something that becomes clear through these published compilations is that Satie did not so much reject Romanticism and its exponents like Wagner, but that he rejected certain aspects of it. From his first composition to his last, he rejected the idea of musical development, in the strict definition of this term: the intertwining of different themes in a development section of a sonata form. As a result, his contrapuntal and other works were very short; the "new, modern" Fugues do not extend further than the exposition of the theme(s). Generally, he would say that he did not think it permitted that a composer take more time from his public than strictly necessary. Also, Satie avoided Melodrama, in its historical sense of a romantic genre of spoken words set in a background of music. His 1913 Le piège de Méduse could be seen as an absurdist spoof of that genre.
In the meantime, other changes had also taken place: Satie was a member of a radical socialist party (he later switched his membership to the Communist Party in that area after December 1920), and had socialised with the Arcueil community: among other things, he had been involved in the "Patronage laïque" work for children. He also changed his appearance to that of the bourgeois functionary with bowler hat, umbrella, etc. He channelled his medieval interests into a peculiar secret hobby: in a filing cabinet he maintained a collection of imaginary buildings, most of them described as being made out of some kind of metal, which he drew on little cards. Occasionally, extending the game, he would publish anonymous small announcements in local journals, offering some of these buildings, e.g., a "castle in lead", for sale or rent.
A rare autochrome photograph of Satie exists that dates from 1911. It was reproduced on the cover of Robert Orledge's second book on the composer, Satie Remembered (1995), but where this autochrome was found has not been made known.
Starting in 1912, Satie's new humorous miniatures for piano became very successful, and he wrote and published many of these over the next few years (most of them premiered by the pianist Ricardo Viñes). His habit of accompanying the scores of his compositions with all kinds of written remarks was now well established, so that a few years later he had to insist that these not be read out during performances. He wrote in the first edition of Heures séculaires et instantanées, "To whom it may concern: 'I forbid anyone to read the text aloud during the musical performance. Ignorance of my instructions will incur my righteous indignation against the presumptuous culprit. No exception will be allowed.'" He had mostly stopped using barlines by this time. In some ways, these compositions were very reminiscent of Rossini's compositions from the final years of his life, grouped under the name Péchés de vieillesse.
However, the acceleration in Satie's life did not come so much from the success of his new piano pieces; it was Ravel who inadvertently triggered the characteristics of Satie's remaining years and thus influenced the successive progressive artistic and cultural movements that rapidly manifested themselves in Paris over the following years. Paris was seen as the artistic capital of the world, and the beginning of the new century appeared to have set many minds on fire. In 1910 the "Jeunes Ravêlites", a group of young musicians around Ravel, proclaimed their preference for Satie's earlier work from before the Schola period, reinforcing the idea that Satie had been a precursor of Debussy.
At first, Satie was pleased that at least some of his works were receiving public attention, but when he realised that this meant that his more recent work was overlooked or dismissed, he looked for other young artists who related better to his more recent ideas, so as to have better mutual support in creative activity. Thus, young artists such as Roland-Manuel, and later Georges Auric, and Jean Cocteau, started to receive more of his attention than the "Jeunes".
As a result of his contact with Roland-Manuel, Satie again began publicising his thoughts, with far more irony than he had done before (amongst other things, the Mémoires d'un amnésique and Cahiers d'un mammifère).
With Jean Cocteau, whom he had first met in 1915, Satie started work on incidental music for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, resulting in the Cinq grimaces pour Le songe d'une nuit d'été. From 1916, he and Cocteau worked on the ballet Parade, which was premiered in 1917 by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, with sets and costumes by Pablo Picasso, and choreography by Léonide Massine. Through Picasso, Satie also became acquainted with other cubists, such as Georges Braque, with whom he would work on other, aborted, projects.
With Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, and Germaine Tailleferre, Satie formed the Nouveaux jeunes, shortly after writing Parade. Later, the group was joined by Francis Poulenc and Darius Milhaud. In September 1918, Satie – giving little or no explanation – withdrew from the Nouveaux jeunes. Jean Cocteau gathered the six remaining members, forming the Groupe des six (to which Satie would later have access, but later again would fall out with most of its members).
