Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Gibb Schreffler

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© 2016 Zachary P. Schwartz


This thesis examines the core concepts of early minimalism and the ways that they were influenced by recording as a medium of musical creation. The first chapter considers early minimalism’s historical lineage as the narrative has been passed down by music scholars, noting over-arching trends and problems of exclusion and misunderstanding inherent within it. Having established the myriad of concepts at the core of the early minimalist movement, the second chapter examines the recording medium’s effect on art music performance, noting trends in repetition, objectivity, and process that are represented within minimalism itself. With these ideas in mind, the idea of “post-minimalism” is interrogated, proposing that a music for the concert hall is not the natural development of the early minimalists’ expansive mission. In the third chapter, analysis of one iconic late-twentieth century musical style, techno music, demonstrates that it is fundamentally of the same artistic spirit as the early minimalists and an alternate manifestation of Minimal art. Ultimately, early minimalism and techno are “alternate minimalisms” of the age of the recording, referencing and embodying the musical consciousness of the twentieth century.

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