Satin Doll Analysis

*Disclaimer: Schenker was a terrible human. For people who might not know, I was influenced by Schenkerian Analysis in that I like see how chord structures might be more or less surface level or used prolongationally, but I don’t have any kind of insistence on a certain background structure, I don’t really look at melodic…

Heu me domine, Lusitano

This motet was published in an appendix to a Music Theory treatise in 1553.* It is for 4 singers. The text is included at the end of the post. You can read a bit about the composer, and listen to it here. Like I said last week in my post, I did this analysis predominantly…

New Analysis Project

Musical analysis is something we do when we want to understand music better, whether for appreciation or learning to perform or emulate a certain piece or composer. Western Music Theory has long disregarded music that doesn’t fit inside its predetermined box. I grew up in this environment and studied primarily pitch analysis, specifically chord analysis.…

Writing updates

In the past I’ve gone thru cycles where I either wrote music or wrote words, but not on average, both. For awhile, I wasn’t really doing either, just trying to get established after moving, finding jobs that might be even remotely related to my specialties. So, I haven’t been writing about Theory or Analysis, but…

Elements of Music

I realized recently that most of my writing is aimed at people who are interested in reading music, or might have some reference to enter into music theory that way. However, many people are interested in talking about music intelligently that may not have time or resources to devote to learning to read, play an…

Rondo Form

Rondo is a type of musical form that is super flexible. Its identifying feature is a recurring melody section that returns multiple times, interspersed with contrasting sections. Sections are usually given a letter to represent them, so some common examples are identified as ABACA, ABACABA, and ABACADA. This can go on for quite a bit,…

Brief Survey of Famous Women Composers

*Of course, there are tons of women composers. This is something I did as an intro for non-music major type folks. If you want to use women composed pieces for examples in a theory class, I’ve been using this resource: http://musictheoryexamplesbywomen.com/ and there’s also this: https://adaptistration.com/2018/01/02/an-operational-women-composers-database/ There are more, but to keep this brief, I’m going to…

Rhythmic differences in musical styles

*This post is predominantly me thinking thru things I want to teach this weekend. Most examples will be from rep we are singing this quarter.* One of the tricks for getting good at Aural Skills/Ear Training is to know what the expectation for a given idiom is. This is because your ear can often hear…

Chords

Chords are a way that we group notes that work together so that we can talk about their joint impact on music. Often we think of chords as a simultaneity, notes that occur at the same time. But chords can also be arpeggiated, or broken up, and still understood to act as a unit: The…

Tuplets

Tuplets are when a beat is subdivided differently than the meter might indicate. The most common example is triplets, specifically eighth note triplets, where a beat normal subdivided by twos has three even subdivisions. This is shown with a bracket or the notes beamed together and a 3. Quarter note triplets, also called drag triplets,…