A short descriptive, analytical essay with musical/textual/contextual content that explains a piece of music, detailing its effectiveness, expressiveness, or artistic importance.

Description: Choose a musical piece from one of following cultures on which to perform research and musical analysis:

– African-American

– Hispanic-American

– Native-American

– Asian-American

Note: The Song is Sam Cook “A Change is gonna come”

Note: Work with your Musical Analysis Worksheet

Your goal should be to choose a song that is provocative on a cultural, textural, contextual, and/or musical level. You should produce an analysis in which the intersection of these planes can be discussed in a critical manner.

Describe the piece stylistically and structurally. A good analysis supplies information that will be discussed in the critical portion of the essay. Use vocabulary introduced in the class to describe how the instruments, rhythm, melody, harmony, and form contribute to the artistic product. Describe the formal divisions that illustrate the various sections and processes involved in the piece.

Describe how the contextual, functional, social, musical and/or textual elements combine to produce an effective, expressive and/or culturally important piece of music. In your essay, be careful to summarize the musical and textual features of the piece. Rather than paraphrasing the lyrics, present the theme of the song. Rather than describing each musical feature in order, give a summary of the most important ones. Be sure to reach a strong conclusion on the how the musical features relate to the effectiveness of the piece.

Note: You cannot use any song that is included in the list in the back of your textbook or which has appeared in the supplemental listening examples for one of the modules.

Note: The song for your written project should be the same song that you used for your worksheet, unless I noted in your grading comments that you chose an inappropriate piece.


Music Analysis Essay