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.

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Week 9 (Oct 21): Timbre (F19)

The final unit deals with pop music. You will need to familiarize yourself with pop form terminology if you are not already comfortable with terms like verse, chorus, prechorus, bridge, or refrain.

This week we’ll talk about my research specialty: timbre. (I won’t have you read my research, since I feel that might be awkward to respond to, but I did upload my dissertation to our course readings folder if you are interested.) We will focus on Kate Heidemann’s excellent article on vocal timbre, and you will analyze a song a la Heidemann.

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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.



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