Life of Steve Reich: The Village Voice Essay

Life of Steve Reich: The Village Voice Essay

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My composer, Steve Reich, has written and continues to write contemporary, minimalist, vocal, and tape pieces. His pieces these pieces have been influenced not only by what he has encountered, but the music he had composed has influenced many others composer similar to him (Service). In this paper I will give a short biography of Reich that includes the many different places that he studied, what influenced his not so ordinary music styles, and what made him who he is today. I will also talk about his composition styles, which are different from many others, what influenced them, and what types of music her produced. Lastly, I will give my evaluation of one of his several world-renowned compositions.
Steve Reich was recently called “America’s greatest composer” (The Village Voice). That is exactly what he is. He was born on October 3, 1936 in New York City, NY. Reich had his first big music debut at the young age of 14 when he was introduced to Stravinsky and Bach (Morrison). He went to Cornell University at the age of 16 and received a degree in philosophy (Morrison). After that, Reich entered The Julliard School in 1957. While he was there he studied with a tonal composer, William Bergsma, and pianist, Vincent Perschetti (Morrison). In 1970, Reich went to Africa and studied at the University of Ghana. After spending a few weeks there and listening to the Ghanaian style of music he was inspired to write his musical composition, “Drumming” (Morrison). This happening, and many others helped to develop Reich’s musical style. Reich also wrote his most famous compositions, Music for 18 Musicians, during this time.
Because of Reich’s extraordinary musical compositions, he has won multiple awards and prizes. Reich won the Pulitzer...


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...ed, including the Pulitzer Prize. Next, I talked about his composition styles and some other composers that he has been compared to and finally, I talked one of his many famous compositions, “Music for 18 Musicians” and how it greatly reflected his style of writing. After reading countless journals and articles about Steve Reich, it is easy to see that he is greatly admired by many. A large majority of the articles had only positive comments about his and this is well reflected in a quote by him: “Steve Reich has been creating music for almost five decades. How would he like to be remembered by future generations? 'I hope that, number one, my music is played by musicians because they love to play it,' he says. 'And, number two, that it's loved by audiences who love to hear it. If those two things happen, then I'll feel like my life has been worthwhile” (Weiss).



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