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

Last modified on August 4, 2023

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.

  1. 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).
    • Note that this is an individual analysis, so you should not be collaborating with your group mates yet.
    • It will probably be helpful to have a visual of some kind, too, whether it’s in the video or in a PDF you upload to the channel.
  2. By Thursday end-of-day, upload your video to your designated Teams channel so your peers can view and respond to your video.
  3. After submitting their individual analysis, each group member will discuss how their findings interact with those of the other members (all other members, not just those who did the same piece!). Use the chat function in the Teams channel to do this.
    • 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.
    • Try to do this as soon as possible after all videos are submitted, to allow plenty of time for back-and-forth interactions. Your group may find it helpful to set expectations for when people will submit initial responses (i.e., make sure not everyone submits at the last minute).
    • Be sure you have something to say to each person that shows that you understood their analysis and makes a connection between theirs and your own.
    • I’ll evaluate these discussions on Sunday after noon, but again: please do not wait until the last minute to do this—everyone needs time to receive, understand, and respond to discussion. Timeliness in responding is part of your 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 (including those who did the other piece)

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