Electric Counterpoint

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Electric Counterpoint Context
1987, post-modernism, minimalist, recorded tape but could be recorded live. 3rd of 3 movements. Commissioned for jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. Influenced by African drumming, gamelan, Hebrew chant and rhythms. Caused controversy.
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Electric Counterpoint Rhythm
Rhythmically complex- repetition. Rhythmic displacement and counterpoint. Cross rhythms and polyrhythms. Syncopation. Constant quaver movement. Resultant melody- quavers. Strummed parts have dotted crotchets and dotted minims.
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Electric Counterpoint Resources
Solo live -either acoustic or electric- with 7 pre-recorded/ live guitars and 2 basses. Little variety in timbre. Plucking and strumming. Instructions at head of score on balance, amplication. Basses panned from separate speakers. Written 8ve higher.
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Electric Counterpoint Dynamics
Lots of changes, mainly in solo part- fades in and out. Ostinato 1 constant mf. Parts have some diminuendos. Finishes with crescendo to ff climax for solo. Accents marked in. Texture affects dynamics.
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Electric Counterpoint Melody
Made up of motifs/ cells. Ostinato 1- 1 bar long, guitar 1 at beginning- hexatonic. Tonally ambiguous, diatonic, high in register, note addition/subtraction- metamorphosis, resultant melody, interlocking melodies, rhythmic displacement.
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Electric Counterpoint Metre and Tempo
Fast, crotchet = 192. 3/2 metre to start- triple simple time with minim beat. Changes in metre between 3/2 and 12/8- quadruple compound in B. Some parts in 3/2 and others in 12/8 simultaneously- polymetre.
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Electric Counterpoint Technology
Backing track- each part is pre-recorded onto a tape/ computer loop. Overdubbed using multi-tracking in studio- build up layers. Performer plays live part over recording- common in minimalist music. Panning for 2 basses and ensemble.
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Electric Counterpoint Texture
Counterpoint, layers, builds up gradually- helps to define structure. More dense when all parts play at once. More sparse in Coda- guitars 5-7 and basses fade out. Starts monophonic- guitar 1 all alone. 4 part canon. End is homorhythmic.
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Electric Counterpoint Structure
A and B with a coda. A and B split into 4 smaller sections. Sections defined by changes in key and texture. B- new key starts, then change of key- each subsection. Ostinato. Ideas come together- resultant melody. 5,6,7 drop out- Coda. Chords- 5,6,7.
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Electric Counterpoint Tonality
Em not confirmed till basses enter. Tonal ambiguity- could be seen as G. B- Cm, unusual relationship. Aeolian mode on E. Ends with power chord. Diatonic. B- alternates between Em and Cm.
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Electric Counterpoint Harmony
Diatonic harmony. Chords change slowly by note addition/subtraction. No functional harmony. Gentle dissonances caused by counterpoint. Power chord E5- strummed chords and final chord. As chords overlap they form more complex chords.
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Card 2

Front

Electric Counterpoint Rhythm

Back

Rhythmically complex- repetition. Rhythmic displacement and counterpoint. Cross rhythms and polyrhythms. Syncopation. Constant quaver movement. Resultant melody- quavers. Strummed parts have dotted crotchets and dotted minims.

Card 3

Front

Electric Counterpoint Resources

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Electric Counterpoint Dynamics

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Electric Counterpoint Melody

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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