Minimalism is arguably the most popular style of concert music that the late-twentieth century has produced, appealing to the widest possible audience - fans of rock, jazz and classical music. But the minimalist aesthetic has not been lacking in controversy. To its detractors, it is maddeningly repetitive and single-minded, no better than pop music masquerading as art. To its adherents, it is ecstatic and vibrant, combining classical, popular and non-Western elements to create a style that restores the severed link between composer and audience. The two best-known minimalist composers, Americans Philip Glass and Steve Reich, are world-famous figures. But they can only properly be understood in the context of their predecessors (La Mome Young and Terry Riley) and their successors (John Adams, Meredith Monk, and Europeans such as Michael Nyman, Louis Andriessen, and Arvo Part). This book, the first overview of minimalism aimed at a general public, traces the lives of the minimalist composers, discusses their most significant works, and examines the artistic milieu from which they emerged.
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18 Musicians Adams Adams's Akhnaten Andriessen artist audience band began Berio California Cave cello chord chorus clarinet composer composition concert conducted counterpoint Desert Music Different Trains Drumming Edo de Waart Einstein electric organs fp London fp New York fp San Francisco going Gonna Rain harmony jazz John Juilliard language large ensemble libretto listening live loops Louis Andriessen lyricism Mallet Instruments melody Meredith Monk Michael Nyman Michael Nyman Band minimalist music module Music for 18 Music in Twelve music theatre music-theatre musical process Nixon in China non-Western music Nonesuch 9 opera percussion Peter Greenaway Philip Glass Ensemble Piano Phase piece played premiere pulse recording Reich and Glass Reich and Musicians Reich's music repetition rhythmic Satyagraha saxophone score serialism solo soloists songs soprano sound Steve Reich string quartet structure style Symphony tape technique Tehillim Terry Riley theatre timbre tonal traditional turned twelve-note violin vocal voices Webern writing wrote