Analytical Techniques

 

Tarleton State University

Instructor:  Dr. Vicky V. Johnson  vjohnson@tarleton.edu   254/968-9238

MUSC 530  Course Outline


 

 

Syllabus

 

Links

 

Tech Help

 

Assignments

 

Discussions


Writing


Theory Help

 

APA

 

Weekly Schedule     

Week #

Week Dates

All are Mon-Sun

Topic for Study

Discussion

Due

@ Midnight

Assignments

Due

@ Midnight

1Aug 26 - Sep 1Introduction

Discussion 1

Post: Fri Aug 30

Resp.: Sun Sep 1

Assignment 1

Sun Sep 1
2Sep 2 - Sep 8Aural analysis

 

 

 

Assignment 2

Sun Sep 8
3Sep 9 - Sep 15Traditional analysis

Discussion 2

Post: Fri Sep 13

Resp.: Sun Sep 15

Assignment 3

Sun Sep 15
4Sep 16 - Sep 22Traditional analysis

Discussion 3

Post: Fri Sep 20

Resp.: Sun Sep 22

Assignment 4

Sun Sep 22
5Sep 23 - Sep 29Schenker analysis

Discussion 4

Post: Fri Sep 27

Resp.: Sun Sep 29

Assignment 5

Sun Sep 29
6Sep 30 - Oct 6Schenker analysis

Discussion

Post: Fri Oct 4

Resp.: Sun Oct 6

Assignment 6

Sun Oct 6
7Oct 7 - Oct 13Improvisation analysis

Discussion

Post: Fri Oct 11

Resp.: Sun Oct 13

Assignment 7

Sun Oct 13
8Oct 14 - Oct 20Improvisation analysis

Discussion

Post: Fri Oct 18

Resp.: Sun Oct 20

Assignment 8

Sun Oct 20
9Oct 21 - Oct 27Project

Discussion

Post: Fri Oct 25

Resp.: Sun Oct 27

Assignment 9

Sun Oct 27
10Oct 28 - Nov 3Project

Discussion

Post: Fri Nov 1

Resp.: Sun Nov 3

Assignment 10

Sun Nov 3

 

 

Week 1Greetings grad students!

Welcome to Analytical Techniques

Please follow the link to review the Syllabus which contains grading and policy information.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Unless they refer to personal matters or grading issues, a good place to ask questions is the "Ask Dr. J" section in the Discussion forum in Blackboard. 

On this Course Outline page, you will find links to the lectures for each week, as well as any general announcements to the class.  The animated bullets to the right will designate "action" items, so be sure you accomplish these each week.  There is an overview calendar at the top of this page for quick reference.  All lectures will be linked from here, so this is your hub.

Be aware that this is an organic document.  It WILL change.  You are responsible for what is on this page, not a hard copy that you printed off in the first week of the course.

If you come across mistakes in the web pages in this course or dead links, I would appreciate it if you would let me know!

 

 

 

 

Now, click in to the first lecture, and let's get started!

 

Introduction to Analytical Techniques

 

Blackboard/Computer configuration

Follow this link to familiarize yourself with the Blackboard interface.

 

In order to bring a little bit of "face-to-face" into our class experience, attach a photo of yourself inside Blackboard:

  • Click on your name on the top right of the page

  • Click Settings, Personal Information, Personalize My Settings, Use custom avatar image

  • Browse your computer to choose a photo and attach the file.  (Although it may express your personality to choose a cartoon character or a picture of your dog, please choose a photo of yourself.  OK, the dog can be in the photo, too.)

Disregard these instructions if you are in the Witness Protection Program.

 

Discussion 1: 

 

After completing the first lecture, watch this video:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4niz8TfY794

Then answer the following questions:

  1. What are your general impressions?

  2. How does this video relate to analytical techniques?

  3. How important is it to know the composer's intent?  Why?

Please read these instructions about the Discussions

Remember that you receive more points for posting early

 

Assignment 1:

Let's jump right in and see where we are.  I would like you to download this score:

Chopin Prelude #4

Listen to the music linked below:

AudioFile

Note:  If you have trouble with the audio link above, go to

www.tarleton.edu/library/databases.html

Choose Classical Music Library from the list

Put Chopin Prelude #4 in the search box

Using traditional analysis, analyze the piece.  If you need to brush up on some basic theory, use the music theory textbook of your choice.  You can also refer to this Help link.

