The Minimalists in Music

John Adams.    Philip Glass.     Steve Reich.     Terry Riley.     La Monte Young.

Minimalist Music and Musicians

Minimalist music has its beginnings in the 1960s. It originated in New York City with something called the New York Hypnotic School. Music of the Minimalists has been called maddening and repetitive filled with drone like sounds. Minimalist music is stripped down to simple elements and has been said to take on a trance-like or hypnotic effect due to the repetition of musical patterns.

The term minimalism was taken from the visual arts. In the 1960s art was taking on a reductive approach, it was natural that music followed resulting in the same reductive style. Artists such as Frank Stella and Robert Rauschenberg reduced their canvases to solid stokes of color and sculpture was moving in the same direction such as the massive arcs and shapes created by Richard Serra.

The American composers most associated with Minimalism are Young, Riley, Reich, Glass, and later John Adams. Many of the pioneering minimalists (such as Glass, Riley, and Reich) are still writing today. The minimalist style has also spread into pop music, most notably into “techno” music, where there is a need for hypnotic dance music that lasts for hours at a time.

Minimalism owes much too Non-western music as well as Western classical music. The path-breakers  Young and Riley also looked to Indian raga, Balinese, and West African drumming as influences. As you may guess, Minimal music and its composers are far too complex to summarize here, so included in this post are links to the composers and items in our collection.

Books on Minimalist Music

minimal

mini1

glassbook

CDs 

adams1

adams2

adams3

adams5

adams4

adams6

gla2

gla1

gla3

gla4

gla5

gla6

dracfront300

ste1

ste2

YouAreLarge

steve_reich_different_trains_electric_counterpoint

stev7

ste8

tehillim

ter1

ter3

ter2

ter4

Unfortunately, everything by  La Monte Young is unavailable for purchase but you can watch him on youtube.

DVDs

galsspor

koya

dvdadams

ebook

nixon

This book is available through EBL. You will need to create an account to access the ebook. If you need help accessing the book call us at 428-8140.

 

A Brief History of Minimalism 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s