From 1919, Satie was in contact with Tristan Tzara, the initiator of the Dada movement. He became acquainted with other artists involved in the movement, such as Francis Picabia (later to become a Surrealist), André Derain, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Hugo and Man Ray, among others. On the day of his first meeting with Man Ray, the two fabricated the artist's first readymade: The Gift (1921). Satie contributed writing to the Dadaist publication 391. In the first months of 1922, he was surprised to find himself entangled in the argument between Tzara and André Breton about the true nature of avant-garde art, epitomised by the failure of the Congrès de Paris. Satie originally sided with Tzara, but managed to maintain friendly relations with most players in both camps. Meanwhile, an "Ecole d'Arcueil" had formed around Satie, taking the name from the relatively remote district of Paris where Satie lived; it included young musicians such as Henri Sauguet, Maxime Jacob, Roger Désormière and Henri Cliquet-Pleyel.
Other work and episodes in this last period of Satie's life:
- Since 1911 he had been on friendly terms with Igor Stravinsky, about whom he would later write articles.
- Le piège de Méduse (1913) had a unique position in Satie's oeuvre, as it was a stage work conceived and composed seemingly without any collaboration with other artists.
- Sports et divertissements was a kind of multi-media project, in which Satie provided piano music to drawings made by Charles Martin. The work was composed in 1914, but not published or performed until the early 1920s. The individual pieces are characteristic Satie "miniatures": in all, there are twenty pieces - none over two minutes in length, and some as short as 15 seconds.
- He got in trouble over an insulting postcard he had written to one of his critics shortly after the premiere of Parade; he was condemned to a week of imprisonment, but was finally released as a result of the (financial) intercession of Winnaretta Singer, Princess Edmond de Polignac.
- Singer, who had learnt Ancient Greek when she was over 50, had commissioned a work on Socrates in October 1916; this would become his Socrate, which he presented early in 1918 to the Princess.
- From 1917 Satie wrote five pieces of furniture music ("Musique d'ameublement") for different occasions.
- From 1920, he was on friendly terms with the circles around Gertrude Stein, amongst others, leading to the publication of some of his articles in Vanity Fair (commissioned by Sibyl Harris).
- Some works would originate under the patronage of the count Etienne de Beaumont, from 1922 onwards:
- La statue retrouvée (or "Divertissement"): another Satie-Cocteau-Picasso-Massine collaboration.
- Ludions: a setting of nonsense rhyme by Léon-Paul Fargue
- Mercure: the subtitle of this piece ("Poses plastiques") suggests it might have been intended rather as an emulation of the tableau vivant genre than as an actual ballet, the "tableaux" being cubist, by Picasso (and Massine).
- During his final years Satie travelled; for example, in 1924 to Belgium, invited by Paul Collaer, and to Monte Carlo for the premiere of a work on which he had collaborated.
Satie's last compositions were two 1924 ballets. Mercure reunited him with Picasso and Massine for a mythological spoof produced by Count Étienne de Beaumont's Soirées de Paris, and he wrote the "instantaneist" ballet Relâche in collaboration with Picabia, for the Ballets suédois of Rolf de Maré. In a simultaneous project, Satie added music to the surrealist film Entr'acte by René Clair, which was given as an intermezzo for Relâche.
After years of heavy drinking (including consumption of absinthe), Satie died at age 59, on 1 July 1925 from cirrhosis of the liver. He is buried in the cemetery in Arcueil. There is a tiny stone monument designating a grassy area in front of an apartment building – 'Parc Erik Satie'. Over the course of his 27 years in residence at Arcueil, where Satie lived in stark simplicity, no one had ever visited his room. After his death, Satie's friends discovered an apartment replete with squalor and chaos. Among many other unsorted papers and miscellaneous items, it contained a large number of umbrellas, and two grand pianos placed one on top of the other, the upper instrument used as storage for letters and parcels. They discovered compositions that were thought to have been lost or were totally unknown. The score to Jack in the Box was thought, by Satie, to have been left on a bus years before. These were found behind the piano, in the pockets of his velvet suits, and in other odd places, and included Vexations; Geneviève de Brabant and other unpublished or unfinished stage works; The Dreamy Fish; many Schola Cantorum exercises; a previously unseen set of "canine" piano pieces; and several other works for piano, many untitled. Some of these would be published later as additional Gnossiennes, Pièces froides, Enfantines, and furniture music. 
