Minimal music


Steve Reich- Piano Phase (1967)

Minimal music is a form of art music that employs limited or minimal musical materials. In the Western art music tradition, the American composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass are credited with being among the first to develop compositional techniques that exploit a minimal approach. It originated in the New York Downtown scene of the 1960s and was initially viewed as a form of experimental music called the New York Hypnotic School. As an aesthetic, it is marked by a non-narrative, non-teleological, and non-representational conception of a work in progress, and represents a new approach to the activity of listening to music by focusing on the internal processes of the music, which lack goals or motion toward those goals.[8] Prominent features of the technique include consonant harmony, hypnotic rhythmic pulses or steady drones, stasis or gradual transformation, and often reiteration of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, and cells. It may include features such as additive process and phase shifting. Phase-shifting leads to what has been termed phase music. Minimal compositions that rely heavily on process techniques that follow strict rules are usually described as process music. The movement originally involved dozens of composers, although only five (Young, Riley, Reich, Glass, and later John Adams) emerged to become publicly associated with American minimal music. … It is unclear where the term minimal music originates. Steve Reich has suggested that it is attributable to Michael Nyman, an assertion that two scholars, Jonathan Bernard, and Dan Warburton, have also made in writing. Philip Glass believes Tom Johnson coined the phrase. … Tom Johnson, one of the few composers to self-identify as minimalist, also claims to have been first to use the word as new music critic for The Village Voice. He describes ‘minimalism’: The idea of minimalism is much larger than many people realize. It includes, by definition, any music that works with limited or minimal materials: pieces that use only a few notes, pieces that use only a few words of text, or pieces written for very limited instruments, such as antique cymbals, bicycle wheels, or whiskey glasses. It includes pieces that sustain one basic electronic rumble for a long time. It includes pieces made exclusively from recordings of rivers and streams. …”
Wikipedia
The Original Minimalists – A Cast of Dozens by Kyle Gann
The Story of Minimalism – Part One: A New Way of Listening (Video)
amazon: American Minimal Music: LA Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass by Wim Mertens
YouTube: Minimal music pioneer – Steve Reich
Exploring Steve Reich’s Piano Phase (Video), W – Terry Riley – A Rainbow in Curved Air, YouTube: A Rainbow in Curved Air (1969), W – Music in Twelve Parts – Philip Glass, YouTube: Music in 12 Parts (part 1 Virgin records version)


Terry Riley – A Rainbow in Curved Air (1969)

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Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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