An analysis can be conducted on a single piece of music, on a portion or element of a piece or on a collection of pieces.
The student goes through the process of critical listening in order to offer an opinion on the different elements of music used within the piece chosen.
DURATION is all about time (long/short). It can refer to:
DYNAMICS is all about volume (loud/soft). It can refer to:
MELODY is all about the horizontal arrangement of sound. I can refer to:
HARMONY is all about the vertical arrangement of sound. It can refer to:
STRUCTURE is all about sections of the music. It could refer to:
TEXTURE is all about density. It may refer to:
TIMBRE is all about tone. It may refer to:
Critical responses to music are formed as a result of critical listening. They include how elements of music and computational devices contribute to characteristics of music excerpts.
Usually when we listen to music, we listen passively. In other words, we’re just letting the music soak in slowly the more often we hear it. We’re not listening for anything in particular, just enjoying it. That’s fine, but it won’t help you write an essay.
In order to deconstruct the music, you need to listen actively. That means you need to know what you’re looking for before you begin listening. A good method is to pick one musical element (pitch for instance) and listen to the entire song focusing on just that. Then listen again focusing on a different musical element. Make a list of everything you notice. By the time you’ve written notes on all the elements, you will have listened to the music heaps of times and will have hopefully started to form more complex opinions. These opinions will be the basis for your evaluations.
Unfortunately, a list of observations about the musical elements isn’t an essay. Don’t fall into the trap of simply making lists of musical facts. Eg: The key is G, the melody notes are from G major, it is in 4/4, The tempo is 130bpm. Unless you explain why those things are significant, why they contribute to the artist’s vision or the listener’s experience, they are meaningless facts. [source]