Considered as one of the fathers of the minimalist movement in music, Steve Reich developed compositional processes during the 1960s and 70s that reached their peak in Drumming, a major work requiring 9 percussionists, 2 singers and 1 piccolo flute.

Well-known composers considered as pioneers of the minimalist movement alongside Reich include La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Philip Glass. This movement later inspired other American and European composers such as John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Arvo Pärt, and John Tavener. Artists and groups in the rock and techno world were also inspired by minimalism: King Crimson, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream, The Orb, Orbital, Underworld and Aphex Twin have all integrated elements of this important musical movement in their works

The duration of Drumming may vary between 55 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes Sixtrum's performances range from 60 to 70 minutes.