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Topic: How to deeply analyze a piece  (Read 188 times)

Offline the green piano man

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How to deeply analyze a piece
on: June 15, 2024, 10:03:50 AM
Im currently reading bartoks own book, and he wrote he analyzed a lot of smyphonies from mozart. How can u deeply analyze something which is not for piano? I know u can watch the harmonies, but after that what u can do?
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Offline kosulin

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Re: How to deeply analyze a piece
Reply #1 on: June 15, 2024, 03:16:38 PM
It would be a huge help if you could start with piano reduction if it exist IMO. Simplifies a lot. I cannot imagine how to analyze a line if you cannot hear it in your head, and that means you need to know well how an instrument sounds.
Each symphony is a form of drama. One suggestion would be to identify themes (usually in different keys) and melodic repetitive motives. Repetition of these motives is frequently if not always one of anchors that keep things together.
Think of the themes as songs - say, two main characters sing and speak through the piece, with more characters possibly added later.
When the music progresses, the themes progress as well, new theme(s), i.e. characters, may get introduced, existing themes usually change its key few times to change the narrative (from main charaters falling in love to excitement to tragedy, etc.). And in the end themes may go back to an initial key.
There would also be intermediary movements - dances, etc.
Reading about the specific symphony creation history would help in understanding its dramatic narrative.
There are theories and books on orchestration and analysis.
Id say that classic opera, ballet, symphony are all built similarly, but voice and dance are easier to interpret when you listen.
But all I wrote is not about deep analysis, it is more about general composition. If you want to see what deep analysis is, start by watching Youtube series by Jacob Gran on Schenkerian Analysis - one of analytical approaches.

Offline kosulin

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Re: How to deeply analyze a piece
Reply #2 on: June 15, 2024, 03:26:58 PM
duplicate message

Offline lelle

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Re: How to deeply analyze a piece
Reply #3 on: June 16, 2024, 07:14:11 PM
It depends on your goal. Why do you want to analyze the piece? Just to analyze it? What do you want to learn?

You can study
- how he uses harmonic progressions, when are they conventional, unconventional, where is he modulating, where is he using typical chord progressions in a key, why does he employ a certain progression or modulation here, what emotional effect does this create, harmonic rhythm etc etc
- how he does voice leading, what rules he follows, what rules he breaks, when he employs it, when he doesnt employ it
- the structure/form of the piece, which part serve as exposition, which parts serve as development, where are the climaxes, where is the biggest climax, where are the low points, where are things static, where are things clearly moving in some direction, where are the structural commas, periods etc as it were, how are these things employed to give the piece emotional impact?
- how the composer employs melody and motifs, which motivic cells are present, how are they used to generate the material in the piece

and much more.

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