● Handing out her
own CDs in
eventually lead to
a songwriting job.
● First Song writing
job was with RCA
Records, she later
● 15 years old
● Playing at Blue Bird Cafe
● Discovered by executive Scott Borchetta
● Signed with Big Machine Label Group
● Taylor Swift-2006
○ "Tim McGraw" CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year
● Fearless -2008
○ Grammy Award for Album of the Year
● Speak Now - 2010
○ Debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 charts.
○ First week in the U.S, sold over 1.2 million copies
● Written for her 9th grade talent show
● 2008 "Female Video of the Year" and "Overall
Video of the year" CMT Music Awards
● Released Aug 22, 2007 on Taylor's debut
album, Taylor Swift by Big Machine Records
● Produced by Nathan Chapman
Our Song ~ Listening Guide
0:00 The song is opened by the violin then joined by the banjo with a ring of
what sounds of a triangle. They play in unison for a beautiful formed texture.
The Rhythm is upbeat and the melody flowed nicely. This harmony had a
major feel, calming and stress relieving. High tones from the violin gave a
distinct timbre. It was a pleasant, resonance of the violin and the banjo gave it
a southern feel.
0:11 The form had great repetition and contrast. The rhythm is upbeat, the
melody flows and brings a feeling of anticipation and excitement. The harmony
is ascending and mixes well. Dynamics have a shorter range in this section
and are of mezzo-forte level. The timbre of Taylor’s voice overtakes the
guitars. The texture is of medium density with the guitars, voice and drums.
:35 The chorus begins. The dynamics increase. The Rhythm picks up in the
chorus and the form is a good contrast. The melody flows, is positive and
upbeat. The timbre is made up of voice, guitar, drums and what sounds like a
tambourine. The texture is medium but sufficient for the song.
Our Song ~ Listening Guide continued...
2:08 This segment, the rhythm slows down and the words are more softly sung. For a
moment the harmony descends to a minor feel. The dynamics are of a soft piano. The
timbre is mainly Taylor’s lovely voice with the symbols, electric guitar and drums in the
2:22 In this chorus she sings portions of the song an octave higher, giving it more oomph
in dynamics and timbre. Her voice and the instruments intertwine nicely giving it a great
texture. The dynamics have a nice range, mainly of mezzo forte sense.
3:05 This section is bringing the song to a close and slowly descends in rhythm. There
are less instruments playing here, lightening up the texture. This segment consists of
voice, drums, banjo and guitar but, they all are playing in very soft tones.
3:22 The song ends.
Stay Stay Stay
● Published by Big Machine Records on Taylors Album
● All of Taylor’s songs are influenced by relationships in
real life that either she has been through or has seen
others go through.
● The song discusses the serious of the relationship, the
arguments, and how much they love each other. It
concludes to the idea that marriage would be a great
option for them.
Stay Stay Stay ~ Listening Guide
Stay Stay Stay (3:21)
0:00 The first 19 seconds there's a tune that repeats 4 times, the first two times are almost identical
and then at the 3rd repetition drums join in. This makes for a repetitive form. The rhythm is quick and
upbeat, giving you a feel of anticipation in what’s to come! The melody flows perfectly, living in this
moment, life is well. The harmony is ascending and happy, giving a major feel. The dynamics are of
mezzo-forte sense. The timbre is diverse. The songs begins with a guitar and banjo and then the
drums join in at :09 for a deeper connection. The texture is building in this section, vocals have not yet
begun, the guitar, banjo and then the drums, slowly increase the density.
0:19 Taylor begins singing at this point. The repetitive form continues. Taylor’s voice gives a nice
range of dynamics but not to extreme that it discourages any listeners. The rhythm is catchy and this
is the point that the story begins in words, and intrigues you to keep listening now that you know more
specifically what’s going on in the story. The melody remains upbeat with a positive outlook. The
harmony is upbeat and constant. The timbre is fun with the vocals, drums, guitar and banjo, there is
not a depressed moment. Texture is not too thick but has the mixture of Taylors voice for increased
texture on top of the guitar, banjo and drums in unison.
:56 The Chorus begins. The form continues in a repetitiveness tune. The melody flows pleasantly.
