Music Area Study 2 - Electric Counterpoint

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  • Created by: Katie
  • Created on: 04-04-13 23:59

Minimalism

  • Early 20th century
  • Found in all arts
  • Based on very simple ideas
    • Stripped down to essentials
    • Uses limited materials in new ways
  • Usually one musical idea repeated many times
    • Slow, gradual, building up changes as its repeated
  • Developed in America in 1960s
    • particually New York and San Francisco
  • New musical technology
    • editing sounds
    • creating loops
  • Polyrhythms and complex cross rhythms
    • derived from African music
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Electric Counterpoint Background

  • Written by Steve Reich
    • from New York 
    • studied philosophy, composition, african drumming and gamelan
  • Written in 1987
  • Composed for a soloist
    • with the repetitive backing track
  • 3rd of 4 movements
    • fast, slow, fast
  • Written for jazz guitarist Pat Metheny
  • Pre-recording - 7 guitars and 2 bases
  • Live solo guitar on top
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Electric Counterpoint

  • First performance in 1987
  • First theme influenced by African music
  • Written an octave above how it sounds
  • Ternary form - A B A
  • Minimalistic
  • Tonal piece- G major key
    • tonal ambiguity uncertainty
    • static harmony 
    • no chord progressions
    • no cadences
    • no established key
  • Little instrumental variety
  • Constructed in gradual layers
  • Canonic ostinatos 
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Electric Counterpoint Features

  • Diatonic
  • Hexatonic
  • Clear cell
  • Ostinato
  • Syncopation
  • Fragmentation
  • Canon
  • Note addition
  • Metrical displacement
  • Resultant melody
  • Gentle dissonance 
  • Octave leaps
  • Cross rhythms
  • Contrary motion
  • Falling/rising pattern
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