The essay "Minimalism and Music" explores the minimalism in music. The term itself is borrowed and borrows from artistic, literary and architectural movements that sought to simplify the representative elements in the respective genre and present itself prima facie as self-presenting…
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The cultural milieu of the first wave of minimalist composers all born in the mid 1930s in the United States was one marked by social upheaval, political revolution, and a new sense of global awareness and connection after the isolationist 50's. This sense of a world stage in which the United States and the Soviet Union were the two antipodes invited an influx of ideas and cultural artifacts from the rest of the world. The late 50's and early 60's saw a massive increase in the number of colleges and universities and the subsequent rise in attendance of those institutions. This academic boom laid the groundwork for the ideological struggles that would precipitate politically, culturally, and artistically. As such, minimalism owes more to non-Western music, jazz and rock than to 20th-century Modernism or any other Western art music, at least that since the Baroque period (Potter "Minimalism"). While their modernist predecessors and their electronic and electro-acoustic contemporaries were interested in withdrawal, socially and musically as evidenced by Milton Babbit's statement, "the composer would do himself and his music an immediate and eventual service by total, resolute, and voluntary withdrawal from this public world into one of private performance and electronic media, with its very real possibility of complete elimination of the public and social aspects of composition" . That particular quotation of Babbit's was present in his controversial essay, "Who Cares If you Listen," Steve Reich. believed quite the opposite and suggested that the work that he, Terry Riley and Philip Glass were doing was interested in the public reaction and interested in connecting with a more mainstream approach (Schwarz, 375).
The second wave of minimalist composers came later in the 80's and 90's under the rubric of "holy minimalism." This trio of composers included: Henyrk Gorecki, Arvo Part, and John Taverner. Their milieu is also suggestive of a multi-culturally infused, cosmopolitan attitude towards music, with an interest in connecting with the people around them. However, in addition to this cultural context, there is a religious or transcendent impulse in their music that is not necessarily present in the work of Riley, Glass or Reich. This transcendent impulse is also indicative of the opportunity to connect with an audience in a mainstream way, by the utilization of religious imagery perhaps common to many.
Stylistically, Minimalism is a response to serialism, free atonality, and aleatory styles of John Cage and other post-war avant-garde musicians (Schwarz, 375). It
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His individual creativity can only be attributed to that unexplainable factor that accounts for artistic genius. Together these elements combined to make one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century.
A core element which has changed little in over two thousand years has been the biblical texts which were put to music both as simple chants used as devotional listening pieces and integrated within the liturgy, and as more elaborate hymns, choruses and longer pieces which were reserved for special occasions.
The three main movements in architecture are minimalism, functionalism and neo-eclectic or postmodernism. Minimalism refers to a movement where all extravagance was removed to expose a structure to its minimum core. Architect Ludwig Mies is associated with the movement for he coined the phrase “less is more”.
But by the Romantic period, improvisation had almost become a lost art. Although organists and opera singers continued to learn how to improvise, for most instrumentalists the art of spontaneous improvisation survived only in the solo cadenza.
The word “Ambient” was first conceptualized and coined by Brian Eno, the famous English musician and sound designer. He described this kind of music as “designed to use calm and space to think”. Ambient music has many other names like World Music, Contemporary, New Age, Chill out, Space Rock, Mood music, Trance, Ambient Techno and such.
Minimalism is a trend in architecture aimed as reducing the over decoration that was in the previous work. It tends to reduce the non essential parts of the art work leaving the essential parts to express more. The slogan ‘less is more’ forms the basis of this approach in design that emphasis on workability, simplicity and aesthetic.
Different media, however, have to treat minimalism very differently as well. Minimalist music takes common chords and progresses through them slowly over time, while retaining similarities in tempo across time.
This well-built man in his middle 40’s wasn’t the incarnation of young musicians’ dreams: he had been on the stage in his home country for already 20 years, selling a rather modest number of album copies. He wasn’t a rock star in a traditional meaning either; he didn’t earn a fortune of money and never grew vain.
Minimalism is the name of an advanced movement which started in the world of music to popularize the use of very short and simple phrases. All minimalistic compositions share a same feature which is related to repetition of phrases. Minimal music is now widely known as an aesthetic technique of music standing in contrast to the days.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
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