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History Of Minimalism

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Emily Sargent

on 17 December 2012

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Transcript of History Of Minimalism

Emily Sargent 10L History Of Minimalism Minimalism?... Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music. Minimalism is any design or style in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect. Minimalism can be used in many art forms such design, music, fashion, architecture and space, art and visual art. Minimalist Design- The term minimalism is also used to describe a trend in design and architecture. Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto "Less is more" to describe his aesthetic tactic of arranging the numerous necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity, by enlisting every element and detail to serve multiple visual and functional purposes (such as designing a floor to also serve as the radiator, or a massive fireplace to also house the bathroom). Minimalist architecture and space- The term ‘minimalism’ is a trend from early 19th century and gradually became an important movement in response to the over decorated design of the previous period. Minimalist architecture became popular in the late 1980s in London and New York, where architects and fashion designers worked together in the boutiques to achieve simplicity, using white elements, cold lighting, large space with minimum objects and furniture. Minimalist architecture simplifies living space to reveal the essential quality of buildings and conveys simplicity in attitudes toward life. Minimal art, minimalism in visual art- Minimalism in visual art, generally referred to as "minimal art, emerged in New York in the early 1960s. Initially minimal art appeared in New York in the 60s as new and older artists moved toward geometric abstraction. Minimalism's features included geometric, often cubic forms purged of much metaphor, equality of parts, repetition, neutral surfaces, and industrial materials. Frank Stella-

One of the first artists specifically associated with minimalism was the painter, Frank Stella. He found expression in a series of paintings, the Black Paintings in which regular bands of black paint were separated by very thin pinstripes of unpainted canvas. Die Fahne Hoch! (1959) is one such painting. From 1960 he began to produce paintings in aluminum and copper paint which, in their presentation of regular lines of color separated by pinstripes, are similar to his black paintings.
Minimal music is a style of music associated with the work of American composers Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. 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. Minimal compositions that rely heavily on process techniques that follow strict rules are usually described using the term process music.
Starting in the early 1960s as a scruffy underground scene in San Francisco alternative spaces and New York lofts, minimalism spread to become the most popular experimental music style of the late 20th century. 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. Minimalist Music- Brief History- 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, Minimalism in popular music- Minimal music has also had some influence on developments in popular music. The Experimental Rock act The Velvet Underground had a connection with the New York down-town scene from which minimal music emerged, rooted in the close working relationship of John Cale and La Monte Young, the latter influencing Cale's work with the band.

During the 1970s progressive rock, experimental rock, art rock, and other genres demonstrated the influence of experimental music, including minimalism, for example acts such as Soft Machine, King Crimson, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp , and Mike Oldfield. Minimalist style in music
Leonard Meyer described minimal music in 1994:
Because there is little sense of goal-directed motion, [minimal] music does not seem to move from one place to another. Within any musical segment there may be some sense of direction, but frequently the segments fail to lead to or imply one another. They simply follow one another.

David Cope (1997) lists the following qualities as possible characteristics of minimal music:
Concept music
Continuities: requiring slow modulation of one or more parameters [implying length]
Phase and pattern music, including repetition [implying length]

Consonant harmony is a much noted feature: it means the use of intervals which in a tonal context would be considered to be "stable", that is the form to which other chords are resolved by voice leading. The "texture" of much minimalist music is based on canonic imitation, exact repetitions of the same material, offset in time. Famous pieces that use this technique are the number section of Glass' Einstein on the Beach and Adams' Shaker Loops. Steve Reich Steve Reich is an American composer who is one of the pioneering composers of minimal music
His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns (for example, his early compositions "It's Gonna Rain" and "Come Out"), and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts (for instance, "Pendulum Music" and "Four Organs"). These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the US. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably the Grammy Award-winning Different Trains.
It is said that steve reich, "may...be considered, by general acclamation, America's greatest living composer 'Its gonna rain' Steve Reich It's Gonna Rain is a minimalist musical composition for magnetic tape written by Steve Reich in 1965. It lasts approximately 17 minutes and 50 seconds. It was Reich's first major work and a landmark in minimalism music.
The source material of It's Gonna Rain consists entirely of a tape recording made in 1964 at San Francisco's Union Square. In the recording, an African American preacher, Brother Walter, talks about the end of the world while accompanying background noises, including the sound of a pigeon taking flight, are heard. The piece opens with the story of Noah, and the phrase "It's Gonna Rain" is repeated and eventually looped throughout the first half of the piece. Key Features.... Key features of minimalist music include:
a complex contrapuntal texture
broken chords (where the notes of a chord are played singly rather than together)
slow harmonic changes
note addition (where notes are added to a repeated phrase)
melodic transformation (where a melody gradually changes shape)
rhythmic transformation (where a rhythm gradually changes shape)
gradual changes in texture and dynamics
Layers of ostinati
Constantly repeated patterns that are subjected to gradual changes
Layered textures
Interlocking repeated phrases and rhythms

So... ...With many of the pioneering minimalists, Glass, Riley, and Reich, still writing today, it means we can still look forward to some more minimalistic music to come. As the minimalist style has spread into pop music, and most notably into "techno" music, there is a chance it can become one of the much loved genres. dont forget minimalism is not just music, it is popular in many other art forms, so look out for minimalism wherever it may be.
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