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Electric Counterpoint

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Mr Cole

on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of Electric Counterpoint

Electric Counterpoint
Steve Reich
Began in America in the 1960s.
After the development of expressionism and serialism, some American composers felt that the harmonies and rules of contemporary classical music had become too complicated and did not reflect their own culture
Steve Reich
Philip Glass
Terry Riley
'In C'
Composed in 1964 and influenced many other composers
The piece has a one page score and can be played by any number of performers (although Riley recommends around 35). The performers may choose how many times to repeat a melodic cell. it is very unusual to ask the performer to decide how the piece will be played
This well known film features time-lapse and slow motion footage accompanied by Glass’ music
Minimalist composer who also composes film scores
born in New York in 1936
began by learning the piano when he was young, and later took up the drums
studied philosophy
Before composing Minimalist pieces he composed tonal (music which is in a key) and serial (dissonant music which follows a system devised by Schoenberg) music
'Clapping Music'
A very well known and beautiful piece by Steve Reich, often released on the same CD as the set work, ’Electric Counterpoint’. The piece is written for string qaurtet and is based on samples of interviews with holocaust survivors
'Different Trains'
A composition for two performers. They clap the same rhythm together. One performer then displaces the rhythm by one quaver. This is called phase shifting.
The piece was written in 1987 for the jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.
The third movement has
7 electric guitars
2 bass guitars
, which are recorded, and
one solo guitar part
which is performed live.
The whole piece should be performed by one guitarist.
The piece is made up of three movements 'fast, 'slow' and 'fast'. You are studying the 3rd movement.
It is made up of
repeated patterns
The piece lasts for around 4 and a half minutes.
It is mostly written in
but occasionally moves into
Each part is pre-recorded by the performer. Originally this was done onto tape. The parts are then recorded on top of each (
). The parts are very
and this gives the music a hypnotic effect.
The movement begins with one guitar playing the melodic pattern (or cell). This is then joined by the live guitar. The live guitar plays fragments of the pattern but begins in a different beat in the bar. The missing notes are gradually added (this technique is known as
note addition
additive melody
). Other guitars enter until there is a four part guitar
(like a round). The live guitar then plays the melody which is most prominent. This is called the
resultant melody
The piece begins in
E minor
(using the aeolian mode) but at times there is a sudden change to
C minor
. These changes become more frequent towards the end. The piece finishes in E minor.
The two bass guitars are seperated by the studio effect of
(in stereo the sound can be panned to the left or right ear/speaker)
There are lots of changes in
. The solo part fades in and out during the piece. The piece finishes with a
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