"Ogive" is an architectural term, referring to the shape of a gothic arch. In this case it designates a set of four untitled pieces for piano, each of which bears a different dedication. The first is dedicated to J. P. Contamine de Latour, the second to Charles Levade, the third to Madame Clement Le Breton, and the fourth to Conrad Satie. These are some of Satie's very shortest compositions -- a mere four lines each -- and, like many of Satie's other pieces from this time, have they neither bar lines nor time signatures.
Ogives is among Satie's earliest works, composed in the same year as the Trois Mélodies and just a year or so before the Trois Sarabandes and the famous Trois Gymnopédies. Ogives shares with these other pieces Satie's distinctive modal melodies and their concomitant tonal ambiguity; their similarity to the sound and contour of Gregorian chant melodies evokes a neo-medieval aesthetic. These four short pieces exemplify Satie's early style nicely, but they also contain stylistic elements destined to reappear in his later works.