Let’s sort out…….MINIMALISM

It builds music out of loops

Developing in the 60s and 70s, minimalism takes short sections of music and repeats them over and over with small changes on each repetition.

The entire piece can sound very COMPLEX though because there will be many of these loops played together at the same time.

A lot of the time the texture is contrapuntal because all these many sections are going at the same time. This is what contrapuntal means, many overlapping lines of melody. It is hard to say which is the most important one, they are all important.

Because of this LOOP BASED APPROACH, minimalism often relies on TECHNOLOGY.

MULTI TRACK RECORDING, in something like CUBASE means you can copy and paste the loops over and over.

ECHO and REVERB are sometimes used.

Some composers have performers RECORD SEVERAL PARTS before a performance, so that they can appear on stage and play the final part live.


GAMELAN music influenced many Minimalist dudes. Gamelan is from INDONESIA – it is a traditional form of music where MANY performers play MALLET instruments (ones you hit with a stick like a xylophone)

Gamelan is also built from small loops, but it’s all played live by big groups.


Famous minimalist geezers are:

Steve Reich

Phillip Glass.

La Vida by Coldplay was like minimalism. Can you work out why?

Listen a minimalist track by The Fatbudgie. Why is it minimalist?

Play “Improvisation 1” here   



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