Music GCSE: Minimalism and the advance of music technology

In this short film Howard Goodall explores the rise of modern popular music such as hip hop and looks at music technology and sampling.

Goodall traces the legacy of ground breaking work in minimalism, sampling and music technology by composers such as Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Philip Glass and John Adams and identifies their impact on hip hop music and artists such as David Bowie and Radiohead.

Includes extracts from Music for 18 musicians by Steve Reich, It's gonna rain by Steve Reich, and Kid A by Radiohead.

This short film is from the BBC series, Howard Goodall's Story of Music.

Teacher Notes

You can use this short film when studying minimalist music.

Group students and ask them to record some words using a handheld audio device.

Then ask students to create a composition which explores the ideas fusing minimalist techniques such as ostinato and layering textures with music technology techniques such as looping, panning and manipulating audio.

They could then produce a report detailing what they have produced and why they made the creative decisions they did, and the effects they were hoping to achieve.

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be useful for teaching music, particularly in the areas of music history, notation, composition, music theory and understanding styles.

More from Howard Goodall's Story of Music:

Notation and melodic movement
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Harmony, intervals, triads and cadences
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Harmony, dissonance and an introduction to opera
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Key signatures, equal temperament and the 12-tone tuning system
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Handel, the pianoforte and oratorio
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Mozart, melodic writing and the symphony
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Haydn, symphonies and melodic writing
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A profile of Beethoven
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Franz Liszt, symphonic poems and orchestral music
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Saint-Saëns and developments in French composition
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Debussy, world music and impressionism
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Shostakovich and the effects of Nazi rule on composers
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Stravinsky, Russian music and modernism
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Blues and ragtime
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