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Global Dimensions of Public Administration and Governance: A Comparative Voyage by Jos Raadschelders, Eran Vigoda-Gadot

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CHAPTER SIX

BUREAUCRATIC ORGANIZATION AND CULTURE

In July 1917 the French pianist Erik Satie wrote Sonatine bureaucratique, a four-minute piece that parodies Sonatina in C Major op. 36, no. 1 by Muzio Clementi (1752–1832). Just listening to the music, it is clear that it is about busyness without substance. Satie supplied his own narrative alongside the music, describing a bureaucrat going to work, loving his office, but doing little. He wrote this possibly in part with an eye on conservatism in art, targeting and mocking those who would not embrace fresh ideas; and he certainly wrote it as an accusation of traditional formal procedures (in music as well as anywhere) (Hare, 2005, pp. 63, 82, and 87). Satie's Sonatine is just one example of how ...

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