Satie's writings include:
- A Mammal's Notebook: Collected Writings of Erik Satie (Serpent's Tail; Atlas Arkhive, No 5, 1997) ISBN 0-947757-92-9 (with introduction and notes by Ornella Volta, translations by Anthony Melville, contains several drawings by Satie)
- Correspondence presque complète: Réunie, établie et présentée par Ornella Volta (Paris: Fayard/Imes, 2000; 1265 pages) ISBN 2-213-60674-9 (an almost complete edition of Satie's letters, in French)
- Nigel Wilkins, The Writings of Erik Satie, London, 1980.
- Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
- Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
- "Lectures and events". gresham.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013.
- Jarrett, Michael (1998). Sound Tracks: A Musical ABC, Volumes 1–3. Temple University Press. p. 1973. ISBN 978-1-56639-641-7.
- Christopher Innes, Maria Shevtsova, The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre Directing (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), p. 151.
- "Je suis phonomètre avant d’être musicien" Aperçus phonométriques & autres sous-entendus "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Documents of Dada and Surrealism: Dada and Surrealist Journals in the Mary Reynolds Collection". Artic.edu. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990): p. xxxviii.
- Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall (Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): p. 105.
- Vincent Lajoinie, Erik Satie, L'Age d'Homme ([full citation needed]1985). 443 S. 8° 1985 p.31
- "Maisons Satie". Musees-honfleur.fr. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "SATIE, E.: Piano Works (Selection) (Körmendi)". Naxos.com. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Orledge, R., & Potter, C. (2020, December 23). Satie, Erik. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 15 May. 2021, from https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-0000040105
- Orledge, Robert. "Satie, Erik". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 24 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
- "The Ensemble Sospeso New York". Sospeso.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- in: Mary E. Davis: Erik Satie. Reaktion Books – Critical Lives. (Published London: Reaktion Books, 2007): p. 25. ISBN 978-1-86189-321-5.
- Caroline Potter, Erik Satie: A Parisian Composer and His World ([full citation needed]Boydell & Brewer, 2016): p. 1.
- Mary E. Davis, Erik Satie ([full citation needed]: Reaktion Books, 2007): p. 21.
- Mary E. Davis, Erik Satie ([full citation needed]: Reaktion Books, 2007): p. 31.
- "Satie's former address, 6 rue Cortot - Alistair McGowan recording The Unsent Letters of Erik Satie on location in Paris - The Unsent Letters of Erik Satie - BBC Radio 4". BBC. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Érik Satie, musique des Rose-Croix - Rose-Croix.org". Rose-croix.org. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall (Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): p. 151.
- Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall (Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press), 1999): p. 156.
- DesLettres (20 June 2016). "Lettre d'Erik Satie à Suzanne Valadon : " Partout je ne vois que tes yeux. " - Des Lettres". Deslettres.fr. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- "Suzanne Valadon". Akademiska Föreningen, Lund University. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer, Cambridge University Press 1990, pp. 11, 157
- "Suzanne Valadon". Akademiska Föreningen, Lund University. Archived from the original on 3 October 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Orledge, Robert. "Erik Satie". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer, Cambridge University Press 1990, p. 250
- Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer, Cambridge University Press 1990 p.50
- Plaque #3265 on Open Plaques
- Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer, Cambridge University Press 1990 p.6
- Wilkins, Nigel (1981). "Letters from Erik Satie" (PDF). Erik Satie's letters.
- Erik Satie in a 17 January 1911 letter to his brother Conrad, quoted in Volta 1989 and in Gillmor 1992 (Chronology p. xxix)
- Steven Moore Whiting, Satie the Bohemian: From Cabaret to Concert Hall, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1999, p.259
- Jane F. Fulcher, French Cultural Politics & Music: From the Dreyfus Affair to the First World War, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 199.
- John Williamson, Words and Music (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2005), p. 161.
- [dead link]
- "Satie". pianonoise.com. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Robert Orledge (1990). Satie the Composer. Cambridge University Press. p. 233. ISBN 9780521350372.
