Minimalism’s Influence within the Musical Realm
Even though minimalism can be interpreted as beginning within art, it started to quickly expand to other mediums as it became increasingly popular. One of the areas where this most noticeably occurred was within the music industry. Tom Service, who writes for The Guardian, defines music minimalism as being characterized by a general sentiment that less is more. Service writes, “… the 20th century’s most successful musical ‘ism’ has got its repetitive, beat-based tentacles in every part of musical culture, from film scores to pop albums, jazz riffs to contemporary classical soundscapes, and a musical movement that began in lofts, galleries and collective spaces in New York and San Francisco in the 1960s has become an international according to Service, if it weren’t for minimalism first coming to the forefront in the art scene, music as we know it would be drastically different throughout multiple genres.
Minimalism in music can be best characterized by frequent and repetitive beats, and this is especially true for electronic music.While minimalism has arguably diffused into the work of many different music artists, some of the more popular ones include Radiohead and Bjork.Recognizing that visual art was not the only medium to be changed through the emergence of minimalism makes its ability to achieve mass popularity more easily seen and understood.
Minimalism and Fashion
Minimalism has also touched the fashion world, and this can be best seen through the broad qualities of accessibility and austerity.One of the key characteristics was the idea that fashion should be accessible to all people, regardless of wealth or status.This thinking resulted in clothes that were rather plain and stark in comparison to the expressive colors and patterns that constituted the fashion of the previous period.Another way in which minimalism was interpreted through fashion was the idea that articles of clothing, or accessories, were stripped to their barest and most basic quality.
Repetition of pattern was also popular during this era, and this was seen in both the music and fashion industry. During this time period in the fashion world, building materials were also frequently used for clothing materials. The types of materials that were used, or copied, included copper and steel. Minimalist fashion also sought to remove gender ideals from clothing through the elimination of form-fitting or form-defining clothing. For example, women wore longer and baggy clothing that did not emphasize the hips or the breasts.
In doing so, the defining features of a gender were stripped from the body, leaving more to be determined through actual human interaction and personality rather than through gender ideals. One fashion connoisseur wrote about how the kimono was the perfect representation of this type of fashion standard during the minimalism era.“‘… the kimono … eliminates gender distinction, and negate( s) the sexuality frequently imbued in Western clothing’… its emphasis on proportions and volume paints a picture of a genderless, Think about how pop music would sound if it were less repetitive or contained less chorus, or how electronic and dance music would have been perceived differently over the years if it had not been for the melodious mantra that minimalism brought with it. Of course, there is a blend of expressive as well as minimalist principles that influence our society; however, our society would be culturally different without the influence that minimalism while the ideals within these genres do not necessarily dictate exactly what it means to follow a minimalist lifestyle, they certainly paved the way for the present-day minimalist culture. This poses the question as to whether the philosophy of “less is more” could have become mainstream without the help of the art movements that preceded it.
Key highlights from this post:
Minimalism began as an art movement before branching off into other cultural sectors of society, including the music and fashion industries.
Minimalism began as a denouncement of expressive tendencies that could be seen in art. By stripping away the excess, the true essence of the art form becomes more accessible.