Traditional analysis can include:

  • Analysis of harmony
    • Roman numeral and figured bass analysis to show harmonic progression, chord quality, and inversions
    • Identification of cadences
  • Analysis of melody
    • Identification of non-harmonic tones (circle them and use abbreviations to identify Ex: PT=passing tone)
    • Identification of phrasing
    • sequential material
  • Identification of large scale form
    • using letters to identify sections, such as A section or B section

Write your analysis on the score (legibly, please!).  Then scan it and send it back to me as a PDF.  Submit the assignment as Assignment 1 in Blackboard. 

Week 2In Assignment 1, you marked your analysis findings on the score.  This is the raw material of analysis. 

This week, you will listen to a piece of music and analyze it based upon only what you hear, so don't cheat and track down a score or someone else's analysis on the internet!  Your analysis will be in written form.  

Analysis by Listening

Demystifying Analysis

Sometimes there is so much going on in a piece of music that it is difficult to know where to start.  This paper offers some questions to give you some direction.  You do not have to answer every question or cover every detail, but each piece of music offers its own.

Ignore the parts of the paper that do not apply to your current assignments.  I did not write it - it is just to help you focus on possible areas of analysis.

 

 

Discussion: 

 

No graded discussion this week.  If you have insights or questions about this week's material, post in "Ask Dr. J."  Feel free to reply there.  You can also discuss off-topics in the Watercooler forum.

 

Assignment 2:
  1. Listen to the first movement ("Largo") of Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C minor.  Find it here:
  1. Listen to "You Shook Me" as sung by Led Zeppelin (this song was originally written and sung by Willie Dixon and has been covered by many, but use the Zeppelin version).  You may be able to find it on YouTube.  No doubt you can buy it on iTunes, Amazon, etc.

Listen to each musical selection ("Largo" and "You Shook Me") sufficient times to be very familiar with it.  Then, based upon the lecture notes, write an analysis of each piece.   I am not specifying a length to encourage you to delve deep into each piece based entirely upon listening.  (Hint:  that means don't make it too short!)

 

Note:  Don't give me background information on either piece because you cannot know this information based upon listening alone.  Write as if you do not know the title, composer, performer, etc.  Even if you are very familiar with this information, give me the Pandora version of an analysis.  In other words, how would a Pandora musicologist analyze this song so that it would accurately feed into their algorhythm?

 

Writing style should be based on APA for such things as running head, cover sheet, pages numbered, 12 point font, double space everything, one inch margins, etc.  (No citations, of course).  Review Writing for the appropriate guidelines and APA Style for formatting.

 

Don't forget to include a concluding paragraph on both analyses.

  
  
Week 3This week we will combine the processes of Weeks 1 and 2.  You have already listened to Chopin's Prelude #4.  You have analyzed and marked the score.  You assignment will be to present your findings and conclusions in a formal paper.

Traditional Analytical Techniques

Writing a Readable Analysis Paper

This includes some great advice.

However, when reading the part about "Some General Tips," your consistency should adhere to APA when choices are offered.

 

Class list

 

Brossette, Lee

Clements, John

Lee, Charles

McPhetrige, Scot

Modgling, Todd

Sowell, Matt

Discussion 2: 

 

Post your Assignment 2 paper as a file attachment for your classmates to read.  For your primary post, critique the entire paper of the classmate that falls just after you in the alphabet (Matt, you will critique Lee).  Critique the paper of your assigned classmate as if you were the instructor of the course.  Give that classmate significant feedback on the entire assignment.  For your responses, you may respond to other classmates as desired, but you may pick and choose elements of their papers on which to comment.  Please review the "Critique" section of the Discussion info before proceeding.

 

You will receive full credit for timely posting if your Assignment 2 paper is uploaded by Tuesday and your complete critique of your assigned classmate is complete by Friday midnight.  Complete credit for responses will be awarded if completed by Sunday midnight.  See the class list to your left for an alphabetical listing. 

