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Summary: Where should you concentrate you analysis?

15 January, 2016 - 09:13
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As you answered the questions above, you may have already discovered the aspect of the piece that is most intriguing, most difficult to understand, or most relevant to the questions you have as a learner and creator of music. If you are still uncertain where to focus the rest of your analysis, look over all of your answers and consider:

  • Which aspects of this piece attracted you to it in the first place?
  • Which aspects can you definitely dismiss as irrelevant to your current interests?
  • Which aspects are the most difficult for you to describe, understand, or analyze?
  • Which musical elements are the most complex in the sections of the music that you find most interesting?
  • What aspects of this piece would you find most difficult to imitate convincingly in a composition, improvisation, or arrangement of your own? Which aspects are the most unlike your own attempts to create this type of piece? (You may need to do an exploratory analysis of your own composition to discover the answer.)
  • Which aspects of this piece do you find the most difficult to perform? Or which are the most unlike other pieces in this genre or tradition that you have already studied?
  • Do your interests lie in aspects of the music that you could analyze well on your own given enough time, in aspects that you could analyze sufficiently given some help and music-theory resources, or in aspects that you currently have no idea how to analyze? If you cannot finish an analysis on your own, are the resources and help you need available? Could you learn what you want to know by taking lessons or classes, or by joining a musical group?