When does music stop being non-minimal and become minimal? Here we have the example of Regina Spektor’s “Us”. If you listen to the piano part, most of the beginning of the song has it sitting on a C# Major, and then going up to a IV6-4 chord, an inverted F# major. Other than the fact that the piano part changes slowly over the verses and choruses, there are comparative reasons that we can effectively label the beginning as a minimal texture (even with Regina’s singing of a melody over the accompaniment). Listen to this movement of Glassworks, Islands and you’ll find that over Mr. Glass’ very minimal texture, there is a soaring melody:
Ms. Spektor is using static textures in a very interesting way to maintain a certain affect through the entire song. This is very different from most other pop songs (even if the result isn’t totally original) which sink or swim mainly on their hook, which is built up to through a verse. In Spektor’s song, I cannot identify a clear hook (this may be due to my lacking of knowledge in the pop side of the music industry).