6. Simplicity and Process




Of the artistic styles and movements we are looking at, this one arguably had the widest influence on composers in North America, especially here in New York. There is so much to listen to! Below are a few of the milestone works and ones in our text. I’ve grouped them into American  and European since they employ rather different compositional techniques.

1. American Minimalists:

Steve Reich Come out

Steve Reich, Tehillim


John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Philip Glass, Einstein on the Beach

2. European Minimalists:

Arvo Pärt, “O Weisheit” from Seven Magnificat Antiphons

Pärt, Spiegel im Spiegel (there are versions of this for almost every melodic instrument)


Gavin Bryars, Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

John Tavener, Lament of the Mother of God



For those of you interested in composing your own, here is a visual guide to various minimalist techniques (these are mostly the American techniques of Glass, Reich, and Adams, not the Europeans Pärt, Bryars and Taverner):