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Describe the features of music in Electric Counterpoint

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Introduction

´╗┐Electric Counterpoint 1. Electric Counterpoint was written in the 1980?s. 2. Electric Counterpoint was composed for Pat Metheny. 3. Electric Counterpoint is a diatonic piece of minimalistic music. Steve Reich wrote movement 3 of Electric Counterpoint for 8 guitars and 2 basses. It is called ?Fast?. There are 9 pre-recorded parts and 1 live guitar. Electric counterpoint is written in 3/2. A rhythmic displacement occurs when the guitars come in. This is where a repeated ostinato begins on a different beat of the bar. The ostinato is heard continuously until the end of bar 73. At bar 82 all of the guitars shift to 12/8 apart from guitars 1-4. ...read more.

Middle

This builds up a repeating idea. The resultant melody ? a new melody that emerges when two or more different melodies are played at the same time- gives a new life to the ostinato. At bar 82 the bass guitars play a new ostinato. There are two basses, one which pans to the left and one that pans to the right. This is unusual but the sound, sounds balanced. At bar 114 we return to a ?four part guitar canon? with the resultant melody. The movement then ends with a crescendo and a chord of E5 in all parts. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means a texture consisting of a single unaccompanied melody. This builds up to a four part guitar canon in guitars 1-4. When the bass guitars come in they immediately add depth to the texture. At bar 106 guitars 5-7 and the bass guitars begin to fade out gradually at first, then more quickly at bar 113. Reich wrote this movement in ternary form (ABA). The movement is constructed in layers. Lots of the layers combine to form ?elaborate canonic ostinatos?. When the bass guitars come in at bar 24 we can hear the structure of the piece clearer. The coda begins at bar 114. At the end of the piece the bass guitars and chordal parts drop out, leaving only the high guitar parts to finish the movement. Rachel Tompkins ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This is a good essay on one of the 12 sets works listed in the EDEXCEL GCSE anthology. The writer has written in detail about many of the key features of the piece. It is a shame that the writer does not make any reference to the term minimalism as this is very important.

Marked by teacher Nathan Smith 19/03/2013

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