The Gymnopédies, published in Paris starting in 1888, are three piano compositions written by French composer and pianist Erik Satie. The work was possibly based upon the poetry of J. P. Contamine de Latour (1867–1926), who wrote Les Antiques ('The Ancients').

The Gymnopaedia, in ancient Sparta, was a yearly celebration during which naked youths displayed their athletic and martial skills through the medium of war dancing. The custom was introduced in 668 BC, concurrently with the introduction of naked athletics.

Gymnopaedia derives from the ancient Greek Γυμνοπαιδίαι. The word Gymnopaedia is composed of γυμνός (gymnos, 'naked' or 'unarmed') and παιδιά 'game" from παῖς (pais, 'child'or youth'). In Greek the plural form, Γυμνοπαιδίαι, appears most often. The term appears in texts of Herodotus, and several authors in the Attic and Koiné periods. While for the earliest of these authors the meaning of Gymnopaedia appears predominantly as a festival (including several dances, sports, etc.), in the later periods of antiquity gymnopaedia is referred to as a particular dance.

The festival, celebrated in the summertime, was dedicated to Apollon (and/or, according to Plutarch, to Athena). Plato praises gymnopaedia-like exercises and performances in The Laws as an excellent medium of education: by dancing strenuously in the summer heat, Spartan youth were trained in both musical grace and warrior grit at the same time.

Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, Surrealism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd. The Gymnopédies are the first compositions with which Erik Satie tried to cut himself loose from the conventional 19th century 'salon music' environment of his father and stepmother.

In August 1888, the 'First Gymnopédie' was published, accompanied by the verse of Contamine that sparked his interest:

"Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream
Trickled in gusts of gold on the shiny flagstone
Where the amber atoms in the fire gleaming
Mingled their sarabande with the gymnopaedia"

Later the same year the 'Third Gymnopédie' was published. There was, however, no publication of the 'Second Gymnopédie' until seven years later. Today I would like to share with you these three beautiful pieces, played one after the other. Enjoy!