Music is best expressed through the rhythm and motion that it can conjure. It need not be overly complicated but with the simple incorporation of body sounds, otherwise singularly unappealing music can be transformed into something vibrant, vivacious, and visible. That is the case with clapping music. This form of music is ideally suited for two performers who spend the duration of the performance clapping.
Focusing on what music can be made naturally by the human body, the clapping music piece was designed to experiment with what the body could produce sans instruments. It was soon after the initiation of this musical experiment that it was discovered that the mechanism of phasing in and out of the set tempo between the two performers was not the best suited style and instead, the now-famous clapping music transferred its focus on a single performer clapping the basic rhythm of the song, using a variation of the bell pattern found in African music for the duration of the musical piece.
The second performance claps the same pattern as the first but rather than keeping 12/8 time, the second performer shifts by one eighth note every 8-12 bars to the right. Both performers keep up this rhythmic exchange until a shift has been made by the second performer through all of the 12 eighth notes. With such striking resolution, both performers end up playing in unison mimicking the first performer pattern, only 144 bars after the start of the song.
When looking for royalty free clapping music, download a background mp3 wav that presents good quality and minimal changes. In fact, the variations from the original African bell pattern remain only one additional beat and such a minimal transition actually results in the musical composition ringing much more interesting as the syncopation progresses.
This unique clapping music has been performed and displayed in a contemporary art museum as well as in book format. The arrangements have now transformed beyond the mere human body, incorporating a new solo piano version popular today.