Looking at the music of Steve Reich, it’s easy to see the influence of Western classical music. But Reich’s music is also influenced by a wide range of other music, from jazz to African music. In this blog post, we explore some of the biggest influences on Reich’s music.
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Steve Reich’s musical influences
Steve Reich’s music was influenced by several factors including his early studies in drumming and music theory, his experience as a jazz musician, and his exposure to the work of other 20th-century composers such as Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern.
The music of Steve Reich
The music of Steve Reich (b. 1936) was one of the key influences on the development of minimalism. Reich’s early work was based on the use of repetitive elements, which he explored in his pieces “It’s Gonna Rain” (1965) and “Come Out” (1966). These pieces made use of tape-loops, which were then a new technology, and they were among the first works to use this technique. Reich later developed this approach in his live pieces, such as “Pendulum Music” (1968), in which performers swing microphones on cords, and “Clapping Music” (1972), in which two performers clap a rhythmic pattern. These pieces demonstrate Reich’s interest in finding new ways to create musical patterns. Reich’s work has also been influenced by non-Western music, particularly Nigerian drumming, which he studied during a trip to Ghana in 1970. This influence can be heard in pieces such as “Drumming” (1971).
The influence of Steve Reich’s music
There are many influences that can be heard in the music of Steve Reich, including:
The influence of Steve Reich
Steve Reich is one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, and his music has been hugely influential on a wide range of musicians.
Reich was born in New York in 1936, and he studied at the Julliard School of Music before going on to study composition with Darius Milhaud at Mills College in California. Reich’s early compositions were influenced by a wide range of music, including jazz, African music, and European classical music. Reich’s 1968 composition “Piano Phase” was one of his first pieces to explore the phasing effect that would become a signature feature of his work.
In the 1970s, Reich began to experiment with video and tape loops, and he composed a number of pieces using these techniques, including “It’s Gonna Rain” (1965) and “Come Out” (1966). These pieces helped to establish Reich as one of the pioneers of minimalism, a style of music that focuses on repetitions and gradually shifting patterns. Reich’s best-known work from this period is probably “Music for 18 Musicians” (1976), which uses a variety of percussion instruments to create a complex yet satisfyingly hypnotic sound.
Reich has continued to experiment with new ideas throughout his career, and his work has been highly influential on subsequent generations of composers. Some of the musicians who have been inspired by Reich’s work include Brian Eno, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman, and Steve Martland.
The influence of Steve Reich’s music on other composers
The music of American composer Steve Reich has been a major influence on the works of other composers. His unique style, which combines elements of minimalism, avant-garde, and world music, has been enormously influential in the development of contemporary classical music. Some of the composers who have been influenced by Reich’s music include:
-Phillip Glass: One of the most well-known and respected composers of our time, Phillip Glass is often cited as one of the primary influences on Reich’s music. Glass’ minimalist compositions have a similar economy of means and clarity of structure as Reich’s music, and both composers make use of repetition as a structural device.
-Arvo Part: Another hugely influential contemporary composer, Arvo Part is known for his use of minimalism and “holy minimalism” in his sacred choral works. Reich’s work has clearly been an influence on Part’s style, particularly in his use of repetition and judicious use of silence.
-John Adams: A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer known for his operas, John Adams’ work displays a clear debt to Reich in its use of stripped-down harmonic language and rhythmically driving textures. Adams has cited Reich as a major influence on his own music.
The influence of Steve Reich’s music on popular culture
It is fair to say that the music of Steve Reich has had a profound and lasting influence on popular culture. His unique style of composition, which emphasizes repetition and phasing, has been adopted by a wide range of artists across numerous genres, from rock and pop to electronica and hip hop. This list only scratches the surface of Reich’s influence on popular music.
-The Beatles: The influence of Reich’s music can be Heard on the Beatles’ final album, Abbey Road. The opening chord of the song “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” is a direct quote from Reich’s “Piano Phase.”
-Radiohead: The band has cited Reich as an influence on their work, particularly his use of repetition. In an interview, Jonny Greenwood said, “There are moments in OK Computer where I was thinking about [Reich’s] ‘Come Out’ a lot.”
-Brian Eno: Eno is a longtime admirer of Reich’s work, and has cited him as an influence on his own music. In a recent interview, Eno said that Reich’s music “has had a very big effect on me… it makes me hear music in a completely different way.”
-Apparat: The German electronic musician cites Reich as one of his biggest influences, and has even named one of his tracks “Komponent (Reich Remixed).”
The influence of Steve Reich’s music on the development of minimalism
The American composer Steve Reich (b. 1936) is considered one of the pioneers of minimal music, a style of music based on the repetition of short, uninterrupted melodic or rhythmic patterns. Reich’s early work was influenced by the work of composers such as Terry Riley and La Monte Young, as well as by the Ghanaian drumming he experienced while on a trip to Africa in 1970. Reich’s music has had a significant impact on the development of minimalism in both America and Europe, and his work has been performed by some of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles.
The influence of Steve Reich’s music on 20th-century music
Works such as “Different Trains” (1988) and “The Four Sections” (1987) show the influence of Steve Reich’s music on 20th-century music. These pieces make use of Reich’s trademark technique of phase shifting, in which two or more musical lines are played against each other, creating a new rhythm when they line up again. This technique was influential on many other composers, including John Cage and La Monte Young.
The influence of Steve Reich’s music on the 21st-century music
In the 1960s, American composer Steve Reich began creating music that was influential on the development of 21st-century music. His work explores how various elements of music, such as rhythm and harmony, can be combined to create new musical experiences. Reich’s music has been described as “minimalist” because it often uses repetition and limited melodic materials. However, Reich’s use of these elements is very different from other minimalists such as Philip Glass. Reich’s music is based on a set of procedures that give it a unique character. In recent years, Reich’s work has been increasingly influential on a new generation of composers.
The influence of Steve Reich’s music on the future of music
The avant-garde composer Steve Reich has had a profound and pervasive influence on the music of our time. His innovative use of repetition, phase shifting, and other compositional strategies has been absorbed into the musical vocabulary of countless composers, performers, and listeners. While his early work was often associated with the minimalist movement, his later music is distinguished by a more diverse range of influences, from African to Asian music to the work of American jazz musicians. Reich’s music continues to challenge and inspire musicians and audiences alike, and his influence on the future of music islikely to be profound.