 

Note:  If your identity is not clear on your paper, please add a heading or cover sheet.

 

Assignment 3:

Based upon your analysis of Chopin's "Prelude #4" and my feedback, write a formal paper relating your findings and conclusions. Include your interpretation of the composer's intent and process of composition.  Use specific examples from both the score and from listening to the piece.

Your paper should adhere to APA guidelines, except there will be no citations or bibliography. Your formal paper should begin with a cover sheet. The length of the paper should be 5-6 pages, exclusive of cover sheet.  I will return any paper that is too short or does not conform to APA guidelines.

Review Writing for the appropriate guidelines and APA Style for formatting.

Note:  Please do NOT describe every note and every beat as if I don't have the score in front of me.  Point out those musical elements and ideas that you need to make your points, even at a micro level, but do not describe that which you do not intend to discuss.

  
  
Week 4

In preparation for next week's introduction to Schenkerian analysis, we will

PICK APART A PARTITA!

Even in a solo line, there is still harmony implied. 

We generally think of a melody as being linear - one note after another.  In the example below, there is no vertical dimension (chords in a stack), but there is harmony, nonetheless.  Also, each note in the melody is either a chord tone or a non-chord tone (non-harmonic tone).  Any note that is not part of the chord can be explained.

Please look at the example and explanation in the next section:

 

 

 

Discussion 3: 

 

This will be a non-graded discussion as we (the graduate faculty) just need some feedback from you.  I would like for you to post your thoughts in this forum so that all have the advantage of the collective wisdom as well as individual circumstances.  I would appreciate you posting your individual answer, but also responding as would be helpful for the group. 

 

Here is the background for the question:

 

We structured this master's program with working individuals in mind by having each course run 10 weeks, to end before the end of the public school terms.  Our original plan was to run one course per long semester and two concurrently during the summer.  We didn't allow for the fact that students applying for financial aid have to be fulltime students and taking 2 courses at once.  To accommodate those students, we have begun to offer two courses at once.  This, however, can be pretty stressful to add to a full-time teaching job (no kidding!)  So, we are considering the possibility of running the courses as 8-week courses one at a time.  In a long semester, instead of 2 10-week courses at the same time, you would take one 8-week course, complete it and then immediately start the next one.  You would still be registered for two courses per semester to qualify for financial aid, but they would be consecutive and not concurrent.  I'm sure you can think of several pros and cons for both.  They would be shorter, but the second one would run entirely through the end of the semester instead of giving you those several weeks between courses.  Well, discuss it among yourselves and I will look forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

That is the question:  Which of the two scenarios would you prefer and why?

 

Assignment 4:

The partita we will pick apart is the Solo Flute Partita of J.S. Bach.  Actually, you only have to pick apart the first 16 measures of one movement.  Here is a link to the "Sarabande" from this partita.  Download this score for analysis.

Go to the Classical Music Library (instructions on how to get there are on Assignment 2) and listen to this piece performed.  Play through it yourself on the piano to hear it more slowly. 

Analyze the first 16 measures of this piece as in the example to your left (Bach Prelude for Cello).  Include:

  1. Roman numeral analysis
  2. Figured bass.  Write in a potential bass line
  3. Non-harmonic tones.  See last week's lecture material for non-harmonic tone definitions and abbreviations.
  4. Phrasing
  5. Melodic motivic material
  6. Then write a general analysis (not a chronological or "blow by blow" analysis - the kind where every sentence could begin with "then")  In this essay, make some comments based upon your findings after analyzing the piece.  What was unusual?  What elements particularly contributed to the musicality of the piece/interest within the piece/performance possibilities for the flutist?
  7. Use a concluding paragraph
  8. Follow APA guidelines

Review Writing for the appropriate guidelines and APA Style for formatting.

I will give you extra credit for an analysis that is not hand drawn.  I put together the example to your left in a short time with this process:

  1. Using the Snipping Tool in Word, I copied the score and put it on a Word doc.
  2. Using the "Insert" tab, Insert - Shape to make a circle, then make it red. 
    Copy that and paste as many times as you need circles.
  3. Insert - Text Box.  Type NT in it and copy as many times as you need it.  Change NT to PT or whatever you need for the different non-harmonic tones.
  4. Type harmonic analysis underneath.

