8.3- Post Modern Music


  • Music of bare essentials
  • Highly consonant and repetitive
  • Based on patterns, rather than melody
  • Has roots in non-Western music
  • Influential in pop music, particularly “Techno’

Terry Riley (American) 1935 — ?
Considered the founder of Minimalist Music
Links to music

Phillip Glass (American) 1937 — ?

  • Operas — Einstein on the Beach
  • Film scores — Kundun, Dracula
  • Film collaboration — “Koyaanisqatsi’
  • Symphonies and chamber music – Links to music

Optional video:

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Steve Reich (American) 1936 — ?

  • Uses phasing — where patterns shift almost imperceptibly until they are out of sync
  • Extremely influential, cited by many other musicians as an inspiration
  • Links to music

John Adams 1947 — ?

  • Composer of operas — Nixon in China and Dr. Atomic (Oppenheimer)
  • Links to Music

Rock and Roll

Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

  • 1950’s origins
  • Widespread commercial appeal
  • Huge variety of styles currently in popular music
  • So much more — more than what can be covered in this course

3 Responses to “8.3- Post Modern Music”

  1. Chet writes:

    ‘Tis a shame, because I could help you in developing that 3 credit course in Rock and Roll. Personally, as far as music for that period, that’s where I lean. I am so not familiar with any of the minimalist musicians you cited, and conversely, I gravitate toward the Progressive Rock movement that ran from the early `70’s and carried well into the `80’s, although less prominently. Groups like The Nice; Yes; Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Asia; The Moody Blues; Genesis; Gentle Giant; Flash; Skylark; Curved Air, and in this day and age–Muse, Marillion, Spock’s Beard, Umphrey’s MaGee, Camel and so much more. Progressive Rock was a melding of Symphonic and just plain Rock, not Rock and Roll. It was long (sometimes 20 minutes or more for one song), had many movements and changes, and considered intricate — a far cry from minimalism.

  2. Max writes:

    I would love to take a class on Rock and Roll!

  3. ljkljaich writes:

    I would love to offer it. I put in a request – and was not responded to. They do have a history of Pop Music on the “books.”