I've seen this term associated with a few bands and particular songs. EX: Radioheads' "Videotape" off In Rainbows.

I'm guessing it means simplified, but I don't quite get what that means in context...little help?
Simple - Doesn't have complex rhythms, exotic scales, change in tempos/keys, etc.

It's usually quite slow/simple, and pretty repetitive.
it basically means having the least amount of music (ie, simpler chords, simpler melodies, not much instrumentation, less intense production) to create a more...impacting effect, i guess. Some people find that more minimalist music is better to listen to.

For example, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd was very minimalist compared to the rest of their work.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

If you guys really want to hear minimalist, look up this guy "Songs For A Phone" on Myspace.
I see minimalist as a composition, but simplified, often long, but not with many changes (no random drum fills, or random licks). Also instrumental most of the time, although the voice can be used for melodies.

this is pure minimalist;

This is a mix of minimalist and rock.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 14, 2009,
It's mostly about the amount of musical material used, and the frequency with which it is introduced.

For example, "Clapping Music" is one rhythm, clapped. Another person comes in canon (in this case, starts a beat later and continues over the original), and then another and another. This goes on and on and on.

Many bands have minimalist tendencies but few have listeners who have the patience to immerse themselves in truly minimalist pieces.

I mean, would you listen to 4 hours of two pianos playing the same melody slightly in and out of time?

(I would - check out Meshuggah's "Obsidian" or The Berzerker's "Farewell" for some awesome death metal minimalism - the first things that came to my mind)
Quote by Freepower

I mean, would you listen to 4 hours of two pianos playing the same melody slightly in and out of time?

god no. im not a fan of minimalism unless its a brief song.
Quote by Freepower

I mean, would you listen to 4 hours of two pianos playing the same melody slightly in and out of time?

If you mean Piano Phase by Steve Reich, yes I have and it sounds ****ing awesome. But its definitely not 4 hours long.
Quote by allislost
I would say that aetherspear speaks nothing but the truth.
UG Blues Group
UG Reggae & Dub Group
Need Professional Mixing for cheap? Need Vinyl to Digital Transfers? PM Me.
^ hehe, indeed not. Somone knows things!

I was lucky to have a few great musicians in my high school year and we actually performed it across about 20 minutes. Was excellent! I think the melody is beautiful as well.
Minimalism is currently my favorite facet of music, ever since I started attending music school and really got immersed. Check out Arvo Part songs (especially Cantus In Memory of Benjamin Britten) to see some really well executed and impactful minimalism.

A current artist that dwells a lot in minimalism is Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Check out their entire album F#A#, incredible experience in minimalism.

Really, in essence, minimalism is meant to take the focus off of playing as fast and complicated as you can and simplifying it, while increasing the impact it has on the listener.

The point, especially for composers like Arvo Part, is to make every single note have a meaning. The songs tell stories without lyrics, but rather with melodies that are often, to me, incredible beyond words.

Recently I've begun composing minimalist pieces on the piano, and I've never been happier with my compositions. I enjoy them more than any shredded solo on the guitar, or any speedy piece on the piano. Establishing a haunting melody and then just building on it...I just feel like minimalism is one of the finer facets of music.
They say the old woman's got the wisdom
'Cause she couldn't read the clock anymore
She said "The numbers don't represent the moments"
Says she don't see what all the ticking's for
The idea behind minimalism is to eliminate all that is not necessary, all that is merely ornamentation, to distill the work, and shift the focus to how the content is used.

Once you pare away all of the unnecessary details that were worrying you before, you end up with very strong ideas that because of their containment and apparent simplicity can then be placed in almost any context - and exploiting this, creating a piece with the same small pieces used against each other in different ways, is the usual result.*