Minimalism and post minimalism


Sunday, 14 April 2024






Minimalist music is a genre of experimental music named in the 1960s which displays some or all of the following features:

- emphasis on consonant harmony, if not functional tonality;
- reiteration of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, and cells, with subtle, gradual, and/or infrequent variation (no musical development) over long periods of time, possibly limited to simple repetition;
- stasis, often in the form of drones, pulses, and/or long tones.
- The term minimalist music is derived from the concept of minimalism, which was earlier applied to the visual arts. Previously the terms process - music or systems music were used, particularly for music constructed using fairly strict rules.

Postminimalism is a term utilised in various artistic fields for work which is influenced by, or attempts to develop, the aesthetic of minimalism. The expression is used specifically in relation to music and the visual arts, but can refer to any field using minimalism as a critical reference point.

John Adams
Eve Beglarian
David Chesworth
Robert Davidson
William Duckworth
Graham Fitkin
Peter Garland
Michael Gordon
Eleanor Hovda
Scott Johnson
David Lang
Paul Lansky
Robert Steadman
Lois V Vierk
Stephen Scott
Michael Torke
Julia Wolfe
Evan Ziporyn

The minimalist generation still has a prominent role in new composition. Philip Glass has been expanding his symphony cycle, while John Adams's On the Transmigration of Souls, a choral work commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks won a Pulitzer Prize. Steve Reich has explored electronic opera (most notably in Three Tales) and Terry Riley has been active in composing instrumental music and music theatre. But beyond the minimalists themselves, the tropes of non-functional triadic harmony are now commonplace, even among composers who are not regarded as minimalists per se.

Many composers are expanding the resources of minimalist music to include rock and world instrumentation and rhythms, serialism, and many other techniques. Kyle Gann considers William Duckworth's Time Curve Preludes as the first "post-minimalism" piece, and labels John Adams as a "post-minimalist" composer, rather than as a minimalist. Gann defines "post-minimalism" as the search for greater harmonic and rhythmic complexity by composers such as Mikel Rouse and Glenn Branca. Another notable characteristic is storytelling and emotional expression taking precedence over technique. Post-minimalism is also a movement in painting and sculpture which began in the late 1960s.

David Behrman
David Borden (and his ensemble Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company)
Gavin Bryars
Cornelius Cardew
Tony Conrad
Peter Garland
Jon Gibson
Philip Glass
Terry Jennings
Petr Kotik (born in Czechoslovakia)
Douglas Leedy
Richard Maxfield
Robert Moran
Phill Niblock
Pauline Oliveros
Charlemagne Palestine
Steve Reich
Terry Riley
Howard Skempton
Yoshi Wada (born in Japan)
La Monte Young
Other more current minimalists include:

Nigel Westlake
Robert Davidson
Wim Mertens
Petr Kotik (based in the United States)
Erkki Salmenhaara
Peter Michael Hamel
Hauke Harder
Hans Otte
Ernstalbrecht Stiebler
Harald Weiss
Walter Zimmermann
Zoltán Jeney
László Melis
László Sáry
László Vidovszky
Fulvio Caldini
Giovanni Sollima
Jo Kondo
Yoshi Wada (based in the United States)
Armands Strazds
Louis Andriessen
Simeon ten Holt
Ernesto Rodrigues
Serbia and Montenegro
Vladimir Tošić
South Africa
Kevin Volans (based in Ireland)
United Kingdom
Bob Dickinson
Orlando Gough
Steve Martland
Michael Nyman
Andrew Poppy
Daniel Patrick Quinn
Malcolm Rycraft
United States
John Adams
Glenn Branca
Harold Budd
Rhys Chatham (based in France)
Philip Corner (based in Italy)
DAC Crowell
Kurt Doles
Paul Dresher
Arnold Dreyblatt (based in Germany)
William Duckworth
Janice Giteck
Daniel Goode
Tom Johnson (based in France)
Elodie Lauten
Daniel Lentz
Ingram Marshall
Meredith Monk
Tim Risher
Mikel Rouse
Frederic Rzewski
Stephen Scott
Wayne Siegel (based in Denmark)
Carl Stone
Morton Subotnick


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