Writings on Music,

Writings on Music, : 1965-2000

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Description

In the mid-1960s, Steve Reich radically renewed the musical landscape with a back-to-basics sound that came to be called Minimalism. These early works, characterized by a relentless pulse and static harmony, focused single-mindedly on the process of gradual rhythmic change. Throughout his career, Reich has continued to reinvigorate the music world, drawing from a wide array of classical, popular, sacred, and non-western idioms. His works reflect the steady evolution of an original musical mind. Writings on Music documents the creative journey of this thoughtful, groundbreaking composer. These 64 short pieces include Reich's 1968 essay "Music as a Gradual Process," widely considered one of the most influential pieces of music theory in the second half of the 20th century. Subsequent essays, articles, and interviews treat Reich's early work with tape and phase shifting, showing its development into more recent work with speech melody and instrumental music. Other essays recount his exposure to non-western music - African drumming, Balinese gamelan, Hebrew cantillation - and the influence of these musics as structures and not as sounds. The writings include Reich's reactions to and appreciations of the works of his contemporaries (John Cage, Luciano Berio, Morton Feldman, Gyorgy Ligeti) and older influences (Kurt Weill, Schoenberg). Each major work of the composer's career is also explored through notes written for performances and recordings. Paul Hillier, himself a respected figure in the early music and new music worlds, has revisited these texts, working with the author to clarify their central narrative: the aesthetic and intellectual development of an influential composer. For long-time listeners and young musicians recently introduced to his work, this book provides an opportunity to get to know Reich's music in greater depth and perspective.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 270 pages
  • 154.9 x 228.6 x 20.3mm | 430.92g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous halftones and music examples
  • 0195151151
  • 9780195151152
  • 274,879

Review quote

"Writings on Music 1965-2000, a new collection of Reich's writings...substantially enlarges upon, and in most senses supersedes, its slim predecessor. ... These works are, at one and the same time, radical and sensible, revolutionary and respectful of tradition, and offer extensions of techniques found in diverse forms of music-making around the world...This book seems to me not an ending but a beginning: it marks a point where new work, both creative and scholarly, can start...Steve Reich has consolidated his reputation as an internationally renowned artist of enormous distinction: this new book is a testament to his integrity and staying power, charting as it does a musical evolution, still in progress, that has permanently altered the course of new music in the West in the last third of the twentieth century."-Music and Lettersshow more

About Steve Reich

Steve Reich was recently called "America's greatest living composer by The Village Voice. His most recent work is the digital video/music theater Three Tales (2002) done in collaboration with Beryl Korot. Paul Hiller is a singer, conductor, and writer on music. He performs ith his own early music Theatre of Voices, and with many other ensembles. He recently won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music, for his composition Double Sextet.show more

Review Text

"Writings on Music 1965-2000, a new collection of Reich's writings...substantially enlarges upon, and in most senses supersedes, its slim predecessor. ... These works are, at one and the same time, radical and sensible, revolutionary and respectful of tradition, and offer extensions of techniques found in diverse forms of music-making around the world...This book seems to me not an ending but a beginning: it marks a point where new work, both creative and scholarly, can start...Steve Reich has consolidated his reputation as an internationally renowned artist of enormous distinction: this new book is a testament to his integrity and staying power, charting as it does a musical evolution, still in progress, that has permanently altered the course of new music in the West in the last third of the twentieth century."-Music and Lettersshow more

Rating details

106 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 41% (43)
4 40% (42)
3 16% (17)
2 4% (4)
1 0% (0)
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