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‘New Chaconnes for Old?’: Steve Reich’s Sketches for Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards, with some thoughts on their significance for the analysis of the composer’s harmonic language in the late 1970s

Potter, Keith. 2018. ‘New Chaconnes for Old?’: Steve Reich’s Sketches for Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards, with some thoughts on their significance for the analysis of the composer’s harmonic language in the late 1970s. Contemporary Music Review, 36(5), pp. 436-439. ISSN 0749-4467 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article begins by locating Steve Reich’s Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards (1979) in the context of a growing interest in the 1970s, both by Reich himself and by other composers, in working with a variety of approaches to the chord sequence as a compositional determinant. An outline of what sources are available to investigate the composer’s compositional process at this period, and short discussions of the strategic and methodological concerns behind this research, precede a brief account of the musical materials of Variations as they are found in the published score. The main part of the article is devoted to a discussion of some of the sketches for Variations, focusing on the early period of the work’s conception, showing the extent to which issues of harmonic language and tonality in Reich’s development were affected by the decision to use a chaconne-style chord progression as the basis for a whole composition.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1080/07494467.2017.1401365

Keywords:

Steve Reich’s Sketches; Evolution of Compositional Development; Variations for Winds, Strings and Keyboards; Tonality, Harmonic Language and Functionality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music

Dates:

DateEvent
2 October 2017Accepted
16 January 2018Published Online

Item ID:

22522

Date Deposited:

06 Dec 2017 10:55

Last Modified:

02 Apr 2019 01:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22522

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