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Minimalism is a style of experimental music which originated in America in the 1960's. It is named so as it uses slowly transforming ostinato's, and has a steady beat. It is based mainly on constant harmony and instead of using lots of musically idea's, takes one and develops it. It started as an underground movement in new York and San Francisco, and went on to become the most popular style of experimental 20th century music. Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass are the most well known from this movement though there were originally dozens. Some of the most famous European Minimalist composers were Louis Andriessen, Karel Goeyvaerts, Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Steve Martland, Henryk Górecki, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener. The word "Minimalism" was only applied to music in the 1970's although the movement started before this.



Early Development

Minimalist style in music

Criticism of Minimalism

Minimalist Composers

   * Louis Andriessen (born in the Netherlands)
   * David Behrman (born in Austria)
   * Barbara Benary (born in the US)
   * David Borden (born in the US; and his ensemble Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company)
   * Gavin Bryars (born in the UK)
   * Joseph Byrd (born in the US)
   * Roberto Carnevale (born in Italy)
   * Tony Conrad (born in the US)
   * Julius Eastman (born and died in the US)
   * Ludovico Einaudi (born in Italy)
   * Brian Eno (born in the UK)
   * Frans Geysen (born in Belgium)
   * Jon Gibson (born in the US)
   * Philip Glass (born in the US)
   * Karel Goeyvaerts (born and died in Belgium)
   * Christopher Hobbs (born in the UK)
   * Terry Jennings (born and died in the US)
   * Douglas Leedy (born in the US)
   * Richard Maxfield (born and died in the US)
   * Angus MacLise (born in the US, died in Kathmandu)
   * Robert Moran (born in the US)
   * Phill Niblock (born in the US)
   * Michael Nyman (born in the UK)
   * Pauline Oliveros (born in the US)
   * Mike Oldfield (born in the UK)
   * Charlemagne Palestine (born in the US)
   * Rabinovitch-Barakovsky (born in Russia)
   * Steve Reich (born in the US)
   * Terry Riley (born in the US)
   * Howard Skempton (born in the UK)
   * Dave Smith (born in the UK)
   * Ann Southam (born in Canada)
   * Yoshi Wada (born in Japan)
   * John White (born in the UK)
   * La Monte Young (born in the US)