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What's in a Song?

Music Analysis Guide


The Lyrics (Language)

Questions Class Responses

What did you like about the song's words? What were your favourite parts? Why? (Critical thinking)


 

Are the song's words like the words to any other song that you know? How are they similar or different? (Connections)


 

Is there anything in the song that reminds you of something in your own life? (Personalization)


 

Do you find any of the words or sentences interesting? Confusing? Unusual? (Style)


 

Did the songwriter include images that you find funny? Scary? Old-fashioned? Embarrassing? (Evaluation)


 

What senses does the songwriter use in this song? Sight? Smell? Hearing? Taste? Touch? (Style)


 

Why do you think the songwriter wrote this song? (Inference)


 

What is this song about? (Theme)


 


The Elements (Music)

Elements of Music Comments for Song

Rhythm:
Rhythm is the repeated movement of sounds through time. In songs, the words usually match the rhythm. Everything we sing or say has a rhythm. For example, try singing or saying a lullaby, nursery rhyme, skipping song or rap. Beat, accent and tempo are all part of rhythm.

  • Beat is the regular pulse (the ticking of a clock, the sound of a car's windshield wipers).
  • Accent is where the strongest emphasis is placed as in one, two, three, one, two, three.
  • Tempo is the speed: how fast or slow the music is.

Can you find the beat through clapping? Can you find the accent? What happens when you change the tempo?


 

Melody:
Melody is the tune. The tune is made up of musical notes or pitches that make up a pattern. When you add words to a melody, it becomes a song.

  • Notes can be high, low or in-between. Their height is called the pitch.

What words would you use to describe the melody or tune of this music?


 

Timbre:
Timbre is what makes one instrument or voice sound different from another.

What instruments do you recognize in this music? Why do you think these instruments were selected?


 

Dynamics:
Dynamics refers to how loud or quiet the music is. It can help to tell you about the mood of the music.

Important terms: pianissimo (very quiet), piano (quiet), mezzo piano (medium quiet), mezzo forte (medium loud), forte (loud), fortissimo (very loud). How would you describe this music?


 

Harmony:
Harmony is when you play two or more notes at the same time.

Is harmony used in this music? Why do you think the composer chose to use harmony in this music?


 

Genres/Styles:
Genre is the kind of music (jazz, rock, rap, classical, marches, lullabies, opera, pop, folk, etc.)

How is each kind of music different? Can you give an example for each kind of music? What type does this music fit into?


 

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