B Section Answer for Reich

A Practice B Section Answer I created when revising lat year - might not be perfect but I did get a high A* in the Exam! This is for Section B of Edexcel GCSE Music. Note : Chopin and (i think ) Buckley came up in 2011, so they probably won't come up in 2012 - but do check and know them anyway. Also note ( I learnt this from the chief examiner at a course) that one b option will be from AOS 1 and 2 and the other will be from AOS 3 and 4 - this means that you can be really prepared for 6 pieces in advance adn not 12. 

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  • Created on: 20-03-12 20:41
Preview of B Section Answer for Reich

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Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich
B Section Model Answer
Electric counterpoint is a fast paced minimalist piece written in 1987. It combines technology such as
sampling and lopping with a pre-recorded guitar parts with a live guitar. The piece was written for
jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. Like many minimalist pieces in has a strong polyphonic texture and much of
it ( as the title suggests) is in counterpoint. There is a blended quality to the 7 electric guitars and 2
bass guitars which accompany Metheny. He plays the resultant melody which is made up of the main
themes in the other parts. The tonality of the piece is predominantly modal, and it based in E minor
and C Minor. As the piece progresses we hear multiple key changes which add interest to the song.
Tempo is fast and is well suited to the intricate melodies of the piece. These ostinatos are the base
for a number of minimalist techniques. In the introduction note addition is used to form the main
melody. Reich also uses phase shifting and augmentation. Dynamics are used a little ­ for example
when Reich wants to cut out parts he will use a diminuendo for a smooth transition.
Additional Points to Remember:
Structure ­ two main section s with a coda. These are divided into four smaller
sections each of which is defined with key changes.
3/2 time signature and 12/8
Strummed chords ­ new texture and counterpoint between guitars
It has tonal ambiguity
Panning
Interplay of bass parts

Comments

Samuel Richardson

This is a useful model answer for Section B analysis of 'Electric Counterpoint' by Steve Reich. Try writing your own that includes all the extra points mentioned at the end.  

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