Re: [dev] Suckless design in Games

From: Antoni Grzymala <>
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 18:06:19 +0200

Eivind Michael Skretting dixit (2010-08-11, 16:13):

> > He most definitely is (along with Chopin, I'd argue) – at the opposite
> > end you'd find Bruckner, Wagner and Berlioz. Flame away, I'm on holiday.
> Mozart and Chopin really have nothing to do with Minimalism. Some of Mozart's
> pieces are maybe light (but not all of them, like Don Giovanni or Kyrie
> Eleison from Requiem), and Chopin may be elegant, but Minimalism is a
> seperate genre of music, represented by composers like John Adams, Steve
> Reich and Philip Glass.
> One of the big differences is the theme development, Minimalists use
> none of the classical forms of Mozart or Chopin, but rather a repetitive
> form of slow progression.
> No flames, just information :)

I'm well aware of the style represented by Reich, Glass et al., however:

Anh Hai Trinh dixit (2010-08-11, 21:35):

> You are technically right, but this "minimalism" is nothing more than
> a name tag.
> Opponents of Steve Reich & Philip Glass may say their music has
> needless repetitions.
> To contrast, consider Bach's Chaconne: "On one stave, for a small
> instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and
> most powerful feelings." Is this a minimalist piece, even when it's
> 15min long? As a former composition student, I would say it is.
> I think the essence of minimalism is that one take away as much as one
> possibly can.

And this is exactly the essence of Chopin's music – absolute necessary
minimum (with regards to the style and the times around which Chopin's
work was created, perhaps you have to get to know Chopin's music quite
well to actually appreciate this). Quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

„Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything to add,
but when there is no longer anything to take away.”

Which could easily be said about Chopin's music as much as Bach and
Mozart (taking into account different stylistic
considerations). Though the two latter are probably not as even in
high-quality work (see below).

Anh Hai Trinh dixit (2010-08-11, 22:29):

> >> I think the essence of minimalism is that one take away as much as one
> >> possibly can.
> >>
> >
> > Then one should exclude Chopin from that definition.

Definitely not!

> What do you mean exactly? His A major Prelude is probably the shortest
> piece of music that exists (20~ seconds) and amongst the most
> beautiful. If that is not minimalistic, I don't know what is. Chopin
> is, after all, most famous for his _miniature_ pieces.

I would argue about that: the mid-sized Impromptus, Ballades, Fantaise
and Barcarolle (and the lateish-largish Mazurkas and Nocturnes) are
probably his best works, but the entire published (by him) body of
work is of such high quality, that it's pretty difficult to discuss
which particular works are “best”.

As to the “shortest piece ever written contest”, I'm certain there are
lots others, a tiny e-flat-minor prelude (about three lines) by
Scriabin immediately springs to mind. Almost Haiku (if not for the
late romantic style :)).

> > On a end note, the original mention of Minimalism was with a capital
> > "M", so I figured the discussion needed some clearing-up.
> Point taken.

Yeah, I just had a knee-jerk reaction to “Mozart *not* being
minimalist” (without the capital “M”), which in my opinion, and by the
above account he certainly is.

Received on Wed Aug 11 2010 - 18:06:19 CEST

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