The rhythm keeps positive and upbeat. The song remains of major feel. The dynamics are of a
mezzo-forte sense. The harmony is of major feel. The Timbre was creative with what sounded like a
xylophone, hands clapping, banjo, guitar and drums. The texture has a thick density in the chorus
with all the instruments, yet still flows great.
Stay Stay Stay ~ Listening Guide continued...
1:55 A short 10 second instrumental begins here. This segment involves only what sounded of the
drums, xylophone, banjo and symbols. It demonstrated a quick change in timbre with a break from the
2:05 The rhythm slows and the timbre is of only voice and banjo with a very thin texture. The melody
gets more serious, accentuating the meaning behind the words. It ascends back to the main tempo.
2:24 The words are repeated but the music and speed of the words slightly differ, which gives greater
depth to the story being told. The form remains the same, the rhythm is what slightly changes, it is still
upbeat, and starts out mezzo-piano and then the dynamics and tempo ascend until it gets to the
chorus and back to mezzo-forte.
3:02 Here the chorus repeats for the last time. It continues full force, identitical to :56 until 3:16 when
it concludes with one strum of the banjo resonating and the last 3 words of the song softly sung, as the
dynamics slowly fade to silence.
3:24 The song ends.
● Written for "Hunger Games" Soundtrack.
● Release date March 20th, 2013
● Published by Universal Republic Records
● Taylor was asked to write this song from
Katniss' point of view
Eyes Open - Listening Guide
Eyes Open 4:04
0:00 The song begins. It opens with a harmony that gives an eerie minor
feel. You hear what sounds like the vibrations of a subway train
ascending closer as it nears its stop and then an electric guitar begins
playing. The form crescendos at this point and there is not much contrast.
The Rhythm is slow and tense. The melody flows smoothly. The sound
of an approaching train with the guitar makes a distinct inviting song
opening. The texture is light with only the 2 sounds thus far.
:10 Taylor begins singing. The form is repetitive and there is not yet major
contrast at this point. The rhythm is slow. The melody flows perfectly; it's
a slow pace and gives a feeling of, uncertainty, fear and strength. The
dynamics play softly in a piano sense.
:24 For 15 seconds the singing halts and the drums and guitar play a
heavy fortissimo resonation.
Eyes Open Listening Guide continued...
1:10 The chorus begins here. There is high repetition in the form in this
segment. The rhythm is the same as previously stated.
2:40 The song slows here. The texture is reduced and make for a more
3:10 In this section the same line is repeated 4 times. The rhythm and
melody decrescendo and are very soft spoken.
3:23 The chorus begins again. In some parts of the song the octave is
raised giving it a more distinctive timbre.
3:34 The line repeats 4 times and slowly descends to silence.
4:04 The song ends.
● Released in the Album Fearless, on November 11, 2008.
● Big Machine Records is who published the song.
● This song was influenced by a relationship she was in.
● Fairytale love song that so many of us can relate to.
Love Story Listening Guide
Love Story (3:55)
0:00 The song begins. The form is calm and steady. The Rhythm has
an average medium pace. The melody flows piano like. The harmony
has a good happy feel. The dynamics are mezzo-piano. The timbre is
mainly of guitar and banjo. The texture is medium with the guitar, banjo
and soft tapping of a symbol. The momentum is building at this point.
0:16 Taylor begins singing. The balance and repetition of the tempo
has a positive medium feel. The rhythm is upbeat. The melody flows
nice and smooth. The harmony is ascending. The dynamics are of
mezzo forte. The timbre is mainly Taylor singing and the guitar. The
texture is thick yet played so softly. It involves voice, guitar, banjo and
Love Story Listening Guide continued...
1:04 The chorus begins. The form stays constant in contrast and repetition, the
rhythm and melody are no longer in crescendo but are flowing at a upbeat positive
tempo. The harmony is sharp. The dynamics are mezzo-forte. The timbre is
mainly of voice, guitar and drums. The texture is thick with all instruments playing in
2:13 This is an extended chorus. The music and words have more oomph behind
them but repeat the same characteristics as 1:57.
2:44 This segment the harmony is flat. It feels of fading faith. The form is constant
and the rhythm slows. The melody is slightly depressing.
3:37 The Violin sticks out in this last segment. Taylors words are less frequent. The
form reduced in repetition and contrast. The melody flows. THe harmony is sharp.
The singing and heavy texture is strong then performs a fast de-crescendo at the
3:55 The song ends.
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