Is music analysis interesting for regular folks?

October 15, 2009

I struggle writing my book analyzing songs by Rufus Wainwright because I keep forgetting who I am writing the book for. I simplify the language so that regular music lovers can appreciate it, but then I address issues that are more appropriate to graduate music analysis seminars for composers or music theorists.

What is it that non-musicians want to know about music? I fear that these music lovers don’t know the questions to ask––so I need to ask interesting questions.

What do classical musicians want to get out of a book that analyzes songs by a pop songwriter? My guess is that we want to see that there are similar compositional methods a classical composer might use, showing up somewhere in the music. Good voice leading along with an organic use of a theme in a pop piece impresses a classical musician.

Who am I writing for? Both audiences.


[Early American doll, photo by RB]

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November 3, 2009 at 1:32 am

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