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Calling All Rhythm Virtuosos

Join us on the forecourt of the Elbphilharmonie on 10 May for the »Clapping Music« competition.

Music fans can take part in an exhilarating beat challenge on 10 May – and be in with a chance to win concert tickets for the Elbphilharmonie’s »Maximal minimal« festival. Featuring a special installation on the LED video wall, we invite you to join us at the main entrance of the Elbphilharmonie to test your rhythm skills by means of one of the most famous pieces of minimal music: Steve Reich’s »Clapping Music«.

US composer Steve Reich composed »Clapping Music« in 1972: in the work, two musicians use only their hands as instruments. The first musician claps the same, short rhythm in a loop for as long as the work lasts – around four minutes. The second musician claps in unison with his partner at the beginning, then shifts the rhythm one beat behind little by little – the two musicians are now clapping against one another and new patterns emerge continuously. Sounds complicated, and indeed, it really isn’t easy!

Steve Reich / Clapping Music App
Steve Reich / Clapping Music App © Tim Morozzo

On the evening of 10 May, music fans are invited to step up to the plate: while tapping their way through the complicated composition on an iPad – displayed concurrently on the large LED video wall at the main entrance of the Elbphilharmonie – participants have to ensure that they don’t get distracted by the original beat, which is heard through the app the whole time.

Anyone Can Take Part

Anyone can take part, even without previous experience or knowledge, but: if rhythm is in your blood and you had a chance to try the app out at home, you’ll have a better chance of becoming one of the leading scorers on the day.

The competition is based on the London Sinfonietta’s app »Steve Reich’s Clapping Music«. You can download it for free from the AppStore and raise your chances of winning tickets by tapping your way through the different levels. In this video, composer Steve Reich explains exactly how the app works:

Steve Reich’s »Clapping Music« App / Screenshot

The »Maximal minimal« Festival

Minimal music is a style of music developed in the US, where sound and rhythm are dissected down to their foundations. Composers repeat simple patterns, then change them up little by little, thereby generating a meditative effect. The »Maximal minimal« festival brings this music to the Elbphilharmonie from 11–13 May.

More about the festival »Maximal minimal«

Competition Details

WHEN? Wednesday, 10 May, 17:00–21:00

WHERE? By the LED video wall on the forecourt of the Elbphilharmonie

PRIZES: The five participants with the highest scores each win two tickets for a concert from the »Maximal minimal« festival at the Elbphilharmonie. In addition, 5x2 tickets for a further »Maximal minimal« concert will be randomly drawn among all participants.