Blue-Bird, Valerie Capers 2001

I’ve been working thru Portraits in Jazz by Valerie Capers at work, and decided that Blue-Bird, which I played recently, had a chord progression that would be fun to describe with Functional Analysis. Here’s a Recording The notes from the composer describe this piece as a chromatic blues in bebop style, and Theme and Variations…

In the Springtime, Betty Jackson King 1976

Today’s analysis is a song by Betty Jackson King, “In the Springtime.” Here’s a recording. I have performed this piece as the pianist a couple months ago, and I am also working on the vocal part. This song definitely evokes an older style than 1976 for me; I think that the Shakespearean text with generic…

Night, Florence Price 1946

Continuing in music I’ve been practicing (both voice and piano in this case). Below is a youtube video of a performance, and the score is available for purchase here. (I will be showing chunks of the score that I engraved so that I could change the key, so the music font will be different than…

Killing in the Name Analysis

CW for the lyrics; swears, allusions to police violence The next video in the chronological random grab bag of songs I want to analyze is Killing in the Name, by Rage Against The Machine.* This song is originally from the early 1990s (I saw 1991), but the message is unfortunately still relevant. In hopes of…

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.…