The "Simplicity" and "Complexity" of Minimalism in John Adams’ 《Harmonielehr》
|School||Shanghai Conservatory of Music|
|Course||Composition and Composition Theory|
|Keywords||minimalism simplicity complexity core elements basic skill deep structure|
Minimalist music originates as an American genre of experimental music and is counted as one of the most prominent new trends. Starting in the early 1960s as a scruffy underground scene in San Francisco alternative spaces and New York lofts, minimalism finally becomes the most popular experimental music style of the late 20th century. Although minimalist music is based mostly on simple elements of consonant harmony, steady pulse, and repetitive patterns, it may include more complicated features such as additive process and phase shifting, so that simplicity does not mean crudity. In this paper, I have analyzed several compositions by minimalists, concentrating on the static reiteration or gradual transformation of musical phrases or smaller units such as figures, motifs, core chords and rhythm cells, in order to find the biological structure in their variations and development, and to explore concealed logical design of rhythm, sound, texture, and to investigate the compositional technique, which balances between simplicity and complexity.