This is not required for this assignment.  However, for your final project, there can be nothing hand-written, so this would be good practice. 

Note:  There are several ways to produce an analysis.  Some people prefer to use Finale or Sibelius for the whole thing.  If you can find a MIDI version of the piece, Finale can convert it to notation.  If you have a better/easier/faster way to do this, share with us in the Watercooler forum!

  
  
 

Look at the example below of the first few measures of  the "Prelude" from Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major.

It is also interesting to analyze linear melodic content on different levels.  In the example above, you could see the highest note of each figure (comprised of 8 16th notes) as a melody in itself:

B - B - C - C - C - C - B - B - B - G - A - A

You might disagree with me about which notes should belong in the melody in measures 5 and 6, but if you play through the piece or listen carefully, I think you can agree that there are different melodic levels.  Keep that in mind when you analyze the "Sarabande" this week.

 

Week 5

This week we will begin a short study in Schenkerian analysis.  Feel free to draw upon resources other than those provided to enhance your understanding of this form of analysis.

 

 

Schenkerian Analysis

 

 

Discussion 4: 

 

Read the document linked below and comment on the author's general view of analysis.  Then comment on his view of Schenkerian analysis.  Do you agree or disagree?  Explain your view. 

 

Remember that these should be essays, not short answers.  Make your case fully and completely, supported by your understanding of the issues and content, and not just by your opinion.

 

What Does Music Analysis Tell Us?

 

Assignment 5:

Go through the Exercises from this link:

http://www.schenkerguide.com/schenkerexercises.php

Answer the questions on a Word document.  There should be 7 exercises with various questions on each one.  On these exercises, you do not need to answer the questions in the spaces provided on the screen.  If you do and then submit, the answers will not be graded anyway.  However, when you click submit, you will see some analysis of the musical excerpts that will help you with your answers.

Submit this Word document as Assignment 5 by midnight on Sunday.

Note:  these exercises are associated with a textbook, so you will not have total access to the materials.  However, I do think that these will help you to understand the basic process.

  
  
Week 6

Here are some of my basic principles of Schenkerian Analysis for this course:

 

bullet

The graph is not an end in itself and I am less concerned with the nuances of the graph than with the understanding of the structure and that you can convey to me what you are hearing in the music.

bullet

That being said, neatness really counts!  If your final product looks like a scratch copy, copy it again neatly.  Better yet, score it in Finale or Sibelius for extra credit.

bullet

There can be different interpretations of a piece using Schenkerian analysis.  You are not looking for one right answer.

bullet

Always let your ear be your guide.  After all, in the final analysis, music is to be heard.  Schenkerian analysis just helps us to better understand what we are hearing or performing.

  

Discussion: 

 

No discussion this week

 

Assignment 6:

Print out and analyze the following piece:

Schubert's Waltz, Op. 18, No. 10

Here is a link to a YouTube performance of this piece (not a great performance - if you find a better one, send me the link)

Produce Schenkerian graphs of it, one of the foreground, one middleground, and one background. 

Defend your interpretation in a 3-5 page paper (APA style). Your paper must answer the following questions: 1) which musical features support your graph; 2) why the work is in its particular form; 3) trace an interesting (unusual) feature of the work, such as a motive, a texture, or something else and show its interaction with the Schenkerian structure.

Review Writing for the appropriate guidelines and APA Style for formatting.

Week 7

The analytical technique for this week focuses on Improvisation

Improvisation Analysis

If we had more time, we would try these out by having you improvise and record using your own instrument or voice.  Anyone interested in pursuing this type of analytical technique might consider it for your final project.

Final Project Information

Next week, you will choose the piece for your final project and will post the score and/or a link to an audio or video recording for your classmates to see/hear.  This will be part of the discussion forum.  This is a 'heads up' so you can give it some thought and track down those resources. 

 

Discussion 5: 

 

Read Chapter 6 (beginning on p. 187) of this document:

 

Exploring Improvisation and Its Implications for Music Education

 

Answer the following questions:

  1. Do you agree with his philosophy of teaching improvisation?  Why or why not?

  2. What did you find interesting about his description?

  3. Could you use any of his teaching methods or curricular ideas in your own teaching?  If so, what?  If not, why not?

Assignment 7:

Download the 500 Miles High Lead sheet. 

