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I was asked an interesting question earlier this week. As composers, we like to believe that our compositions are truly unique. However, we also know and can trace trends that have been passed down by composers through the years. (New instrumentation, new form, structure, etc......) 

So.....back to the question: Can you think of specific examples, in the last 20 years, of composers who came up with something new that was followed by others?

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Grinding teeth, that is, before people get any other improper ideas !
I'm not sure that minimalism was the inspiration for loop based dance music at all. They just happened to coincide by chance. I can't see any dedicated pill-popping raver getting off on John Adams.

Adrian Allan said:
I didn't just mean you, no.

I thought that drugs, rather than a "high art" concept like minimalism was the inspiration for most loop based music.

Why ?

Because anything that repetitive only sounds good when your pupils are dilated and you're grinding away.
Kraftwerk may have been the first electronica band, at least the first successful one, and they got a lot of ideas from Stockhausen. Stockhausen was not a minimalist, but definitely one of the tape loop pioneers that people study in conservatories.




Simon Godden said:
I'm not sure that minimalism was the inspiration for loop based dance music at all. They just happened to coincide by chance. I can't see any dedicated pill-popping raver getting off on John Adams.

Adrian Allan said:
I didn't just mean you, no.

I thought that drugs, rather than a "high art" concept like minimalism was the inspiration for most loop based music.

Why ?

Because anything that repetitive only sounds good when your pupils are dilated and you're grinding away.
I've just watched this. The music was quite beautiful, but I would argue about its status as a trendsetter. Clusters have been written for several decades, even in tonal music. If you listen to John Tavener's "The Lamb", it has similar idioms, and I'm certain that he hadn't written it after hearing Whitacre's work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyBp9hrzDQE

But even this, although an astonishingly beautiful hymn, is hardly ground breaking. Both composers have simply picked up on different forms of the past and moulded them together.

Tyler Hughes said:
One composer that I think is becoming a trend setter in the choral music world is Eric Whitacre and his extreme use of cluster chords in tonal music. A lot of his music has chords stacked in seconds and moving in such manner. Their is even now a term for that called "Whitacre Chords". If you have ever sung in a choir in a high school or university around 2002-ish to now, you know him and you probably know is LEADGENS of fans in the choir world, thus his music is incredibly popular to sing. Thus their has been TONS of copy cat composers following his lead. About every other choral piece of music that I have sung that was made after 2004 has some Whitacre-like cluster chord in it somewhere in it.
So if their is any real trend its Diatonic cluster chords in tonal choral music.

If you havent heard of his music here is one of his most popular pieces, I myself even sung this in high school:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9shXm0cIeEY&feature=related
This is all getting rather confused. Stockhausen was an ultra-modernist which the minimalists reacted against in the same way that the classicists reacted against the complex counterpoint inherent in the late baroque artists. The fact that he used tapes and loops doesn't signify any connection whatsoever to the minimalist cause.

Whether Kraftwerk were influenced by Stockhausen, I have no idea.

Tombo Rombo said:
Kraftwerk may have been the first electronica band, at least the first successful one, and they got a lot of ideas from Stockhausen. Stockhausen was not a minimalist, but definitely one of the tape loop pioneers that people study in conservatories.




Simon Godden said:
I'm not sure that minimalism was the inspiration for loop based dance music at all. They just happened to coincide by chance. I can't see any dedicated pill-popping raver getting off on John Adams.

Adrian Allan said:
I didn't just mean you, no.

I thought that drugs, rather than a "high art" concept like minimalism was the inspiration for most loop based music.

Why ?

Because anything that repetitive only sounds good when your pupils are dilated and you're grinding away.
Miscommunications suck! I know that he is not a minimalist, I was just pointing out that Stockhausen influenced Kraftwerk (which he did according to liner notes) and Kraftwerk in turn infuenced rave music so trance dance music IS actually influenced by the art music world rather than merely stumbled upon by stoned idiots.



Simon Godden said:
This is all getting rather confused. Stockhausen was an ultra-modernist which the minimalists reacted against in the same way that the classicists reacted against the complex counterpoint inherent in the late baroque artists. The fact that he used tapes and loops doesn't signify any connection whatsoever to the minimalist cause.

Whether Kraftwerk were influenced by Stockhausen, I have no idea.

Tombo Rombo said:
Kraftwerk may have been the first electronica band, at least the first successful one, and they got a lot of ideas from Stockhausen. Stockhausen was not a minimalist, but definitely one of the tape loop pioneers that people study in conservatories.




Simon Godden said:
I'm not sure that minimalism was the inspiration for loop based dance music at all. They just happened to coincide by chance. I can't see any dedicated pill-popping raver getting off on John Adams.

Adrian Allan said:
I didn't just mean you, no.

I thought that drugs, rather than a "high art" concept like minimalism was the inspiration for most loop based music.

Why ?

Because anything that repetitive only sounds good when your pupils are dilated and you're grinding away.
Yes it's funny how Gershwin sounds dated, but Bach doesn't.

I was driving a taxi a few years back, and I had an old lady in the back of the car, and I asked her "do you like this music?". She said, "Ooooh no! I only like the old music hall songs like 'My old man said follow the van, and don't dilly dally on the way', none of this modern rubbish. It's all noise, noise, noise!"

We were listening to the 'Dies Irae' of Verdi's 'Requiem'.

Fredrick zinos said:
In a sense, John Adams.

Opulent minimalism sounds like a contradiction but as exhibited in Adams Chamber Symphony and much more, it is really quite engaging and thus frequently immitated. Whether the music has the power to last is another matter given its 20th century orientation (Death of Klinghoffer, Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic ).

Rytis Mazulis.. well now he's another matter all together.

Amazingly now when I hear Xenakis or Stockhausen or any of the wild men of even a few years ago they sound about as dated as Gershwin. At least to my ear this is what gives merit to the idea that Newness only exhibits utility when it confirs an advantage.

Thanks for your kind words about my piece guys

Paul mitchell-Davidson

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