What are the best minimalist pieces to listen to for those new to the minimalist style?

Some good answers here.

There are two answers to the question.

The wrong answer (though the one I prefer) is: what are some not very minimalist pieces, which I will enjoy listening to as someone unfamiliar with the style?

The answer to that includes some of my favourite 20th century pieces:

  • Most things John Adams did in the 1980s, up to Nixon in China, which was his farewell to minimalism
  • Philip Glass’ Akhnaten
  • Steve Reich’s Tehilim

The problem with that is, you’re not really learning minimalism that way.

The right answer is to do what I did in my early 20s. Strap yourself in a chair, put on a true minimalist piece, and DO NOT MOVE until you get into it. The ones I used were:

  • Steve Reich’s Violin Phase
  • Philip Glass’ Einstein On The Beach

Even more basic than that, Steve Reich’s Clapping.

Noone here’s mentioning the Holy Minimalists, Pärt and Tavener. That’s probably right.

EDIT: No, Pärt’s been mentioned…

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