Phase music


The American composer Steve Reich pioneered this compositional technique, originally created with two reel-to-reel tape recorders. Mechanically, the two machines are unable to maintain the exact same speed in playback, so they gradually get more out of phase with each other. He later went on to write music for instruments which gradually shift out of unison, creating first a slight echo as one instrument plays a little behind the other, then a doubling with each note heard twice, then a complex ringing effect, and eventually they return to synchronization.

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