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Minimalism movement - Essay Example

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The essay "Minimalism movement" explore the minimalism in music. Many people mistakenly associate minimalism with the art of painting, while truth is that this principle has been applied for many years now in musical compositions created by a broad range of artists…
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Minimalism movement

Christian Zeal and Activity is another musical piece composed by the American composer John Adams in 1973. This piece has also received critical acclaim for advancing the movement of minimalism in music. It is one of the earliest and simplest minimalist compositions of Adams. The original 1973 composition is based on an unencumbered instrumental arrangement of a Christian hymn and an on-air conversation between a host and a listener. This piece is recognized for its fragmented nature, a steady pulse, repetitive rhythmic phrases, and harmonic stability. Christian Zeal is a very good example of Adams’ exploration into the application of minimalistic technique. Here, he combines a hymn based on rich and harmonized chords with a “tape of repeated phrases of a sermon on the power of faith healing” . Instead of deconstructing the verbiage like other minimalist composers like Reich, Adams relies on repetition of musical phrases. Finding himself trapped between modernism and tradition, he found relief in minimalism of which Christian Zeal is a very interesting example. Impressed by the minimalist avant-garde, he recognizes minimalism in this musical piece by using simple elements to create “a steady background pulse, repetitive motifs and stable harmonic areas” . In Adams’ own words, the harmonies in Christian Zeal are meant to create a hypnotic effect to make the listeners “float in a kind of dream polyphony. This piece takes a turn from conventional minimalist approach used by other famous composers like Reich. ... Read More
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