As Satie's career progressed, he moved further and further towards the left. As early as 1908 he was an active member of the Radical-Socialist Committee in Arcueil, and he joined the official Socialist Party on the day after the assassination of Jean Jaurès (31 July 1914), switching to the Communist Party after the Congress of Tours in December 1920.
- Vincent Lajoinie, Erik Satie: L'Age d'Homme[full citation needed] (1985) 443 S. 8° p.110
- Orledge, Robert (28 August 1995). Satie Remembered. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781574670011.
- Williamson, John (2005). Words and music. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. p. 176. ISBN 9780853236191.
- Robert Orledge, Satie the Composer (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990): p. 235.
- "French Culture: Vive la Belle Epoque". Girlsguidetoparis.com. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- English translations of these pieces were published in A Mammal's Notebook, see Sources section below.[failed verification]
- Elliott Antokoletz, A History of Twentieth-Century Music in a Theoretic-Analytical Context, Routledge 2014 p.208
- Anderson, Keith, Sleeve Notes The Best of Erik Satie, Naxos 8.556688
- "INTRODUCTION A LA MUSIQUE CLASSIQUE - Le XXe siècle : Les compositeurs". 23 December 2016. Archived from the original on 23 December 2016.
- Jeffrey Kacirk (2009). Forgotten English. William Morrow Paperbacks. ISBN 978-0688166366.
- "Erik Satie - Biography". 25 February 2005. Archived from the original on 25 February 2005.
- Anderson, Keith, Sleeve notes The Best of Erik Satie Naxos 8.556688
- Melissa Lesnie, "Five Things You Didn't Know about Erik Satie Archived 26 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine", Limelight (13 June 2012). Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- Allan, Kenneth R. "Metamorphosis in 391: A Cryptographic Collaboration by Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and Erik Satie." Art History 34, No. 1 (February 2011): 102–125.
- Davis, Mary E., Erik Satie. Reaktion Books – Critical Lives. June 2007. ISBN 978-1-86189-321-5
- Gillmor, Alan M., Erik Satie (Twayne Pub., 1988, reissued 1992; 387 pages) ISBN 0-393-30810-3
- Myers, Rollo H., Erik Satie. (Dover Publications, New York 1968.) ISBN 0-486-21903-8
- Orledge, Robert, Satie Remembered (London: Faber and Faber, London, 1995)
- Orledge, Robert, Satie the Composer Cambridge University Press: 1990; 437 pages – in the series Music in the Twentieth Century ([ed.] Arnold Whittall) ISBN 0-521-35037-9
- Potter, Caroline, Erik Satie, a Parisian composer and his world. (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2016) ISBN 9781783270835
- Peitz, Anne-Kathrin (and Youlian Tabakov), Satiesfictions DVD. (Accentus Music, 2014). Arte/C Major Entertainment GmbH
- Macchiarella, Lindsey (2017). "Early French Modernism Across Modalities: Erik Satie and Eugène Atget". Music in Art: International Journal for Music Iconography. 42 (1–2): 309–328. ISSN 1522-7464.
- Templier, Pierre-Daniel (translated by Elena L. French and David S. French), Erik Satie (The MIT Press, 1969, reissued 1971) ISBN 0-262-70005-0 and (New York: Da Capo Press, 1980 reissue) ISBN 0-306-76039-8. Note: Templier extensively consulted Conrad, Erik Satie's brother, when writing this first biography that appeared in 1932. The English translation was, however, criticised by John Cage; in a letter to Ornella Volta (25 May 1983) he referred to the translation as disappointing compared to the formidable value of the original biography.
- Vella, Alfonso, "Satie, la subversión de la fantasía", Ediciones Península 2013 ISBN 978-84-9942-248-0
- Volta, Ornella and Simon Pleasance, Erik Satie (Hazan: The Pocket Archives Series, 1997; 200 pages) ISBN 2-85025-565-3
- Volta, Ornella, transl. Michael Bullock, Satie Seen Through His Letters (Marion Boyars, 1989) ISBN 0-7145-2980-X
- Whiting, Steven, Satie the Bohemian: from Cabaret to Concert Hall (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999; 596 pages) ISBN 978-0-19816-458-6
- Whittington, Stephen, "On the Centenary of Erik Satie's Vexations" (1994).