Reich - New York Counterpoint : movement II

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  • Created by: Francisca
  • Created on: 04-04-13 21:45
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  • Reich - New York Counterpoint : movement II
    • Background
      • A minimalist work
      • Composed in 1985
      • Second movement of the three movement work
      • 1 of a  series of pieces by Reich which a soloist performs with a previously recorded accompaniment
    • Rhythm and metre
      • Notated in  3/4...
      • ...but the pulse is hard to discern
      • As more strands enter, a more constant flow of semiquavers is heard
      • A mixture of crotchets and semiquavers, some offbeat
    • Melody
      • Diatonic
      • Notated in B major but sounds like A
      • Melodic material uses hexatonic  scale
      • B-C#-E-F#-G#-A#
      • Melodic cell descending figure, spanning a 6th
      • As it proceeds, individual lines gradually become more active
      • Soloist weaves resultant melodies from  the lines of the other parts from b.25
    • Harmony and tonality
      • Harmony is non-functional
      • No drive of cadence despite use of primary chords
      • No modulation
      • Harmony revolves around overlapping alternations of E major and F# major chords
      • Dissonances are not harsh because of the instrumental timbre
      • Added note  chords in the lower parts - B maj. + C# - F# maj. + G# - E maj.7 + A#
    • Structure
      • 1-26; build up stage, instruments enter in pairs
      • 27-65; contrasting stage, four-note chords in lower parts added
      • 66-72;  Short fade-out stage for top parts only
    • Instruments and texture
      • Single timbre family
      • Opens with two part  homorhythms
      • Followed by phasing,results in contrapuntal texture
      • Here parts enter/overlap at intervals of a quaver
      • Homorhythm ic/homophonic pulsing in lower instruments from b.27 also fading in and out


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