Week 5 (Jun 29): Techniques for Pop Music

This week, we’ll discuss pop music through two lenses: tonality and lyrics. Before you begin, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with form in pop music, if you are not already comfortable with terms like “verse,” “chorus,” “bridge,” etc.

You will read about the unique problems that pop music has with tonality and reflect on harmony in pop music vs classical music. You will also learn how to analyze the structure and poetry of lyrics. This goes beyond the kinds of meaning-based lyric analyses you see on sites like Genius.com and instead analyzes the poetic structure of the lyrics. We will learn through Lori Burns’s excellent approach. Your analysis assignment will incorporate both of these issues.

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Week 10 (Oct 28): Lyrics (F19)

This week we’ll learn how to analyze the structure and poetry of lyrics. This goes beyond the kinds of meaning-based lyric analyses you see on sites like Genius.com and looks instead at how the lyrics are written and what kinds of subtle messages might be present there. We will learn through Lori Burns’s excellent approach and then you’ll do your own analysis.

Continue reading Week 10 (Oct 28): Lyrics (F19)

Week 5 (Jul 1): Techniques for Pop Music (Su19)

This week, we’ll discuss pop music through two lenses: tonality and lyrics. Before you begin, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with form in pop music, if you are not already comfortable with terms like “verse,” “chorus,” “bridge,” etc.

You will read about the unique problems that pop music has with tonality and reflect on harmony in pop music vs classical music. You will also learn how to analyze the structure and poetry of lyrics. This goes beyond the kinds of meaning-based lyric analyses you see on sites like Genius.com and instead analyzes the poetic structure of the lyrics. We will learn through Lori Burns’s excellent approach. Your analysis assignment will incorporate both of these issues.

Continue reading Week 5 (Jul 1): Techniques for Pop Music (Su19)

Week 12: “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper; “Broken Clocks” by SZA (F18)

For our final analysis symposium, we’ll be looking at two recent R&B/hip-hop hits that borrow elements from soul. Both “Same Drugs” and “Broken Clocks” are very interesting lyrically as well as tonally.

[embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=be37-T72DNk[/embedyt]

[embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVc-K1kKkVk[/embedyt]

Continue reading Week 12: “Same Drugs” by Chance the Rapper; “Broken Clocks” by SZA (F18)

Week 11: Analysis of lyrics (F18)

This week we’ll learn how to analyze the structure and poetry of lyrics. This goes beyond the kinds of meaning-based lyric analyses you see on sites like Genius.com and looks instead at how the lyrics are written and what kinds of subtle messages might be present there. We will learn through Lori Burns’s excellent approach, you will analyze lyrics yourself, and you will write a reflection on lyric analysis.
Continue reading Week 11: Analysis of lyrics (F18)