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Synopsis

In recent years the music of minimalist composers such as La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass has, increasingly, become the subject of important musicological reflection, research and debate. Scholars have also been turning their attention to the work of lesser-known contemporaries such as Phill Niblock and Eliane Radigue, or to second and third generation minimalists such as John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Michael Nyman and William Duckworth, whose range of styles may undermine any sense of shared aesthetic approach but whose output is still to a large extent informed by the innovative work of their minimalist predecessors. Attempts have also been made by a number of academics to contextualise the work of composers who have moved in parallel with these developments while remaining resolutely outside its immediate environment, including such diverse figures as Karel Goeyvaerts, Robert Ashley, Arvo Pärt and Brian Eno. Theory has reflected practice in many respects, with the multimedia works of Reich and Glass encouraging interdisciplinary approaches, associations and interconnections. Minimalism’s role in culture and society has also become the subject of recent interest and debate, complementing existing scholarship, which addressed the subject from the perspective of historiography, analysis, aesthetics and philosophy. The Ashgate Research Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music provides an authoritative overview of established research in this area, while also offering new and innovative approaches to the subject.

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