Nowadays, Minimalism is most likely associated with the
photographic style and structure of one’s Instagram feeds. But that is not what
I’ll be talking about today.
term Minimalism has a simpler meaning of
which means simple itself. As many might not know and I, myself, have just
recently learnt, the Minimalism trend have blossomed from even before the
millennial age and have affected our society in more ways than the way we dress
ourselves, in fact, Minimalism can be found
as a type of classical music.
Minimalism music was said to originate
from New York in the early 1960s and just like the title itself, this form of
music encourages the use of limited musical materials. This way, it can point
out the core of the music without the addition of anything too complex that
might ruin or disrupt the beauty of its pureness. Some of the most notorious
and well known composers of this type of music include Steve Reich, Philip
Glass and Terry Riley, who also played important roles in the development and
influence of Minimalism. But many artists of
today use the techniques found in Minimalism
to incorporate into their music.
Minimalism contains repeated motifs
that vary slightly over a long period and long notes are played over these
repeated sections. Some of its obvious features include consonant harmony,
steady pulse, gradual transformation and often repetition of musical phrases. Minimalism is often associated as Process or Phase
music. Phase Music uses a compositional technique where the same part of a
piece is played on two musical instruments in a steady but not identical tempi,
otherwise known as ‘phasing’. While Process Music relies heavily on process
techniques which follow strict rules as its composition is on-going.
According to Richard E. Rodda, Minimalism is based on the repetition of slowly
changing common chords in steady rhythms which are often overlaid with a
lyrical melody in a long phrase. It utilizes repetitive melodic patterns, consonant
harmonies, motoric rhythms and striving in aural beauty.
Timothy Johnson also referred Minimalism as continuous in form which leads to an
uninterrupted texture. It’s made up from interlocking rhythmic patterns and
harmonic sonorities that are simple, diatonic and consist of familiar triads
and seventh chords with a slow harmonic rhythm.
While listening deeper into the world of Minimalism, I found a great piece of work as I
shuffled the Minimalism playlist offered by
Spotify. The song Etude No.2 by Philip Glass, in my opinion, really highlights
and showcases the sense of Minimalism and
the way it works.