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Contents

Music in the Late Twentieth Century

“CLASSICAL” MINIMALISM

Chapter:
CHAPTER 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?
Source:
MUSIC IN THE LATE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

For many listeners, the most characteristic and style-defining aspect of In C is the constant audible eighth-note pulse that underlies and coordinates all of the looping, and that seems, because it provides a constant pedal of Cs, to be fundamentally bound up with the work's concept. Like much modernist practice since at least Stravinsky, it puts the rhythmic spotlight on the “subtactile” level, accommodating and facilitating the free metamorphosis of the felt beat—for example, from quarters to dotted quarters at the twenty-second module of In C—and allows their multiple presence to be felt as levels within a complex texture. It may be surprising, therefore, to learn that the constant C-pulse was an afterthought, adopted in rehearsal for what seemed at the time a purely utilitarian purpose (simply to keep the group together in lieu of a conductor), and that it was not even Riley's idea. It was Reich's.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2017. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-008006.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Late Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 11 Dec. 2017, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-008006.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 8 A Harmonious Avant-Garde?." In Music in the Late Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 11 Dec. 2017, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume5/actrade-9780195384857-div1-008006.xml
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