Manifest against minimalism

Certainly, you’ve listened music before,and you have noticed that, most of the sounds in modern music are shortened sounds, which do not present enough harmony or melodicity.

The principal sounds, in general need a certain duration for them to get in harmony.

Absolutely never will a short sound be rich or abundant,but most likely a percussive or rhythmic element, since most rhytm elements are short as duration.

Untill now I haven’t seen any drum that would last longer.

This is how drums are, short but powerful. They release a lot of energy in a small amount of time.

If you would remove the voice from the most mixes, the negative would sound very dull, simple and without consistency.

Most of the time, the voice is the one that gives that sensation of fullness in a song.

It’s pretty difficult to create a sound which would release that euphoria using the synth.

In most cases the vocals save a song which most likely would be simply dull without them.

Todays music has more rhythm and less harmony!

The conclusion is that todays music relies more on rhythm than on harmony.

Maybe it’s also reliant on melodicity, but I’m confident that the rhythm is the mot important element,which most people overuse.

The truth is that, if you want something complete you can’t do it only with rhythm.

Music is more than rhythm.

If we take the time to analyze closely a song, we will discover that music is composed of 3 important elements:

1. Rhythm

Represents motion,impulse, pretty much the heart of a song.

Of course it’s very important, because it maces the song more dynamic, basically, most of the energy of the song is the rhythm.

2. Melodicity

A fancy name for the relationship between consecutive sounds.

This could be defined as a combination of sounds, lengths and notes mixed in a certain way.

The Melody is the essence of a musical project.

Even though, in some cases it misses, it is very important in valuable musical projects.

3. Harmony 

What is harmony? Harmony is the final result of overlapping the instrument.

Personally I consider it to be the most complex element of music, even more complex than the rhythm or the melodicity. 

Basically, the harmony is a secret, because nobody was able of finding the truth of ideal harmony.

There are many awesome songs, I agree, but clearly just a fraction of them have that harmonic texture which you enjoy, which will make you listen again and again…

Let me tell you something: there are many mixes that are almost perfect from the technic point of view.

In fact, most mixes are almost perfect.

But when it comes to harmony… well the situation isn’t so optimistic any more,because not many do well at this chapter aswell. Why?

Why is this minimalism of “short sounds” so mainstream?

If we look at the past, especially at symphonic music, or old music in general, we will notice that things were different back then.

The sounds were longer, and the high frequencies were lower as volume.

Basically the mix was more flat, more blurry.

But with the modern music this changed.

The high frequencies are at a higher volume,and a shorter duration, being also called transients.

This is minimalism style.

A Transient is an important element right now. Why?

Because the transients deliver like 80% or even more of the energy of a mix.

If a sound doesn’t have transients it gets pushed to the background and gets blurred. This is how the music was like decades ago.

But why the request for transients in music?

Because mixes needed more energy, to give that energy, that focused sound.

A mix without transient won’t really impress any more.

It’s very important to have high or medium frequencies in a song or a mix, which should be at a higher volume but shortened, because only then your mix will have power. 

In fact the real problem is represented by something else. 

This action of shortening the sound is used so much that a lost of sounds become simple clicks or something almost percussive.

This is in fact the minimal style! Low quality sounds, with some to none harmony, a few percussive elements and that’s about it.

The harmony and melodicity are pretty rare these days.

It seems that this is how the minimalistic style was born, with the overuse of sound shortening which in fact should sound more harmonic.

I’ve noticed this type of sounds in a lot of songs, and most of the time the result is empty, dull.

I have an ideal of how a musical product must be like or should be like.

A product like this must be full of life, abundant, rich if we can say so.

A sound that awakens powerful emotions in the heart of the listener.

I am an advocate of energetic music!

Certainly it’s very easy to get a weak, dull sound. When I started music production, well…

I can tell you that the results I was getting were pathetic.

Any sound I would have attempted to create was weak, like I was making it in an 80’s program!

It’s a lot harder to have as a result a strong, ,rich sound which attracts the attention of the listener.

Excessively shortened sounds won’t impress!

The conclusion is that excessively shortened sounds will never sound impressive.

It’s impossible! Whitout harmony is basically impossible to get a very good mix.

The more harmony between the elements of the composition the more attractive the song.

Harmony is a feature of music which is very rare.

Not even the older music had much more harmony, quite the opposite.

Modern music is much more complex than music from 20,50 or even 100 years ago, and this is just because of technology which makes wonders in all domains.

I’m very curious what’s your opinion about this article.

Do you believe that today’s music is better than older music?

If you have any suggestions don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Thank you!

  • Basic Musical Elements – Melody, Rhythm and Harmony [Short Tutorial]

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