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MINIMALISM

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Michaella Dizon

on 3 April 2017

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Transcript of MINIMALISM

MINIMALISM
WHAT
comprised of
repeated patterns
and textures (henceforth why it’s called minimalism)
repetition is
layered
to form a complex piece
very
small changes
that occur gradually
music is
extended
and is rather lengthy
art music (music inspired by the era's art movement)

RECOGNIZABLE FEATURES
Imagine a
gradual build-up of sound
that begins with a simple droning. On top of that, another fragment of droning begins to play, then another, and another. The changes are not extremely distinct as each layer is inserted, however, the
layers continue to grow in number until the music begins to sound intricate
. Looking back, you hear the distant memory of a single layer of steady droning, and amidst the elaborate loop, you recognize the layer in the background. You begin to get lost in the convolution, and you realize that the specific droning has receded, but in its place, another layer is introduced, and another, and another. It’s the artful interpretation of an assembly line, with each worker executing a simple task to complete a complex piece of machinery; it looks like a steady breeze undulating soft ripples in the water until the ripples build into waves.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?
stacked layers of ostinato
(fragmented loops of short repeated melodies)
augmentation
(the same ostinato, played at a slower tempo)
diminution
(the same ostinato, played at a faster tempo)
note subtraction
(gradually taking one note away from the ostinato)
note addition
(gradually adding one note to the ostinato)
metamorphosis
(gradually changing one note from the ostinato)
static consonant harmony (changing one note from the chord at a time to move to another chord)
phasing
(having a slightly shorter/longer version of the same ostinato playing at the same time until both layers synchronize)
rhythmic displacement
(one accented note per repeat; accented note changes per repeat)
chromaticism is avoided

MUSICAL PROPERTIES
WHO
ACTUAL SCHOOL?
NEW YORK HYPNOTIC SCHOOL
NOPE!
NOT A LEARNING INSTITUTION!!!!!!!!!
Most prominent composers that forged the genre:
STEVE REICH
PHILIP GLASS
TERRY RILEY
born 1935
Pandit Pran Nath
was his most influential teacher; Pandit was a master of Indian classical voice
his music paid homage to jazz and Indian classical music

TERRY RILEY
entrances of fragments depend on the interpretations of musicians
at one point, it reaches 53 fragments playing in one sequence
C continues to pulse throughout in eighth notes
IN C
born 1936
created phasing patterns using tape loops thaat gave a hypnotic aural effect
despises the term "minimalist" to describe his music, instead using the term "structural"

STEVE REICH
Reich said the piece "involved more harmonic movement than ever"
violin + cello + 2 clarinets + 4 women's voices + 4 pianos + 3 marimbas + 2 xylophones + metallophone = 18 different layers!
MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS
born 1937
despises the term "minimalist" used to describe himself, instead using the phrase "composer of music with repetitive structures"
style involved additive process and rhythmic structures

PHILIP GLASS
MUSIC IN 12 PARTS
WHERE AND WHEN
originated in the United States
influence spanned from the 50's but was established in the late 1960s to the early 1970s
the term minimalistic was used to describe composers who were heavily influenced by John Cage; their music were referred to as examples of "minimal art" in a culture where modern music was often written as performance-art pieces for exhibits
eventually paved the path towards drone music subgenres and post-minimalism and totalism

HOW AND WHY
Minimalism arrived in reaction towards the development of modern music in the 20th century which generally involved more ostentatious explorations of music, as well as the austere pragmatic methods taught in private institutions which revolved heavily around classical music.
Complicated ornamentation was deconstructed into simpler motifs.
The movement of the arts were dramatically stale, thus prompting figures in the arts to experiment in terms of their craft. It opened eccentric new social circles within the arts society wherein artists are more inclined to unorthodoxy.
In art, the movement was inspired by the artists seeking to remove signs of personal expression, allowing the viewer to interpret the piece without the distraction of composition. This led to sleek geometric works that served aesthetic appeal.
The goal was for the art to be completely subjective to the viewer.

PARALLEL MOVEMEN IN ART
(1928-1994)
art was a manifestation of the post-war consumer culture wherein everything became standardized
basic factory aesthetic
pieces often looked geometric and modular

DONALD JUDD
(1933-1996)
explored a single medium throughout his career which was fluorescent tubes
denied transcendent meaning and described his art as "it is what it is, and it ain't nothing else"

DAN FLAVIN
REACTION/ANTI-MOVEMENT
attempt to go beyond the aesthetics of minimalism
art became very conceptual and stuck closely to specified themes
music avoided linear forms that were prevalent in minimalism
dynamics were generally even and lacked any distinct climaxes

POSTMINIMALISM
music genre derived from minimalism that was created in the 80s and 90s
adhered to the strict simplicity, but used more complex rhythmic patterns
music could be consonant, dissonant, or both
the music aimed to have a total surface of rhythmic energy whilst upholding the basic laws of minimalism

TOTALISM
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