Narrative Sequence, Harmonic (Dis)continuity, and Structural Organization in Steve Reich’s Different Trains and The Cave
This chapter examines various ways in which Steve Reich set out to shape overall structure in his first two sample-based compositions, Different Trains (1988) and The Cave (1993). Drawing from Reich’s composition sketches held at the Paul Sacher Stiftung (Steve Reich Collection) as well as from analytical observations, the chapter offers an account of several of the decisions involved in shaping the dramaturgical and harmonic structures of these works. The chapter devotes particular attention to a discussion of harmonic devices Reich uses to articulate structure, navigating between the restrictions imposed by the samples used on the one hand, and the unifying logic of a harmonic framework on the other—on both micro and macro levels.
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