Steve Reich

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When and where was Steve Reich born?
He was born in 1936 in New York City, New York, United States.
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Who was 'Electric counterpoint' written for?
The famous guitarist Pat Metheny.
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When was it first performed?
In 1987.
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How many movements is 'Electric Counterpoint' made up of?
Three.
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What are the key features of minimalism?
The repetition of simple ideas, layered textures, diatonic harmonies, slow harmonic rhythms and little variety in instrumentation.
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Instrumentation!! Which instrument is 'Electric Counterpoint' written for?
Live guitar.
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Instrumentation!! When performed what instruments accompany the live guitar?
Seven guitars and two bass guitars, which have been prerecorded.
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Structure!! How many layers is the movement built up of?
Three.
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Structure!! What is the first layer?
A syncopated quaver motif which is introduced in the live guitar and the top 4 guitar parts, one part at a time.
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Structure!! What is the second layer?
A new syncopated quaver motif which is introduced in the bass guitars.
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Structure!! What is the third layer?
A more sustained motif which is built around 3 chords, it begins in the live guitar part and is then transferred to the other parts. - After all 3 layers have been built up, layers 2 and 3 fade out together, layer 1 to continue until the last chord.
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Melody!! What is the melody made up of?
The melody is made up of a 1 bar motif that is repeated continuously to form an ostinato.
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Melody!! What instruments introduce this motif and what is this called?
This motif is introduced by the live guitar and the top 4 guitar parts at different times (the first layer in the structure above). This creates a canon.
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Melody!! What is note addition and how is it used in this piece?
In some parts note addition is used to build up the melody, this means that notes are gradually added to a part until all the notes in the melody are heard.
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Melody!! What is a resultant melody in this piece?
The live guitar uses the notes of guitars 1-4 by selecting different notes from their ostinati and creating its own pattern.
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Melody!! What is metrical displacement and how is it used in this piece?
The same melody/riff/motif played out of sync with other parts, it is used many times throughout this piece an example is bar 41.
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Texture!! What is the main texture of this piece?
Polyphonic.
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Rhythm!! What are cross rhythms and how are they used in 'Electric Counterpoint'?
Cross rhythms are different rhythms played at the same time which clash, throughout the piece the guitars play intricate syncopated rhythms.
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Metre!! What is the main time signature?
3/2 but throughout changes to 12/8. This combination of times are called polymetre.
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Tempo!! What is the tempo?
Very fast.
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Harmony!! What key is the piece?
E minor and it changes to C minor throughout.
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Tonality!! What is the tonality of this piece?
Modal and minor.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Who was 'Electric counterpoint' written for?

Back

The famous guitarist Pat Metheny.

Card 3

Front

When was it first performed?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How many movements is 'Electric Counterpoint' made up of?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are the key features of minimalism?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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