The ‘Friends’ theme, but it’s Clapping Music by Steve Reich

8 October 2019, 15:51 | Updated: 12 October 2019, 14:48

The ‘Friends’ theme, but it's Steve Reich’s Clapping Music
The ‘Friends’ theme, but it's Steve Reich’s Clapping Music. Picture: Adam O'Dell/YouTube

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Someone has transformed The Rembrandts’ nostalgic theme music for ‘Friends’ into Steve Reich’s seminal percussion work. We love the Internet.

Steve Reich’s Clapping Music is one of the most influential works of the 20th century.

The composer’s objective when he wrote the work was to create a piece that could be performed by two musicians without instruments, using only their hands to create the sound.

But what looks like a fairly simple musical phrase soon turns into a bit of a headache as performers must gently phase two iterations of the same pattern until they become out of synch, then finally arrive back in perfect unison many repetitions later.

Now, for several years the good people of the Internet have been mucking around with the famous ‘four claps’ in the Friends TV theme.

But how does it sound when those claps morph into Reich’s deceptively challenging canon? Adam O'Dell has asked that very question. So here goes...

(Make sure you applaud at the end.)