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Writings on Music,: 1965-2000 [Paperback]

Steve Reich , Paul Hillier
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

11 Nov 2004
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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; New Ed edition (11 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195151151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195151152
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"

About the Author

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive & Informative 12 April 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must have for any avid Steve Reich fan - if you thought you'd learnt a lot by listening to and watching lots of interviews, you don't know anything until you have read this book.

There are some really great score samples and really interesting opinions that you may have already known Reich holds, but expands on everything in great detail. It's interesting to learn about his musical history, and his writing about it just makes it all the more interesting. Some great diagrams too; one which stuck in my head is the orchestral layout diagram of The Desert Music - this immense, rich instrumentation actually has quite an interesting layout when performed.

If you want to learn even a little about Reich's work, get this book. It's precious.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 19 Jan 2012
By Jorge Rangel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone seriously interested in music. Reich's legacy can be felt in younger composers like Marc Mellits and Nico Muhly. But his influence has broken the barriers of the classical music and it can be felt in the work of popular artists such as Radiohead, The Orb, Aphex Twin and Sufjan Stevens.

Reich's writing is sincere and non-pretentious. It's also economical and extremely easy to read even for the musically illiterate and his essays offer a glimpse of his creative process, one that transforms and twists the tradition but, finally, respecting it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 21 Dec 2013
By Cordell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book gives such a great insight into the workings of his mind and really helps to understand the process that he took in making and creating his music. For anyone that loves listening to his music or anyone that wishes to study his style of composition, this is a must have.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Timeline of Reich's Works 6 Jan 2008
By David Gerhart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must have for Reich enthusiast and student. It chronicles his works and talks about his compositional style. Very interesting.
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