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Repeating Ourselves: American Minimal Music as Cultural Practice Paperback – September 13, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0520245501 ISBN-10: 0520245504 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520245504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520245501
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,781,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"The most important, and clearly that most culturally and theoretically informed, of any of the major studies on minimalism. No other book comes remotely close to establishing the historical links between early postmodernist Euro-American social changes. Fink's scholarship is as impeccable as his readings of minimalist compositions are stunningly insightful. Not least, the book is beautifully written." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"The most important, and clearly the most culturally and theoretically informed, of any of the major studies on minimalism. No other book comes remotely close to establishing the historical links between early postmodernist Euro-American social changes. Fink's scholarship is as impeccable as his readings of minimalist compositions are stunningly insightful. Not least, the book is beautifully written."—Richard Leppert, editor of T. W. Adorno, Essays On Music

"A model of interdisciplinary scholarship at its best. Repeating Ourselves is now the central study on both minimalism and on repetition. This is an excellent book, and very important indeed."—Anahid Kassabian, author of Hearing Film

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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By George Grella VINE VOICE on March 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a frustrating book from the standpoint of musical analysis, criticism and thought, and ultimately a failure. A detailed discussion would require an academic conference and debate, since the issues this book raises are entirely academic.

To be succinct and utilitarian, if you are interested in a good study of Minimalism, what it is and its history, this is not a book for you. This is an academic musicological study of Minimalist music as seen in the context of social theory, which is the frustration and failure of the book. When Fink actually tackles what elements make the different pieces of music work, he is extremely smart and informative. However, the main goal of the book is to argue over a meaningless strawman, i.e. is Minimalist music an example of teleology or jouissance. What? Well, neither, which is the point.

Fink does explore connections between Minimalism, disco, repetition in advertising and the Suzuki method. These are variously successful and only slightly interesting. The similarities between them are superficial at best - the essential nature of Minimalist music is that it uses repetition in order to achieve musical transformation - what is repeated is itself constantly changing, which is the opposite of disco, the opposite of seeing the same ad over and over again, the opposite of the mass repetition in the Suzuki method. Since this is an academic study couched in social theory, it must work strenuously to 'discover' something that is both obvious and inconsequential in the world of lived experience. Frustrating.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Bjornholm on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a very smart and very readable essay on the relationship between repetition in music and post-war social structure. It is academic in the best way possible: insightful and thought provoking while still remaining relevant to everyday life. Fink is as enlightening when discussing the pieces themselves (both Reich-style minimalism and disco) as he is discussing the actual practice of listening to music. This is what Adorno might have written if he hadn't been so pessimistic. Highly Recommended.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mx1234 on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an amazing accomplishment, and will absolutely change the way you think about this music. Not in a bad way, but in a good, "whoa!" sort of way. Compared to other rather dry accounts of this music, such as Keith Potter's work, this book is a revelation.
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