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Musical Analysis - Essay Example

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Musical analysis can be defined in terms of an attempt to identify the way music works. Analysis is “when [an author] dismembers something multifarious into its parts, in order to give his reader a full appreciation of the matter in hand” (Bent, 1994, p. 21). …
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Musical Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages 21). The means and methods used to identify the working of music vary from one analyst to another depending upon what purpose the analysis serves. Musical analysis has a history that dates back to 1750s, though it has also existed from the Middle Ages as a scholarly tool. A.B. Marx has been known for the formalization of concepts regarding music understanding and composition from the later half of the 19th century. While musical analysis is a way to identify how music works, it has been a subject of criticism since musical analysis has been thought to mutilate the musical work’s spirit through decomposition. It is said that “too much analysis kills the spirit of a performance” (Poore, 2005). My understanding of musical analysis is of a technique in which the working or a piece of music is judged on the basis of some well-defined scales or criteria. It comes with the presumption that a piece of music has to have a definite function and that it must conform to the set principles in order to be considered valid or credible. This is where I personally side with the critics of musical analysis because in this age of innovation and creativity, development of music beyond these criteria and scales can be expected or that these criteria are also updated or modified to suit the tastes of the next generation. The end result of musical analysis is identification of a piece of music with a particular theme, genre, or style. I believe that music is a form of art and it has to be free of all constraints and boundaries in order to constantly evolve and provide the audience with something new and entertaining all the time. “Some authors regard analysis as ‘implicit in what the performer does’, however ‘intuitive and unsystematic’ it might be, while for others, performers must engage in rigorous and theoretically informed analysis of a work’s ‘parametric elements’ if its ‘aesthetic depth’ is to be plumbed” (Rink, 2002). Some musicians actually think like analysts and draw upon the parametric elements of their music while performing it while there are others for which, musical performance is a thing entirely disconnected from its analysis. Analysis is more of an academic process in which a piece of music is described in literary terms. I think that what appeals to the audience is not the extent to which a piece of music can be described or identified with a particular genre, but it is the emotions that it is capable of arising in the audience, the magic, power, and strength that it carries to send give the audience goosebumps. The power of a piece of music can be better understood from a first-hand experience of its performance rather than analysis. Analysis does not essentially capture the essence of performance, and that is why it is inferior to the experience of performance from the perspective of audience. “Analysis is generally implicit, since many musicians do not command the verbal or notational tools that would enable explicit results….[Nevertheless] by applying a procedural knowledge to a stock of declarative knowledge of prototypical pieces and situations, a musician gains additional declarative knowledge, increasing his or her knowledge of repertoire” (Brinner, 1995, p. 148). I agree because while composing music, many musicians have factors beyond the notational or verbal tools in their mind like what would appease the audience and experimenting with new tones and melodies to entertain the audience. As a result of this, their music might gain a lot of appreciation from the audience but fail to comply with the standards established by the analysts. However, a musician who has a fair understanding of the analysts’ criteria is able to incorporate those elements in the music to enhance it, though ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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