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|WikiProject Electronic music|
I would argue that the existence of lowercase music is entirely apart from any sort of concept of "ambient" music as Eno coined the term ambient to mean something completely different from what "lowercase" is supposed to mean. "lowercase" music suggests music "on the cusp of audibility" - emphsizing restraint and coming somewhat from the semi-musicological idea of musical "reductionism". Additoinally, "ambient" music is generally precomposed and "lowercase" music is most often improvised.
Ambient is precomposed?
I'll have to strongly disagree with you on many points. First, look up the definition of "ambient" (including Eno's definition) and you will see how this genre not only fits, but is directly influenced by ambient music. Next, to say ambient is mostly precomposed and lowercase is improvised is completely ridiculous! Any type of music can be both precomposed and improvised (I know this because I have been a musician since the age of 4 as was my father) and in many instances ambient music is in fact very improvised (though not exclusively). By the same token, many of the lowercase pieces very much composed and not improvised. Either way, it doesn't matter, as the "method" of creating the music can be either composed or imrpovised, but the result is what signifies the genre.
conceptually, ambient music and lowercase have absolutely nothing to do with each other. "lowercase" music is to be listened to extremely intently and takes its aesthetic direction from the work of composers such as morton feldman and eliane radigue and improvisers of quiet "laminal" music such as amm inc. keith rowe etc. lowercase is not to be "ignorable" as ambient music has the right to be. additionally, the ryuichi sakamoto, etc is absolutely not lowercase. the reason i am being so nitpicky about this is that lowercase was a word used to describe music created at a particular moment - roden and gunter would agree. the term is largely outdated now and does not accurately reflect much of the music this wiki page suggests it does. i am a musicologist who has studied this music and its antecedents intensively.
improvsed vs. composed - of course ambient music can be composed, however most of the music that we hear today that is called "lowercase" comes out on labels such as erstwhile and such...typically labelled "EAI". improvisers in this idiom include keith rowe, radu malfatti, etc. there is extensive mailing list discussion of this including comments by many composers important to the genre circa 2000 when the term was coined.
i should also note that "minimalism" in music but be more specifically defined when it is meant to describe music that is made with a minimum of sonic material or at a lower volume. the reason for this is that the widely understood (musicologically and therefore in terms of genre) definition of minimalism is not an analog to minimalism in visual art, but music of repeating patterns or structures (recih, glass, riley, adams) or infinite/extended duration music (lamonte young, niblock).