• Home   /  
  • Archive by category "1"

How To Write A Music Analysis Essay

The Perfect Song Analysis Essay

Many people may not think so but a song may be difficult to analyze. The difficult comes in as many people may think a song is music but not, should be like poetry. Music adds another layer of meaning to a song as it is full of literary devices and figurative language. Do not just pay attention to the lyrics alone when writing an essay about a song. Melody in a song just tries to modify the meaning played along with the words. A song should have good language since it can also deliver a message. here is how to write a song analysis paper

Steps to guide you when writing a song analysis essay

  • Take time and Listen to the song a few times. Do not think too much about stylistic specifics rather take few minute to listen to the song then write down how the song affects you. Discuss the feeling that you get from the song. Discuss the central theme or the message you get.
  • For you to scrutinize the song lyrics more closely get a printout of your song. Consider how the words have been literally scoured, their use, and their effect to the meaning and feel of the song. A songwriter can communicate frustration using song lyric over being down played in a certain deal. Listen to the song again with your list of lyric observations in front of you. Check how the music lines are relating with words. Analyze how the song details enrich the meaning of the lyrics and contribute to the effects of poetic devices as you take notes.
  • Research the historical, social and political context of the song. Check if your music is displaying a life experience, world events and the knowledge within, and prevailing attitudes. This might affect your interpretation in quite a big way.

Within the context of the entire album, take the song and study it carefully. Analyze if the artist chose a deliberate progression of songs to convey a message as you closely look at the order of the tune and the words used.

  • Using the observations you've gathered, look for a common thread that ties them together. Link your detailed observations to connect your general impression of the song with detailed that you have gathered. The thesis of your essay is in the conclusion part. Identify a specific example that you'll use to support your argument. Eliminate some content to check out the length of your essay.
    • Using the regular conventions of essay writing and factor in any special instructions that you have been given, draft your paper. Briefly state your thesis and make an outline your main arguments in the introduction. In the body of your essay discuss your main points. Finally proof read your work.

How to Write a Musical Analysis

Tips for young musicians on how to write a musical analysis.

Things to consider when writing a musical analysis

First of all, describe the following elements of music::

  • Key
  • Meter
  • Tempo
  • Instrumentation
  • Form


  • Describe the introduction?
  • Does it move in leaps or steps?
  • Is the melody legato (smooth) or staccato-like (short and detached)?
  • Describe the approximate range – narrow or wide?
  • Is it motivic or lyrical?
  • Identify and describe sequences as ascending or descending, tonal or real.
  • List other composition devices such as arpeggios, leaps, repeated notes, imitation?


  • Name the key or tonal center, i.e. major, minor, modal, atonal or polytonal?
  • Identify all keys used and how they related to each other – if at all?
  • Identify chromatic chords, state where they occur and name them?
  • Does it have treatment and resolution of dissonance, any unresolved dissonance?
  • Specify the cadence points. 
  • Discuss the harmonic rhythm. Is it consistent or does it change?


  • Name and explain the meter
  • Do parts play the same rhythm or different rhythmic patterns?
  • Describe any irregular meters and time changes?
  • Identify and describe rhythmic contrasts or cross-rhythms.
  • Are the note values all very similar or constantly changing?
  • Is there a simple rhythmic pattern such as one note per beat, or is it more complex?
  • Describe if and how rhythm develops – or is there a repeated rhythmic motive


  • Name the instruments and voice types used?
  • At what point do instruments/voices enter?
  • Can you hear one or more solo instruments in the work?
  • What role do the various instruments play? (Are they all playing the same thing or do some play thematic material and others an accompaniment role?)


  • Describe how the sound is built up?
  • Is the use of dynamics unexpected or logical?
  • Explain how the dynamics and timbre contribute to the composer’s intention?


  • Name and describe the predominant texture (polyphonic, homophonic, monophonic) or is it a mixture?
  • Identify the texture as thick and heavy or thin and light. Describe any changes to texture.


  • Describe the form of the piece. e.g. binary, ternary, rondo, theme and variation. 
  • Is it free flowing, episodic, through-composed or cyclical?

How to Write a Musical Analysis


One thought on “How To Write A Music Analysis Essay

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *