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, timbrally, and tonally.Continue reading Week 12 (Nov 6): Analysis Symposium #3
A lot of pop songs have a very clear tonic, or even have very few chords besides a tonic chord. This is the norm in pop music. This week, you will read about the unique problems that pop music has with tonality and reflect on harmony in pop music vs classical music.Continue reading Week 11 (Oct 30): Tonality in Pop Music
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 23): Lyrics
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 you can access my article outlining my methodology here 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.Continue reading Week 9 (Oct 16): Timbre