Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Rethinking Reich$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sumanth Gopinath and Pwyll ap Siôn

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190605285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190605285.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 January 2021

That’s All It Does

That’s All It Does

Steve Reich and Balinese Gamelan

(p.303) 13 That’s All It Does
Rethinking Reich

Michael Tenzer

Oxford University Press

Though integral to his formation as a composer, Steve Reich’s studies of Balinese gamelan have been overlooked. In part this is because of a certain redundancy: features of Balinese overlap significantly with the West African music whose impact on Reich’s formative works of the 1970s has been amply demonstrated. These include predominance of percussion, repetitive cyclic structures, interlocking rhythms, systems of oral transmission, and the nonprofessional ethos of the performing ensemble’s interactive behaviors. But what of the features of the Balinese music Reich studied and did not assimilate? Among these are malleable tempo, extended and minimally repetitive cycles, and tonally hierarchic melodies rooted in Southeast Asian traditions of sung poetry. Their eschewal opens pathways for insight into Reich’s music, as well as his cultural subjectivity, in the process illuminating unsuspected aesthetic affinity between his detractors among “uptown” composition apologists of the time and traditional Balinese musicians.

Keywords:   Steve Reich, Music for Pieces of Wood, Drumming, Balinese gamelan, West African music, tempo change, interlocking rhythms, cyclic repetition, Kecak

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .