‘Escape and Build another World’: Relocations in Classical Minimalism and Minimal Techno

  • Isabel Stoppani de Berrié
Part of the Pop Music, Culture and Identity book series (PMCI)


In this chapter I discuss the relationship between two musical minimalisms: the minimal techno which developed in Detroit during the early 1990s and the more ‘classical’ form of minimalism belonging to composers in downtown New York, especially Manhattan, during the 1960s. Initially, by returning to the early manifestations of each, now seen as ‘classics,’ I demonstrate how these two traditions intertwine at their roots, before examining their subsequent interaction, as more mature and diverse artforms, in the 1990s and later. By looking at the reworkings by techno DJs of classical minimalist works, and vice versa, I aim to bring into relief cultural differences between the different performance media, spaces, and geographical heritages of each. I document the tension between the universalist hopes of minimalist artists of various kinds, on the one hand, and the persistence of genre distinctions on the other. The latter remain relevant due to the continuing use of critical concepts which contribute to the maintenance of hierarchical boundaries between the classical and techno spheres and corresponding modes of consumption.


Classical Music Popular Music City Life Record Company Symphony Orchestra 
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Copyright information

© Isabel Stoppani de Berrié 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel Stoppani de Berrié

There are no affiliations available

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