  • Choose a scale for each chord that could be used to improvise during that chord.  Use textboxes to place your answers on the score. (Note that a minus sign is another way to designate a minor chord.)
  • Write out a possible improvisation that uses those scales.  In this case, you would improvise during the long notes (a half note or longer).  Please score those in Finale or Sibelius if possible. If everything could be on the same score, that would be preferable, but if you prefer to turn in the two parts of the assignment on two documents, that will also be acceptable.
Week 8

 

Improvisation

Part II

Discussion 6: 

 

For this discussion, please choose the piece that you intend to use for your final project. 

  • Post the title and link the score and/or an audio or video performance of the piece. If you have the score, you can scan it and upload it as a pdf.  A YouTube performance will be fine.  If you run into difficulty, let me know.

  • In your original post, explain to your classmates the process you will use for analysis - what technique(s) you will use, what will be included in your analysis.

  • After looking at the score and/or listening to the piece and reading the plan outlined by your classmates, offer your own suggestions for analysis.  What else could they include?  How else could they discover the inner workings of the chosen piece?  How would you do it if you had chosen that piece?  Be as specific and complete as possible with your suggestions.

Assignment 8:

Download the Memories of Tomorrow lead sheet.  Analyze the song to see what compositional elements are present to make improvisational decisions.  Indicate on the score:

  • what scales you would use to improvise (same process as last week)
  • which notes are guide tones or are included in guide lines
  • indicate which scales could be treated as common scales by placing a bracket around those groups

My suggestion would be to indicate the scale chosen for a chord between the 2 staves.

Indicate guide tones in the blank staff.

Place a bracket indicating common scales just below the blank staff.

Note:  It will be helpful to you to write out the scales to find which adjacent ones are common scales.  You may indicate that on the staff also if you like.

 

Week 9Final Project

Review Writing a Readable Analysis Paper

This week and next, you will work on your final project.

Final Project

 

 

Assignment:  Final project

How to Write about Music

Week 10Continue working on Final Project 
 

 

When you have received a grade on your Final Project (check Blackboard), you are done! 

Until then, check back to make sure that no revision and resubmission is necessary.

When you get that grade, congratulations!  You made it through Analytical Techniques!!

 

Blackboard/Computer Configuration

 

Be sure and configure your computer BEFORE you need to submit an assignment. 

 

Do not try to use dial-up access for  links and streaming audio.

 

For tech problems and questions, call 254/968-1960.  Toll free number is 1-866-744-8900 (Option 3).

Your student fees pay for this service, so CALL THEM!  Post the number by your computer and utilize these experts.  They can remote into your  computer if need be.  Don't be frustrated.  Call them.

 

 

 

 

Assignment Submission

 

Submit assignments as  specified in the Course Outline.  Sometimes assignments will be requested as Word documents (to be uploaded as attachments) and other times to be submitted directly into the submission blank.  Do not try to submit any document without saving it first.  Be sure and save it to a folder where you can retrieve it later.  Sometimes resubmissions are necessary.

 

Save the document as Assignment1_YourName.doc (substituting the correct week and correct assignment number and using your own name :-)

 

Use a heading at the top of the page of every assignment which includes your name and the assignment number.

 

Occasionally your assignments may be returned to you for a redo or for revisions.  Make your corrections and resubmit through the Assignment section as before.

 

 Here's the step-by-step process to submit a Word document assignment:
  1. Click on the ‘Assignments’ tab in the menu to your left.
  2. Click on ‘Assignment 1’
  3. Under ‘Submission,’ click on ‘Add attachments’
  4. Click on ‘Computer’ (it may take a minute to load so that you can see it)
  5. Navigate to wherever you have your file saved and click on that
  6. Click on ‘Open’
  7. It will then be attached and will take you back to the Assignment page. You should see the name of your file just above the ‘Add Attachments’ button.
  8. You can add a comment if you like, but it isn’t required.
  9. Click on ‘Submit’ and you are done.

 

 

 

Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson