Week 3 (Jun 15): Analysis Symposium #1

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For our first analysis symposium, we will focus on a classic piece by Anton Webern: his 5 Movements for String Quartet. We will be looking specifically at movements 2 and 3.

Download the score from the readings folder.

I have divided everyone into groups and put you in Slack channels accordingly. 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.

There are six of you in each group. Split in half, and have one half analyze mvt. 2 while the other half analyzes mvt. 3.


  • You will begin with individual analyses. Make a selfie-style video explaining what you discovered in the piece. The video should be at least 5 minutes long, but no more than 10. You may wish to make some kind of visual to help illustrate your points, but this is not required.
  • By Friday, submit this video in two places: uploading to your designated Slack channel and uploading on Blackboard. The Slack 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 Slack 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. You can make a new video if you like or you may submit something written if that’s easier. In the “comments” box on Blackboard, you must accompany your analysis with a paragraph explaining how the discussion influenced your analysis. Your revised grade will be averaged with your original grade.


Your individual analysis must:

  • analyze pitch content using pc sets
  • relate pc sets with Tn/In
  • come up with a narrative analysis for the piece using archetypes, etc.

Note: it’s totally okay if you do not explain every note in the piece! Just try to find one cool thing that you can point out with set theory that involves ticking off the boxes above. It’s normal to have to pick-and-choose what notes get talked about and skip over some other stuff.

Your Slack discussion must:

  • 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
  • make strong analytical points

Full rubrics for both parts can be viewed on Blackboard.