A maverick combined the ‘Friends’ theme with Steve Reich’s Clapping Music and it’s intense

14 May 2021, 17:41 | Updated: 14 May 2021, 20:06

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

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Two iconic musical claps – in one stressful, rhythmic marriage.

Steve Reich’s 1972 minimalist piece Clapping Music, is one of the most influential musical works of the 20th century.

Skip to just over 20 years later, and the inception of The Rembrandts’ iconic theme song for Friends, ‘I’ll Be There for You’, which in turn became one of the late 1900s’ seminal songs.

For years, people have been mucking around with the TV theme’s famous clap clap clap clap.

So, one guy – Adam O'Dell – decided it was high time for a bit of clapping crossover.

Read more: The story of the ‘Friends’ theme song and how many claps there really are

The Friends Theme but it's Clapping Music by Steve Reich

Reich’s objective when he wrote the Clapping Music 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 headache, as performers must gently phase two iterations of the same pattern until they become out of synch, before finally arriving back in perfect unison many repetitions later.

Read more: This satisfying video shows you exactly how Steve Reich’s Clapping Music works

And now we know how it sounds when TV’s favourite audience participation moment morphs into the American minimal master’s deceptively challenging canon.

Make sure you applaud at the end...