Clapping Music (1972)

I heard a live performance of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music last year (adapted for violin), and wrote notes about that experience on my listening log: Minimal: American Classics.  As I mentioned there, I think the piece is very successful and is an effective way of ‘spotlighting’ different parts of the rhythm as the phasing between the two parts changes.  As the piece progresses, your perception of where the start of the phrase changes.  Clapping is one of the simplest possible instruments, and I think it was chosen intentionally as it allows you to focus purely on the rhythm.  Having said that, I enjoyed the violin version more as the melodic content highlighted the phasing changes much more effectively.


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