Performing Activities - Scores
Starter & Plenary Activities
Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
Supporting Activities - Cover & Homework

This unit develops pupils’ understanding of polyrhythmic music and contemporary minimalist styles exploring how different polyrhythmic textures and musical conventions are used by minimalist composers including the use of repetitive and changing rhythmic and melodic motifs in different styles of minimalist music. The main focus of this unit is rhythm: cyclic rhythm, polyrhythm and moving in/out of phase and also looks at structure including cyclic structure and motivic transformation. Pupils explore a range  of minimalist music including “Clapping Music”, “Tubular Bells” and “Oxygene (Part IV)”.  

Musical Contexts Legacy Secondary/KS3 Unit - Minimalism

Exploring motifs, polyrhythms and repetition

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Score 3 Oxygene (Part IV)



Melody Part



Chords Part 1



Chords Part 2



Bass Line



All Parts

Audio 6

Oxygene (Part IV)

Score 4

In C

Arial 8

In C - Terry Riley









Score 1

Clapping Music


Rhythm Grid

Score 2

Tubular Bells


Tubular Bells Melody Part


Tubular Bells Harmony Part


Tubular Bells Chords Part


Tubular Bells Bass Line


Tubular Bells All Parts

Audio 7

Tubular Bells








Starter/Plenary 1

Minimalist Art

Starter/Plenary 2

A Minimalism


Starter/Plenary 3

Tubular Bells

(Uses Audio 7)

Starter/Plenary 4

My Minimalism Learning

Audio 3

Six Marimbas

Audio 4

Pendulum Music

Audio 10

Example of a pupil minimalist piece using ICT




Cover/Homework 1

Minimalism -

Information and Composers

Cover/Homework 2

All About

Steve Reich

Cover/Homework 3

Minimalism Word Puzzles







Worksheet 1

Minimalism & Listening to Clapping Music


(Uses Audio 1)

Worksheet 2

Listening to Minimalist Dance Music


(Uses Audio 5)

Worksheet 3

Composing Clapping Music


(Level 5+)

Worksheet 3A

Composing Clapping Music


(Level 4-/SEN)

Worksheet 4

Assessing Clapping Music

Worksheet 5

Tubular Bells

Self Assessment







Worksheet 6

Composing Minimalist Music

Worksheet 7

Listening to Minimalist Music


(Uses Audio 9)

Worksheet 8

Listening to The Desert Music


(Uses Audio 2)

Worksheet 9

Assessing Minimalist Compositions

Video 1

Clapping Music


Video 2

Different Trains

Scheme of Work

Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson Plan (DOC)

Lesson Bundles (ZIP)

Download all the resources you need for each lesson (excluding video files) in a ZIP file.

Click here for the latest version of WinZip

Lesson 1

Exploring Minimalist Music & Rhythmic Motifs

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring the Effects of Minimalist Rhythmic Phase Shifts

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring Minimalist Melodic Motifs

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring Minimalist Devices - Repetition, Looping, Phase In & Phase Out

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lesson 5

Composing a Minimalist piece using Melodic Motifs & Minimalist Devices

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson 5
Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

Exploring the influences of Minimalism on Dance & Electronic Music

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle



Presentation 1

Additive Patterns

Kindly submitted by a subscriber, this presentation takes pupils through the process of using Additive Rhythms as a basis for a Minimalist composition.

Works well with Sibelius ®

Presentation 2

Phase Shifting

Kindly submitted by a subscriber, this presentation takes pupils through the process of using Phase Shifting as a basis for a Minimalist composition.

Works well with Sibelius ®