Electric Counterpoint (Basic Analysis)

A useful table full of general information on Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint.


(M= melody A= Accompaniment D= Dynamics T= Texture S= Structure H= Harmony                  I= Instruments R= Rhythm T= Tonality S= Speed)

Useful for anyone doing the GCSE Edexcel Music course... enjoy! :)

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  • Created by: Jessica
  • Created on: 06-05-12 11:07
Preview of Electric Counterpoint (Basic Analysis)

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Jessica Steve Reich Madtshirts
Melody 3 different ostinatos patterns that are repeated throughout
1. Bar 1 ­ All the parts play this ostinato throughout apart
from the bass guitars
2. Bar 24 ­ Only played by the bass guitars
3. Bars 38 & 39 ­ 3 chord pattern
Accompaniment All the guitars accompany the main ostinato patterns
Dynamics Crescendo (gradually getting louder) at the end
Constant dynamics in the rest of the piece
Parts fade out
Texture Layered Texture constantly varied and builds up in layers. It is
The use of multitracking is when instruments are recorded on
top of each other, which is added to the texture by layering.
Structure The piece is spilt into 2 main sections and a coda.
Each main section is divided into 4 smaller sections with a
different meter and key signature.
Harmony No cadences and all the harmonies are diatonic.
Instruments 8 Guitars (1 live guitar) and 2 bass guitars
Rhythm Lots of syncopation
The same rhythms are repeated through most of the piece so
there is little rhythmic variety.
Tonality E minor but changes constantly to C minor.
Reich uses Tonal Ambiguity (when lots of motes are not in the
key to make it confusing in what key the piece is in)
Speed 3/2 and 12/8
This particular movement is called `Fast' so its tempo is
one crotchet beat = 192.
Electric Counterpoint
Other Information:
Steve Reich composed this minimalist piece in 1987.
Lots of note addition is used, meaning notes are added slowly and gradually
throughout the piece, building up the melody.
The original guitar player was Pat Methany.
Electric Counterpoint has 3 movements (we are studying the third movement)
1st Movement 2nd Movement 3rd Movement
Fast Slow Fast
= 192 =92 =192

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