Writings on Music 1965-2000

Writings on Music documents the creative journey of this thoughtful, groundbreaking composer. These 64 short pieces include Reich’s 1968 essay “Music as a Gradual Process,” widely considered one of the most influential pieces of music theory in the second half of the 20th century. Subsequent essays, articles, and interviews treat Reich’s early work with tape and phase shifting, showing its development into more recent work with speech melody and instrumental music.

“Steve Reich’s music struck me by its originality, directness and ingenuity. Its very simple building principles lead to a highly complex and rich music. Utterly enjoyable, it is by no means simple. On the contrary, it is in a very elegant way surprisingly sophisticated.”
– György Ligeti, composer

“When I moved to NYC at the end of the 1970s, Steve Reich’s music hit me with a ferocity equal to that of all the exciting rock-based music (from Television to Glenn Branca to DNA) being made at the time. My admiration for and inspiration from his music has not let up ever since. His is some of the most important music to be made in the twentieth century, and to read him write about it with such clarity sheds new light on it.”
– Lee Ranaldo, guitarist, Sonic Youth

“At last — an indispensible glimpse into the mind of one of the most significant composers of the late 20th century. Steve Reich’s 1968 text ‘Music as a Gradual Process’ was a statement as revolutionary as the musical practice it describes.”
– Michael Nyman, composer

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