Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Arvo Pärt’s secret sauce
I fell in love with the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b.1935) right away. I was seduced by his meditative and contemplative style, it was a new sound. Upon performing an analysis on some of his pieces for my masters thesis, I found some interesting characteristics about his music.
One of the major sources of information on Pärt is Paul Hillier’s biography on Arvo Pärt published in 1997. Hillier discusses Pärt's obsession with patterns. If you listen to Spiegel im Spiegel it really sounds like just a series of arpeggiated triads over a stepwise scale.
Let's look at text patterning in another piece, Summa.