Week 3 (Jun 12): Analysis Symposium #1 (Su23)

Last modified on August 4, 2023

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.

I have divided everyone into groups and put you in Teams channels accordingly. Split in half, and have one half analyze mvt. i while the other half analyzes mvt. iii. Your groups should use Teams 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.

  • Listen to the recording with the score several times. This is an extremely short work so it will not take you long.
  • Analyze your movement, incorporating set theory and narrative theory. I suggest choosing two different set classes and assigning them to represent order and transgression.


  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 Monday, 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.


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 Teams discussion must:

  • 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)

Full rubrics for both parts can be viewed on Blackboard.