Music analysis

The principles of unity & variety apply to all music, regardless of compositional style or historical period.

Now that you are familiar with the concepts in the first section of the course (Basic Musical Concepts), and you have seen how they work on different pieces of music, try your hand, mouse, and ears at how they operate in a music selection that you may not have heard yet.

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White by Louiguy (4:08)

Your analysis should include:

  1. The number of different musical ideas in the piece (for example, can we say that there are two ideas A and B? Or is there only one?)
  2. The timings (start and stop times) of the different sections of the piece in a single vertical column that also shows the letter or label for the musical idea and the featured instrument along with any accompanying instruments. (Hint: Listen for changes in musical ideas and timbre, for example, points when different instruments come in or give way to others.)
  3. How unity and variety are exemplified in those sections through the use of:

a) Dynamics: Where does the music get louder or softer? Is there any apparent reason for those changes?

b) Timbre: Where do instruments take over the melody or a solo passage?

c) Pitch: What is the general pitch level of the piece? Are there wide variations in pitch level?

  1. Although there are sections that feature one instrument over others, whether you think this is a piece for a solo performer or for an ensemble
  2. A list of the characteristics of the musical style closest to the one this piece exemplifies. (Hint: Look at the last lecture in the first section of the course)
  3. Whether you think this piece serves (or could serve) a specific purpose.
  4. Whether or not it has any specific connotation(s) for you.

JAZZ/POP SONG FORMS
The classic jazz/pop song form is a 32-bar AABA form with each section lasting 8 bars. “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White” is typical of this classic jazz/pop song form. In many cases, the “main theme” corresponds to this AABA form and is then followed by a series of “solo” sections where various instruments take a solo over the harmonic background (chord changes) of the Main Theme. After the solo sections, the Main Theme usually comes back in. Have fun with this assignment which is a bit more upbeat than our other assignments.

Your submission should include a detailed timeline in the form in a single vertical column with the corresponding timings for each section, a label for the musical idea for each of the timings (unless it’s an improvised solo section), and the instrument or instruments that are featured in each section. You will then discuss the aspects of Unity and Variety in two separate paragraphs below the timeline of the form.

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