How The Repetitive Structures In Steve Reich's Piano Phase

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Piano Phase, composed by Steve Reich in 1967. During the time Reich composed It’s Gonna Rain, he found phase shifting when two tapes played and recordings fell out of synch. Inspired by phasing technique, Reich wrote two identical lines of music for two pianists to replicate the effect. In C, one of the masterpieces in minimalism history, Terry Riley’s famous work, finished in 1964. It was written for a group of musicians, the duration and tempo varied from every time it was played. Begins with a C major chord, In C consists of 53 musical modules, each musician has control over the module he or she plays. Repetitive Structures Piano Phase (Steve Reich, 1967) and In C (Terry Riley, 1964) reflect the repetitive musical structures: 1) start with simple fundamental patterns, 2) continually repeat patterns, and 3) gradual process of patterns.…show more content…
As regards In C, the modules are made up of short and simple patterns (see image 2), and repeated an arbitrary number of times, meanwhile, one performer beats a steady pulse of C on the piano. While the patterns are kept repeating, both composers express their music ideas with gradual processes in a certain direction. Furthermore, even micro modifications can be audible to listeners. Far different from traditional narrative music, the unpredictable developments in both works are brought out by the long-­‐term changes as well as coincidences, which result in an experience of potentially psychedelic proportions for the

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