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Music for Pieces of Wood

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Steve Reich

Steve Reich


General Info

Year: 1973
Duration: c. 6:55
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $26.95


Instrumentation

Full Score
Percussion (5 players), Including:

  • Claves (5 pairs, tuned)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Music for Pieces of Wood grows out of the same roots as Clapping Music: a desire to make music with the simplest possible instruments. The claves, or cylindrical pieces of hard wood, used here were selected for their particular pitches (A, B, C#, D#, and D# an octave above), and for their resonant timbre. This piece is one of the loudest I have ever composed, but uses no amplification whatsoever.

The rhythmic structure is based entirely on the process of rhythmic "buildups" or the substitution of beats for rests, and is in three sections of decreasing pattern length: 6/4, 4/4, 3/4.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo) Polyrhythmics (John Astaire, conductor) - 14 March 2021
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Mass.) Chamber Ensemble – 5 December 2020 (Virtual)
  • Third Coast Percussion – 2016


Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources

  • Reich, S. [1980]. Music for Pieces of Wood. [Clave quintet.] [score]. Universal Edition: London.
  • Steve Reich website Accessed 12 December 2020