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7 electric guitars Electric Counterpoint Music Technology


3rd movement
2 bass guitars Panning (used to separate out the guitar parts to left and
Solo guitar part (who plays along with a multi-track right speakers)

By Steve Reich
recording of the other parts) Dynamics
Composed for Pat Metheny, a well known jazz Fairly constantonly the live guitar has crescendos and
guitarist diminuendos.
Crescendo at end to final chord
Minimalist features used in the piece Rhythm and metre
In two section A Bbinary form.
Ostinati/repeated patterns In 3/2, at some points a few guitars play in 12/8 while
Note addition/additive melody (starts off playing just a others stay in 3/2
Section A
few notes of the riff, then two or three notes are added each The parts still fit together because both time signatures
time its played until the whole riff is heard) Starts with one guitar playing a one-bar ostinato, then each of the divide into 12 quavers.
Layering remaining guitars are gradually added. Much use of ostinatos and uses syncopated rhythms and
Resultant melody (a new melody produced when a variety Suggests key of E minor. cross rhythms
of parts play their melodies at the same time)
Short motifs Section B Melody
Texture gradually builds as layers are added Big key change to C minor. All parts playing. During this section the Made up of short, repeating patterns (ostinatos)
key shifts to E minor and back to C minor a few times. Parts start to Use of additive melodies
drop out Tempo
Texture Fast throughout (constant). Clear pulse
Polyphonic - made of several independent parts Coda (ending) Finishes in E minor and crescendos to a final E chord. Crotchet = 192
being played at the same time.
Texture (in detail)
Parts gradually build up to help define structure
Tonality/Harmony Section A
Once all parts are introduced the texture is quite
Suggests E minor (Section A) and C minor (Section B) Begins with guitar 1, then other guitar added as
Actually modal (we dont hear a D# we expect in E minor - follows: live guitar, guitar 2, guitar 3, guitar 4Reich
Counterpointobvious when some parts are playing
therefore its in the aeolian mode on E) calls this a four-part guitar canon, guitar 4 doubles
in 3/2 and others in 12/8 (in section B)
Key changes (modulates) half way through the piece at bar the live guitar.
Parts fade out on the end
74, this marks the start of Section B Bass guitar parts are introduced
Coda returns to four-part canon
There are more frequent key changes as the piece builds up Live guitar introduces new idea by playing
strummed chords. Dramatic effect that cuts across
Rhythms used: other parts.
Why is this piece called Electric Counterpoint? Guitars 5-7 play a chord sequence that creates
Opening guitar riff:
Electric guitars are used rhythmic counterpoint
Counterpoint is the main texture Section B
Most of the layers are recorded onto tape Texture remains the same
But it can be notated (sounds the same): (uses electrical tape recorder) Counterpoint becomes obvious when the metre
changes (3/2 against 12/8)
Three musical points that I like/dont like about this song Metre shifts regularly creating tension from the
Justify your points and used musical vocabulary counterpoint
Guitars 5-7 and two bass parts fade out at bar 106
Resultant melody (heard later on) Coda
Four part canon with live guitar playing resultant