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Thread: Analyse sheet music

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    Default Analyse sheet music

    What is the best way or method to Analyse classic sheet music? for beginner composer.
    like what thing to look for... Thank you

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    Senior Member shirime's Avatar
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    You can take a look at harmony, form, orchestration, rhythm I guess......for a beginner composer it's probably good to ask questions like 'why did the composer make these choices' and 'how did the composer write these sounds to communicate to the musicians'.

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    I would think the best way is to know a piece of music well enough by ear to know the effects the composer got -- both structurally and individually -- and only then go to the score to see what he did to achieve them. Composition begins in the ear.

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    Analyzation involves breaking down into components. It can be quite complex with a classical musical score. Depends upon what you want to examine.
    Do you want to see how the harmonies support the melody? Do you want to see how the orchestration achieves effects? Do you want to see how transitions are handled from key modulations or from theme 1 to theme 2?
    I suggest reading a score along with playback of the music. You'll learn things from doing that.
    But sometimes you do have to stop the music to have a closer look. Like at a specific chord.
    Eventually you get to the point where you can read a score, even a new piece you never heard before, without music present.
    Then comes synthesis -- putting all the parts back together to construct your own piece of music.

    When I was young I purchased a handful of recordings and a handful of corresponding scores (Beethoven, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Schubert) and I would listen to passages of the music (via a record player) and then attempt to write down what I heard on blank score paper (which I sometimes made by using a pen and ruler!). I would then compare the passage as I wrote it to the original in the score book. I was usually astounded by what I saw in the comparison. But I learned things.

    One thing I learned was I had a better chance to excel professionally in some field other than music.

    But today I enjoy music much more because of the analysis I did when I was young. I still enjoy reading over scores, and I've acquired quite a library of scores from the Baroque through the Classical and Romantic periods into the Contemporary Age. I generally acquired scores of music that I found fascinating for some reason or another. The Bruckner and Mahler symphonies. Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. A lot of impressionistic stuff from Debussy and Ravel. Charles Ives music. And modern graphic scores by folks like Penderecki and Earle Brown.

    When one reads a score one hears the music in his head. I sometimes imagine seeing the score pages as I listen to music. And though I generally listen for pleasure, I often cannot help analyzing at the same time. One can do the same while viewing paintings or reading Shakespeare. Pleasure coupled with thoughtfulness allows for a greater appreciation of art. And art is worthy of appreciation.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SONNET CLV View Post
    Analyzation involves breaking down into components. It can be quite complex with a classical musical score. Depends upon what you want to examine.
    Do you want to see how the harmonies support the melody? Do you want to see how the orchestration achieves effects? Do you want to see how transitions are handled from key modulations or from theme 1 to theme 2?
    I suggest reading a score along with playback of the music. You'll learn things from doing that.
    But sometimes you do have to stop the music to have a closer look. Like at a specific chord.
    Eventually you get to the point where you can read a score, even a new piece you never heard before, without music present.
    Then comes synthesis -- putting all the parts back together to construct your own piece of music.

    When I was young I purchased a handful of recordings and a handful of corresponding scores (Beethoven, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Schubert) and I would listen to passages of the music (via a record player) and then attempt to write down what I heard on blank score paper (which I sometimes made by using a pen and ruler!). I would then compare the passage as I wrote it to the original in the score book. I was usually astounded by what I saw in the comparison. But I learned things.

    One thing I learned was I had a better chance to excel professionally in some field other than music.

    But today I enjoy music much more because of the analysis I did when I was young. I still enjoy reading over scores, and I've acquired quite a library of scores from the Baroque through the Classical and Romantic periods into the Contemporary Age. I generally acquired scores of music that I found fascinating for some reason or another. The Bruckner and Mahler symphonies. Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. A lot of impressionistic stuff from Debussy and Ravel. Charles Ives music. And modern graphic scores by folks like Penderecki and Earle Brown.

    When one reads a score one hears the music in his head. I sometimes imagine seeing the score pages as I listen to music. And though I generally listen for pleasure, I often cannot help analyzing at the same time. One can do the same while viewing paintings or reading Shakespeare. Pleasure coupled with thoughtfulness allows for a greater appreciation of art. And art is worthy of appreciation.
    What an excellent and informative post. I don't read music but understand it must enhance appreciation of the music, for some.

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