Week 6 (Jul 6): Analysis Symposium #2 (Su20)

Because Week 4 and 5 topics aren’t able to be integrated as easily as Week 1 and 2, some groups will be doing a sonata analysis while others will do a pop analysis.

The process is essentially the same for all groups—just be sure you know which repertoire you should be analyzing.

Sonata repertoire

If you are in a sonata group (sign up on Blackboard), you will be analyzing either the 1st or the 4th movement of Schubert’s Tragic Symphony. You may prefer to look at the full score rather than the piano transcription. In either case, listen to the Vienna Phil performing this symphony. Movement I is at the beginning of course; Movement IV begins at the timestamp 23:54.

Both of these movements are on a much larger scale than the Beethoven sonata you analyzed in Week 4. Be prepared for a lot more weirdness! But I promise that each movement can still be analyzed through Sonata Theory and hypermetrical analysis.

Some thoughts to inspire you:

  • How does Schubert play with the hypermeter throughout this movement?
  • How does the hypermeter interact with the form of the piece?
  • What Type of sonata do you think this is (Type 1, Type 2, etc.)?
  • Did you have trouble locating the MC/EEC/ESC? If so, why?

Pop repertoire

If you are in a pop group (sign up on Blackboard), you’ll be analyzing one of these two recent R&B hits that borrow elements from soul and gospel. Both “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper and “Broken Clocks” by SZA are very interesting lyrically as well as tonally.

Some thoughts to inspire you:

  • Both music videos have a strong dose of nostalgia.
  • How does that nostalgic tone relate to the narrator/narratee?
  • How does the nostalgic tone relate to the tonality?
  • What is the form of each song—is there anything unusual?

Group Process

Your groups should use Slack to collaborate. I can view your channel but I will not be receiving notifications from it, so ping me (using the @ symbol) if you have a question.

  • You will begin with individual analyses. Make a video explaining what you discovered in the piece. The video should be at least 5 minutes long, but no more than 10. I would like to see your face in the video, because in an online class, I think that’s helpful for understanding that we’re all humans and not just names on a screen (but if you can’t do this for some reason, just discuss with me).
  • By Friday, submit this video in two places: uploading to your designated Teams channel and uploading on Blackboard (read more on submitting a video on Blackboard). The Teams channel is for discussion with your peers, while Blackboard is for evaluation and grading by me.
  • After submitting their individual analysis, each group member will use Teams to discuss how their findings interact with those of the other members. Approach discussion like a chat conversation rather than a response essay—ask people questions, wait for their replies—just have a conversation! Don’t be too stiff. Your participation in this discussion will earn another grade. I’ll evaluate these discussions on Monday of next week.
  • I will grade both your discussion and your individual analysis as separate grades. Rubrics are always available on Blackboard.
  • If you wish, you may revise your individual analysis in light of what you learned during the group discussion.
    • Submit your revisions in the same place as your original on Blackboard, as a second attempt.
    • Your revised content can be a new video if you like, or you may submit something written if that’s easier.
    • Separate from your analysis, in the “comments” box on Blackboard, you must accompany your analysis with a paragraph explaining how the discussion influenced your revisions.
    • Your revised grade will be averaged with your original grade.


You will be assessed individually in two parts.

Your individual analysis should:

  • incorporate all techniques appropriate to your repertoire (sonata theory and tonal rhythm for Schubert; form, lyrics, and tonality for SZA)

In your Slack discussion, you should

  • submit your video and your discussion on time so others can engage with it
  • respond lucidly to any questions asked to you
  • comprehend what others have said to you
  • demonstrate familiarity with both pieces
  • make comparisons with other group members’ analyses

A full rubric for each component can be viewed on Blackboard.