Things to consider when writing a musical analysis
- Does it start immediately, or can you hear an introduction first?
- Does it move in leaps or steps?
- Is it legato (smooth) or staccato-like (short and detached)?
- Is the approximate range, small or large?
- Are the phrases balanced or uneven?
- Are there clear cut cadence points?
- Is it motivic or lyrical?
- Is there frequent and consistent use of sequence
- Are there other compositional devices such as arpeggios,leaps, repeated notes and imitation (where melodic motifs are being played in another part)?
- Is it major or minor, modal, atonal, polytonal?
- What keys are used and how are they related to each other, if at all?
- Does it use another scale or tonal-system?
- Does it use chromatic chords?
- Does it have treatment and resolution of dissonance, any unresolved dissonance?
- Does it have clear cadence points, consistent harmonic rhythm (when does the harmony change)?
- Is the beat obvious or is it more hidden?
- Is it in simple or compound time? Duple, triple or quadruple
- Do the parts (various instruments) play the same rhythm, or are there different rhythmic patterns for each part?
- Are there irregular metres and time changes?
- Are there rhythmic contrasts e.g. 3 against 2?
- Are the note values all very similar or constantly changing?
- Is there a simple rhythmic pattern, of perhaps one note per beat, or is the rhythm more complex than that?
- Does the rhythm develop or is it made up of repeated rhythmic motives
- What instruments is the pieced scored for?
- At what point do more instruments come in?
- Can you hear one or more solo instruments in the work?
- What role do the various instruments play? (Are they all playing the same thing or do some play thematic material and some play an accompaniment role?)
- How is the sound built up?
- Is the use of dynamics unexpected or logical?
- How does sound intensity (loudness or softness) contribute to the music?
- Does one texture predominate (polyphonic, homophonic, monophonic) or is it mixture?
- Is it thick and heavy or light? What makes it so?
- Is the structure clear? e.g. binary, ternary, rondo, theme and variation.
- Is it free flowing, episodic, through composed or cyclical?
- Is it determined by factors outside the music? e.g. words or story.
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