Steve Reich Analysis

Analysis of everything about Steve Reich's "Electric Counterpoint" I made this last year for my gcse exams and found them really useful for the longer essay questions

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  • Created by: Laura_mae
  • Created on: 30-01-14 21:31
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Steve Reich ­ Electric Counterpoint
The dynamics of the ensemble playing the first riff are mf throughout.
Other ensemble parts have some diminuendos
Lots of changes in dynamics for solo part.
Dynamics It finishes fortissimo ff.
Mostly in 3/2, some parts play 12/8 at some points
Changes in time signature happen more frequently towards the end of the
piece ­ makes it feel like the piece switches between 3 and 4 beats.
Rhythm Lots of cross rhythms are used.
It is 192 crotchets per minute (fast)
It lasts for 4 minutes and is 140 bars long.
Written for guitarist Pat Metheny.
First performed in 1987
We look at the 3rd movement
There are two main sections (AB).
There is a dramatic modulation from section A to section B.
Both are subdivided into 4 smaller sections.
Structure A change in section normally has a change in key, metre or riff.
It finishes with a coda.
It uses lots of loops, and is very repetitive.
Four of the ensemble parts play the same one bar riff in canon.
Additive melody/note addition is used to slightly alter the melody
Very simple melodic ideas
There are 7 guitars and 2 bass guitar
These are the pre-recorded ensemble instruments
There is one solo guitar part
Instruments They all sound the same ­ no change in timbre
Polyphonic - two or more parts play at the same time
Two canons happen at the same time
Very complex polyphony

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Steve Reich ­ Electric Counterpoint
It modulates between E minor and C minor.…read more


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