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Analyzing music process
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Analyzing music process


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  • 1. Analyzing Music What to do and how to do it
  • 2. Always begin with the title, composer, and date. Title: What the musical piece is called—use proper punctuation Sometimes the title will include more than just one part. Include all parts! Composer: Who wrote it Date: when it was written
  • 3. Next you need to listen to the entire piece of music. This sounds stupid, but listening to the entire piece first will give you an idea of the “big picture” before you go back and break it down more.
  • 4. Musical Texture
    • Musical Texture: the organization of musical lines
    • Monophonic: one melody line
    • Homophonic: one melody line with at least one harmony line
    • Polyphonic: two or more melodies at the same time
  • 5. Lyrics (If there are lyrics) What are the lyrics about? Who is the speaker/recipient? Discuss themes in the lyrics? What is the message/meaning/mood?
  • 6. Rhythm
    • Rhythm: the organization of musical time—sound and silence, accent and non-accent…
    • How can the rhythm of this piece be described?
    • What is the speed of the beat?
    • What effect does the rhythm have on the piece?
  • 7. Pitch
    • Pitch: the location of musical sound from low to high or high to low
    • Does this piece use primarily high or low tones?
    • Is there a wide range of tone or similar tone?
    • What effect does the pitch have on the piece?
  • 8. Intensity
    • Intensity: relative degree of softness or loudness of sound
    • Overall is the piece loud or soft?
    • Where are there contrasts between loud and soft in the piece?
    • What effect does the intensity have on the piece?
  • 9. Tone Color
    • Tone Color: the quality of sound that makes it different from other musical sounds (flute v. tuba)
    • How can the tone color be described?
    • What instruments are used?
    • What effect does the tone color have on the piece?
  • 10. Duration
    • Duration: the length of time a tone is heard
    • How can the duration of the notes be described?
    • Where are there contrasts between the duration of notes?
    • What effect does the duration have on the piece?