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Thread: what are the advantages of analyzing scores?

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    Default what are the advantages of analyzing scores?

    i haven't really done much of that analyzing scores, this is beyond just reading the music and playing, i am talking about the surveying the rhythmic phrases used, how often the composer uses which types of rhymes, the rests, the harmony, how the composer arranges his or her instruments, certain melodic or rhythmic patterns that emerge,
    i mean i do all that, am just at this point where you learn something new but you aren't quite sure where to go from there, how would you incorporate the things you learn about the style of a composer and such into your own composition?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaidkm View Post
    i haven't really done much of that analyzing scores, this is beyond just reading the music and playing, i am talking about the surveying the rhythmic phrases used, how often the composer uses which types of rhymes, the rests, the harmony, how the composer arranges his or her instruments, certain melodic or rhythmic patterns that emerge,
    i mean i do all that, am just at this point where you learn something new but you aren't quite sure where to go from there, how would you incorporate the things you learn about the style of a composer and such into your own composition?
    Studying is the whole point of learning, as my music teacher told me once
    Last edited by Pugg; Feb-27-2016 at 06:43.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaidkm View Post
    i haven't really done much of that analyzing scores, this is beyond just reading the music and playing, i am talking about the surveying the rhythmic phrases used, how often the composer uses which types of rhymes, the rests, the harmony, how the composer arranges his or her instruments, certain melodic or rhythmic patterns that emerge,
    i mean i do all that, am just at this point where you learn something new but you aren't quite sure where to go from there, how would you incorporate the things you learn about the style of a composer and such into your own composition?
    I just saw your post. All of the great composers studied scores, so you will be in good company as you build on the work of your predecessors rather than having to rediscover everything for yourself. Form, harmony, thematic writing, thematic development, orchestration, and pacing can only begin to be fully appreciated with score study.

    I try to write music as a hobby activity. I am constantly studying scores. I am 63, and because of health issues I can not work as much as I used to work. The good part of that is that I have had far more time for music in the past year. I have spent much of that time studying scores. As a result, I think I have learned more about music in the past year than I ever could have otherwise. I find it the most helpful if I study a score while listening to a recording. Then, when I hear a passage of special interest to me, I quickly mark the passage, and return to it after the piece is concluded for more inquiry.

    There is an ocean of music to study. No one could possibly study all of it. So it has helped me to focus on the particular style of music that most interests me. And studying others does not mean you have to copy what others have done to learn from it. Prokofiev, before he wrote his "Classical Symphony" obviously studied High Classical era symphonies extensively and then he combined that knowledge with his knowledge of the orchestration and dramatics of the late romantic era to create a masterpiece. I don't claim to think I will ever write a masterpiece, but it is fun to try.

    Probably the most direct way to quickly apply score study is orchestration, or even just getting to know what is practical for all of the various instruments. Eventually you will notice that there are a few textures in a full orchestra or chamber group that particularly interest you, and perhaps inspire you.

    There is so much to be learned from score study that I am certain that every moment I can find to do so will be rewarded in some way.
    Last edited by Truckload; Mar-02-2016 at 22:04.
    Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky - "I sit down to the piano regularly at nine-o'clock in the morning and Mesdames les Muses have learned to be on time for that rendezvous."

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaidkm View Post
    i haven't really done much of that analyzing scores, this is beyond just reading the music and playing, i am talking about the surveying the rhythmic phrases used, how often the composer uses which types of rhymes, the rests, the harmony, how the composer arranges his or her instruments, certain melodic or rhythmic patterns that emerge,
    i mean i do all that, am just at this point where you learn something new but you aren't quite sure where to go from there, how would you incorporate the things you learn about the style of a composer and such into your own composition?
    If you are a student composer, it might be useful to write exercises or little pieces in the style of particular composers you like, using the kind of harmonic relations they use, imitating their melodic style, and so on. This is an excellent way to learn new vocabulary. One can start small with this sort of thing. One of my theory teachers, for example, used to find complex piano parts, song accompaniments by Hugo Wolf and the like, remove a portion of four to eight measures, and ask us to write something that seamlessly filled the gap. You could do this with little pieces by Bartok, Prokofiev, Debussy, Schoenberg, Boulez — whomever interests you. As a student one should never be afraid to learn by direct imitation.

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    You can study a score for so many different facets: harmony, writing for particular instruments, texture, effects. It's a great way to learn. Always try to listen to a recording (or video) as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Studying is the whole point of learning, as my music teacher told me once
    The point of learning is to acquire a skill or to gain knowledge, studying is just a means to an end.
    Last edited by tdc; Mar-04-2016 at 05:42.

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