Thursday, July 01, 2010


I remember growing up with Pop Radio with the songs that everyone was humming, but every once in a while it was necessary to stray from the norm. My young ears would wander the AM radio Bands looking for things that were new and exciting and sometimes forbidden in white middle class homes.

I’d wander from time to time to a hillbilly station. That’s what country music stations were called back then, at least where I grew up. Country music was pretty easy to grasp so I’d move on.

Next at the very end of the dial were a few stations that played what was called at the time Puerto Rican Music, which is now better defined in several genres. What fascinated me was the repetition of the music. There was repetitive drumming and other percussion such as the piano. The brass section played the same notes over and over. The chorus sang the same chorus over and over. It was musically minimal but so full of everything. You knew what the next line would be, but then it would change slightly.
Here is a You Tube as an example.

Many years later I stumbled upon minimalists working in the Classical music field or at least orchestral world. I found artists like Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich. Much of my life after that was filled with works from these composers. Here is a sample of Steve Reich’s
Music for 18 musicians

See if you can see the similarities, if you dare…


Blogger darev2005 said...

Simple repetitious notes in varying combinations. Very effective and easy on the brain to absorb. Something you can hum yourself and not have to remember how it went. I like it. Me, I was always more about the words than I was the music. For the most part, anyway.

7:08 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That's another thing about it, I can't understand the words on Puerto Rican music, but I'm sure the lyrics are all about dance.

5:56 AM  

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