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Parts and Layers Electronic Counterpoint is built up in layers There are 7 pre-recorded electric guitar parts and two bass guitars The live guitar part.

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Presentation on theme: "Parts and Layers Electronic Counterpoint is built up in layers There are 7 pre-recorded electric guitar parts and two bass guitars The live guitar part."— Presentation transcript:

1 Parts and Layers Electronic Counterpoint is built up in layers There are 7 pre-recorded electric guitar parts and two bass guitars The live guitar part is performed along with the recorded parts The texture gradually builds up in section A, with the guitar parts entering in the following order: Guitar 1, Live guitar, Guitar 2, Guitar 3, Guitar 4, Bass guitars 1 and 2, Guitar 5, Guitar 6, Guitar 7 The piece is divided into 2 main sections (AB). These main sections are then subdivided into 4 smaller sections, each defined by changes in key and texture.

2 Section A1: Bars 1-23 0.00- 0.42 Begins with Guitar 1: Motif 1: 1 bar ostinato

3 Section A1: Bars 1-23 0.00- 0.42 Bar 2: The live guitar builds up motif 1 using additive melody, but it is one crotchet behind Bar 7: Guitar 2 enters with the same motif as the live guitar These 3 parts together create phase shifting

4 Section A1: Bars 1-23 0.00- 0.42 Bar 10: Guitar 3 builds up ostinato 1 using additive melody/ note addition The ostinato is displaced by five and a half crotchets

5 Section A1: Bars 1-23 0.00- 0.42 Bar 16: Guitar 4 plays ostinato 1 displaced by two and a half crotchets Reich calls this a’ four part guitar canon’ Canon: one voice repeats the part of another, like an echo, after a given duration

6 Bars 1-19 summarised Guitar 1 starts with motif 1 Each guitar then plays motif 1 but starting at different points so they are out of sync (phase shifting) The live guitar and guitar 3 build up their motif using additive melody

7 Section A1: Bars 1-23 0.00- 0.42 When all the parts have entered, the live guitar starts to play the resultant melody The piece is in 3/2 time with a clear triple meter Hints at the key of E minor Resultant Melody: A new melody is heard when a variety of parts each play their melodies at the same time Triple Meter: a primary division of 3 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 3 (simple) or 9 (compound) in the upper number of the time signature

8 Section A2: Bars 24-35 0.43- 1.05 Bar 24: Bass guitars enter A two bar bass ostinato is gradually introduced, starting with the first bar and adding the notes until it is played in full by bar 33 (additive melody)

9 Section A2: Bars 24-35 0.43- 1.05 Key of E minor becomes definite Bass guitars are panned to the left and right speakers to balance the sound Live guitar continues the resultant melody

10 Section A3: Bars 36-66 1.05- 2.05 Bar 36: Live guitar introduces strummed chords Has a dramatic effect on texture: introduces a percussive sound that cuts across the rest of the parts Bar 40: Guitar 5 plays C, Bm E5 (same as live guitar) Bar 52: Guitar 6 plays C, D, Em Bar 64: Guitar 7 plays C, D, Bm

11 Section A4: Bars 36-66 1.05- 2.05 Live guitar and guitars 5-7 are all playing by bar 64. Because they are played at different times in the bar, a new rhythmic counterpoint is introduced and can be heard as distinct chords Live guitar continues to play chords, interweaving with the rhythms of guitar 5-7 Counterpoint: When there is more than one independent line happening at the same time in a piece of music, we say that the music is contrapuntal. This can also be called polyphony, or you can say that the music is polyphonic

12 Section B5 67-73 2.06-2.16 Live guitar returns to playing a resultant melody part 74-81 2.16-2.31 Bar 74: Change of key to C minor. Signals the start of section B Texture the same as section 4

13 Section B6: 82-89 2.32-2.46 Key shifts back to E minor Time signature changes to 12/8 in all but guitars 1-4 Because not all instruments change, this is not obvious when listening Bass part plays a new ostinato Bar 86: Time signature shifts back to 3/2 and bass ostinato changes back to ostinato 2 Bass 1 is inverted and adds one additional note Inversion: Turning intervals upside down to create a mirror image

14 Section B7 90-97 2.47-3.01 Return to C minor (Similar to section B5) Time signature continues to change every 4 bars 98-113 3.02-3.32 Bar 98: Return to E minor Shifts in key and time signature become more frequent, building tension Bar 106: Guitars 5-7 and bass parts fade out

15 Coda: 114-140 3.32-4.24 Bar 114: Texture returns to 4 part canon of ostinato 1 in guitars 1-4 Live guitar plays resultant melodies Shifts in key and metre continue till bar 129 when it’s made clear the piece will end in E minor Ends with a crescendo to a final E5 chord played in all 5 remaining parts

16 Important Points The piece is basically in E minor, but Reich keeps the listener guessing right until the bass guitars make it obvious in bar 33. This is called tonal ambiguity: keeping the key uncertain Texture is built up gradually and helps to define the structure Once all the parts have been introduced, the texture is quite constant, but with clever use of panning and interweaving rhythms it always seems to be shifting Not strictly phasing as the parts stay out of sync, separated by the same distance throughout

17 Key Questions on ‘Electric Counterpoint’ 1. Describe the texture of the first section (bars 1-23) 2. What is the term used to describe a repeated motif? 3. What instrument enters at the start of the second section? (Bar 24) 4. What is the tonality of the piece when this instrument enters? 5. There are three strummed guitar parts. What studio effect has been used to help separate the parts? 6. What other instruments have been separated out using the same effect? 7. The live guitar part plays a melody derived from the notes played in the recorded parts. What is the term used to describe this? 8. Why do you think this piece is called electric counterpoint?

18 Key Questions on ‘Electric Counterpoint’ 1. Describe the texture of the first section (bars 1-23) It begins with a sparse texture, with one guitar, gradual building up until there are several (5) layered parts. The parts are imitative, building up a 4 part canon with the live guitar part playing a resultant melody just before 0.42. It is mostly contrapuntal/polyphonic. 2. What is the term used to describe a repeated motif? Ostinato/ Loop 3. What instrument enters at the start of the second section? (Bar 24) Bass guitar 4. What is the tonality of the piece when this instrument enters? (E) Minor

19 Key Questions on ‘Electric Counterpoint’ 1. There are three strummed guitar parts. What studio effect has been used to help separate the parts? Panning 2. What other instruments have been separated out using the same effect? The bass guitars 3. The live guitar part plays a melody derived from the notes played in the recorded parts. What is the term used to describe this? A resultant Melody 4. Why do you think this piece is called electric counterpoint? - Written for electric guitar - Texture is mostly contrapuntal - All but one of the tracks was recorded on tape - Makes use of studio effects


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