1. Introduction about your piece, such as title, year written, artist, etc.
– you may want a couple paragraphs if there is a lot of historical significance to your song
2. Write a paragraph about the form of your song, and how you determined it.
– If your song is a pop song with verses and choruses, talk about how you know which parts are verses, which are choruses, what parts are pre-choruses or bridges or pop drops (etc) and other big details that made you determine which sections are which.
3. Write about Instrumentation
– Talk about what instruments are played in your song, and what their roles are. Is there a vocal? Is there anything unique about the vocals? What are some of the more prominent instruments? What instruments are playing more supportive roles instead of lead ones?
4. Write about Meter
– Talk about what meter your song is in. If it’s in 4/4, try to tell us how you determined that. Do you hear a steady bass drum? Do you hear any percussion at all that’s consistent? Are there ANY parts of the song that suddenly don’t sound like they’re in 4/4?
5. Write about Tempo
– Is your song fast or slow? Does it always feel fast, or sometimes one or the other? Remember that a song’s tempo rarely changes, and instead it’s the TEXTURE that’s changing if it suddenly sounds busier or calmer. Does the tempo of your song seem to match the mood of the music or lyrics?
6. Write about Rhythms
– Does your song have simple or complicated rhythms? Are these rhythms specific to any sort of existing music? For example, nowadays, there are specific rhythms used in latin dances, like Reggaeton or Cumbia. If you hear a specific rhythm associated with those dances, you know that’s the genre it comes from.
7. Write about the key
– Does your song center itself around one key? Or does it actually change keys at some point? Remember, chord changes are not the same as KEY changes. Chords act within a single key typically. If you change the key though, you are also changing how all the chords will be spelled (alphabetically, but not structurally).
8. Write about Melodies
– Does your song have interesting melodies? Are they simple (conjunct) or complex (disjunct)? Are they repetitive? For example, listen to Post Malone. His melodies are as repetitive as it gets.
9. Write about Harmonies
– Does your song have unique harmonies? If it’s a pop song, it likely doesn’t. But if they’re not unique, then that means they’re probably very simple. Please try to provide either chord names for the harmonic progression, or if you can, provide roman numerals (like I – V – vi – IV). Remember the Axis of Awesome video and how that represented tons of songs with the same chord progression which I just listed above. You should especially check to see if your song is this same progression, because it’s possible.
10. Write about Dynamics
– Does your song sound more loud and energetic or soft and relaxed? Remember that audio today is mixed so when you’re listening, you’re actually hearing the same volume the entire time, but it might just sound softer or louder based on the energy of the music at the time. Engineers do this on purpose so people don’t have to constantly be turning their music up and down in order to hear everything.
11. Write about Texture
– This ties into a lot of things. Are there a ton of instruments playing at the same time? Are there only a few instruments playing at the same time? Are there a lot of busy rhythms or are the rhythms sparse?
12. Provide lyrics at the end of your paper in full, if you have any.
– Do not really discuss the lyrics in your paper previously unless they somehow directly tie into the element you’re discussing. For example, if somehow the music gets really loud every single time the singers say a specific phrase, that would be noteworthy. You might want to pick apart why they chose to sing that phrase so loudly.