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Minimalism as a movement.

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Glass and minimalism in general is perhaps the most vile "classical music" (if it can so be called) ever devised, it is repetitive to a degree that it makes me feel like I'm having a stroke. It's only redeeming quality is that it is not made of random scraping sounds which have no connection to anything, but rather repetitive scraping sounds which have not connection to anything. It is post-modern art at its most extreme and therefore its worst.

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Glass and minimalism in general is perhaps the most vile "classical music" (if it can so be called) ever devised, it is repetitive to a degree that it makes me feel like I'm having a stroke. It's only redeeming quality is that it is not made of random scraping sounds which have no connection to anything, but rather repetitive scraping sounds which have not connection to anything. It is post-modern art at its most extreme and therefore its worst.

I agree. But I think Glass has done some movie scores (at least they sounded like Glass) where his repetitive figurations were quite effective in creating a mood. These works also contained melodic lines that were longer in duration than in most of his stuff and were quite beautiful. It would be ironic, wouldn't it, if Glass, when writing for mass consumption, actually composes better music.

Larry

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Well, if Bob were being honest, then I suppose it proves that something akin to "color-blindness" exists with respect to music appreciation.
In fact I think it is more appropriately known as "life-blindness", or "hatred of being alive". For comparison, here is a
of Nessun Dorma, which IMO is lackluster comparison.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Glass and minimalism in general is perhaps the most vile "classical music" (if it can so be called) ever devised, it is repetitive to a degree that it makes me feel like I'm having a stroke. It's only redeeming quality is that it is not made of random scraping sounds which have no connection to anything, but rather repetitive scraping sounds which have not connection to anything. It is post-modern art at its most extreme and therefore its worst.

I don't know if I agree with this. Speaking from a rhythmic stand point (since I am a percussionist) much minimalism is quite interesting to me. Over the years I've found that I've come to enjoy the complexity of sound that it can create. I'm not a fan of philip glass, but I really like Steve Reich's percussion pieces (Namely; Sextet (six marimbas), and Music for 18 Musicians). I love the shifting melodies and tones, and ever changing wall of sound that is created. But, overall, I find that minimalism is best when comebined with other musical styles. Bands, such as Tortoise, do a phenominal job of combining minimalism, jazz, rock, and electronica into emotionally moving pieces of musical art. Even in my own composing, I'm finding a great use for minimalist ideas (in a work in progress piece, where it starts of with a 7/8 marimba chordal movement with mandolin and keyboard shifting elements of the main rhythm/melody against each other. Then the bass comes in playing the root of the sequence, while everyone drops out, and it then goes into a jazzy section utilizing the bass sequence, with an off-beat keyboard rhythm hits, and (eventually) a Vibraphone/mandolin counterpoint melody over it).

Basically, all I'm saying is that the IDEAS of minimalism can be very cool when used in conjucture with other musical forms or ideas. It can be cool on it's own, too, but I think that's much harder to do, and used too much will create, yes, a boring piece. I don't, however, find it to be trash. But then, I think I'm a bit more liberal in my definition of music then most here (not THAT liberal, though!!! I'm still conservative by most standards). :worry:

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Ah, Minimalism. Like any genre, it is difficult to find a very good piece. By coincidence, I saw this thread in the middle of listening to Steve Reich's "Music For 18 Musicians", a seminal piece in that genre. While I can understand how one may reactively call some pieces of minimalism as "post-modern", there are other pieces which are unique exceptions. When I listen to "Music for 18 Musicians", I think of possibility, opportunity, and progression. And, movement towards a goal.

What is wrong with repetition? Most music is based on repetition of some sort, whether it be drums, some melodic or harmonic theme that carries through a piece in different forms, and lyrics, too. This follows for every genre. Simply because you cannot stomach some repetitious elements does not mean it is bad music. While repetition without movement on it's own is without meaning, when repetition of differnet themes are layered, they create music which I believe is symbolic for the life we all aim to lead. Our lives are largely repetitious, but like a train switching tracks, will eventually move on to different things as time passes. The slowl gradual movement of adolescence to adulthood. The progression of studying in school and then applying it in the private sector. The hobbies, arts, and skills we aim to excel at, and, once achieved, the movement towards a different one. OF course, it may present something else to you altogether. Nonetheless, calling all minimalism 'vile' is a bit presumptive I think.

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