Dec 222007

Certain musical motifs crop up again and again in music. A rather nice one (5 notes long, repeated – see if you can spot it, or just take it on trust) crops up in at least three examples of “synth” music: Tangerine Dream’s ‘Cloudburst Flight’ (from Force Majeure‘); ‘Atmosphere Part 1’ by Adelbert von Deyen (from Atmospheres); and Richard Pinhas’s ‘A Piece for Duncan’ (from Rhizosphere). Pinhas appears to have got it down on magnetic tape first (recorded 1976, released on vinyl 1977) and indeed that track hammers the riff home most insistently, but a more interesting question than “who got there first?” is “why did they all decide this pattern suited synthesiser music so well?”. Or, indeed, “are there any mince pies left?”. Yes, that is perhaps the more important question.

Update, 29th February 2008: see this follow-up post that puts Tangerine Dream back in the lead…

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