Minimalism music is a type of art music or compositional technique that uses only minimal music materials. Minimalism starts to emerge in the late 20th century. In minimalist music, every composer tries to achieve greater simplicity in their music. The word minimal was first used by Michael Nyman in 1968 in the entertainment presented by Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts). Michael Nyman is an English composer of minimalist music.
What is Minimal Music?
Minimalist music is a subgenre of classical music. The aesthetic of minimalist depends on the features such as repetitive patterns, steady drones, selective successive sounds, and reiteration of musical phrases. The standard instruments used to play minimal music are piano, violin, cello, bass, clarinet, flute, and vocals.
Top 5 Characteristics Of Minimalist Music
This musical genre is defined by certain characteristics. It varies from one composer to another. Let us see the characteristics of minimalist music.
- Gradual Changes in Repetition: Repeated phrases are very common in minimal composition. The gradual changes are done by adding additional beats, changing duration, or single notes.
- Phasing: In the phasing compositional technique, the repetitive phrase is played on two musical instruments in a different tempo. Phasing is derived from the classical tradition of the canon. In canon composition, the same line is performed by the different voices at different start times. Steve Reich is an American composer and he is a master of phrasing.
- Mixing Technology and Standard Classical Instruments: Mostly minimalist music is played with classical instruments such as strings, woodwinds, and voices but they are different from traditional classical music. And other latest technological devices used for the mix are saxophones, electrical guitars, tap machines, and samplers.
- Additive Compositions: The additive composition technique features a constant repetition of musical notes in a loop. Additional lines are added in each loop to create weaving tapestry consonant music.
- Drones: Drones are the music that comes under the minimalist genre composed using sustained sounds, notes, and a cluster of tones. La Monte Young is one of the originators of drone music in 1960. The drone music is very slow in rhythm. South Indian classical Carnatic music and Hindustani classical music come under drone music. Also in other parts of the world like pibroch piping in Scottish and didgeridoo in Australia is the drone music.
I Hope You Love Minimalism Music!
Minimalism music has its influence in the music industry still in the 21st century from the date of origin. It is found in electronic dance music, rap, and hip-hop beats and loops, Indian Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, and experimental music.